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The Magical Art of Fly Fishing

By Kristin Masters. Mar 27, 2019. 9:00 AM.

Topics: Book Collecting, Fishing

Few activities offer the sport and serenity of fishing. That unlikely combination has made fishing a popular pastime for people of all ages and backgrounds. Presidents Jimmy Carter and Herbert Hoover did it. So did literary giant Ernest Hemingway. Fly fishing elevates this rather humble sport to a true art form. A fly fisherman must develop a rhythm and style for his cast, and then practice unending patience. That's why Izaac Walton called fly fishing "The Contemplative Man's Recreation."


Henry Wade's Halcyon: Past Fly Fishing With an Eye to the Future

By David Eddy. Oct 22, 2015. 9:00 AM.

Topics: Rare Books, Fishing

“There are but few which it has fallen to our lot to read that we could recommend to our readers so sincerely or with so much pleasure.”
Spectator, February 8, 1861.

On that welcoming note, Halcyon; Or Rod-fishing with Fly, Minnow and Worm to which is added a Short and Easy Method of Dressing Flies, with a Description of the Materials Used by Henry Wade, entered the literary world.  


What Lessons Can We Learn From The Old Man and the Sea?

By Matt Reimann. Sep 1, 2015. 9:00 AM.

Topics: Legendary Authors, Fishing

The Old Man and the Sea has a special prominence in the Ernest Hemingway canon. Published as the final complete work before his death, it was met with tremendous acclaim. The Old Man and the Sea was featured in the September 1, 1952 issue of Life magazine. Five million copies sold in only a couple of days. The famously fastidious Vladimir Nabokov was even an admirer. Though he dismissed Hemingway as a writer of “bells, bulls, and balls,” the author of Lolita couldn’t help but admit his appreciation for the “fish story." The Old Man and the Sea won the Pulitzer Prize, and the Nobel Prize committee described Hemingway's "mastery of the art of narrative” in reference to the novella. What makes The Old Man and the Sea so great, and what can we learn from it?


Interesting Editions of Izaak Walton's The Compleat Angler

By Alex Marcondes. Aug 9, 2015. 9:00 AM.

Topics: Fine Press, Fishing

For many, the allure of fishing is its contemplative nature. No other sport allows the mind to wander for so long, nor do they offer environments conducive to this. This was certainly not lost on Izaak Walton. His The Compleat Angler is a definitive exploration of both the technique and emotion surrounding the sport. For collectors of fishing literature, The Compleat Angler is essential, and its numerous and interesting editions merit our attention.


Fly Fishing Chalk Stream Rivers with Sir Edward Grey

By David Eddy. Jul 9, 2015. 9:00 AM.

Topics: Fishing, Modern First Editions

First published in April of 1899, Fly Fishing by Sir Edward Grey embodies the qualities that make first editions in angling literature such attractive collectibles. Written in a warm and intimate style, this book is an engaging and thoroughly delightful piece of literature which effortlessly throws down a sturdy bridge between Grey’s world and ours.


Saltwater Fly Fishing: Fresh Takes on an Ancient Sport

By David Eddy. Jun 13, 2015. 9:00 AM.

Topics: Fishing

Fly fishing is an ancient sport. One of its first mentions was made by Claudius Aelainus in the second century as he described fishermen on the Astraeous River: "They fasten red wool..round a hook, and fit on to the wool two feathers which grow under a cock's wattles...the fish, attracted and maddened by the color, comes straight at it.." In Fly Fishing in Salt Water, Lefty Kreh takes a detailed and engaging look at how this ancient sport can be adapted to the challenges of the ocean. The book is self-described as the saltwater fly fisherman's bible and his treatment of the subject does not disappoint. 


Fly-fishing 101: Seriously, Can You Outsmart a Trout?

By David Eddy. Feb 15, 2015. 9:00 AM.

Topics: Fishing

The sport of fishing in America has long endured, despite what some people intuitively assume by early adulthood: that the term “fishing activity” is an oxymoron. For those folks, it’s a wet, messy, endeavor starting early in the morning and resulting in either nothing to show for one’s efforts or, from time to time, cold, clammy creatures that must be gutted and cleaned. But, for those who can see the art and science in the act of fishing, and who can learn to appreciate the workings of chance present on any given fishing escapade, the sport is actually quite riveting.


Juliana Berners and the Creation of Fishing Literature

By Matt Reimann. Jan 26, 2015. 9:00 AM.

Topics: Rare Books, Fishing

By reliable accounts, The Treatyse of Fysshynge with an Angle (1496) is the earliest surviving volume on the subject of fishing. It was published by St. Albans Press, the third printing press established in England. Treatyse is a well-written volume: both an intriguing artifact of the history of the sport and an insightful guide for today's modern fishermen. Interestingly enough, given the time period in which it was written, Treatyse was penned by a woman: a prioress named Juliana Berners.


Major John Popkin Traherne, King of the Flies!

By Anne Cullison. May 8, 2014. 9:30 AM.

Topics: Fishing

Many of us have never been fly fishing, have never enjoyed the silence of a morning spent quietly on the banks of a river – just you, your pole, and nature. Those who have know that there is something that is beautiful beyond words in the quiet cast of the lure and the technique involved in casting the perfect line.Part of the beauty of fly fishing comes from the incredibly detailed and intricately tied flies. One of the most impressive and aesthetically gifted salmon fly tyers of all time was a man name Major John Popkin Traherne.


Izaak Walton's Legacy in Fishing Literature

By Kristin Masters. Aug 9, 2013. 9:25 AM.

Topics: Legendary Authors, Rare Books, Fine Press, Fishing

August 9 is the day we celebrate the birthday of legendary biographer, poet, and fisherman Izaak Walton. A friend of such illustrious figures as John Donne and Charles Cotton, Walton approached the art of fishing with a new sensibility in The Compleat Angler. His work was immensely popular--and it utterly changed the course of fishing literature. Multiple authors have followed in Walton's footsteps, creating a body of literature about fishing that is rich, diverse, and engaging.


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How can I identify a first edition? Where do I learn about caring for books? How should I start collecting? Hear from librarians about amazing collections, learn about historic bindings or printing techniques, get to know other collectors. Whether you are just starting or looking for expert advice, chances are, you'll find something of interest on blogis librorum.

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