Bass Book Reviews

Fly Rodding Estuaries - Ed Mitchell

Book Title: 'Fly Rodding Estuaries: How to Fish Salt Ponds, Coastal Rivers, Tidal Creeks and Backwaters'

Author: Ed Mitchell

Publisher: Stackpole Books (USA)

ISBN: 0-8117-2807-2

Ed Mitchell is a highly respected angler and author who specialises in angling for striped bass and other sporting fish along the New England coast. His approach is based on a meticulous reading of the water and shoreline for clues as to where the fish could be and how best to present tackle to them.

This book offers detailed guidance on such watercraft for many types of estuary, in a highly readable and straightforward style. Despite the title it hardly touches on fly fishing, so most of the content can be applied regardless of fishing method. I found myself reading it with bass definitely in mind.

The chapters cover the many variables to be found in estuaries, such as the effects of changeable conditions (water temperature, tides, currents, moon phase, part of tide, light level, salinity etc), the features of salt ponds and lagoons (inlets, channels, bars, depressions etc), the features of bays and coves (mouths, points, islands etc), and creeks & salt marshes (salinity, currents, bridge piles etc). In addition there are supporting chapters on tackle & techniques, and the use of canoes, kayaks and rowing boats.

The text has relevant colour photos that illustrate various features, and the many diagrams show combinations of bankside features and the likely underwater contours and probable fish-holding areas. These diagrams entice the reader to compare them with features in his own estuary, and I for one found many of Ed's diagrams to exist in my local estuaries in Suffolk.

This is a fascinating and very informative book, especially valuable to those of us who love to fish estuaries, but struggle to understand the complex geography and ecology an estuary, and what it all means to the angler.

Published in 2003 with card covers, 148 pages long.  Available discounted to around £7 plus postage from Aphrohead Books and The Book Depository (both in UK).  Also available on Amazon for a little more.       

Thanks Geoff yet another excellent review.