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Frye: Outdoors books to get through rainy days

It’s going to stop raining eventually. I have no doubt.

Until then, some books have come out that make the days trapped inside a little easier to accept.

• “The History of Fly-Fishing in 50 Flies” by Ian Whitelaw, 224 pages, hardcover, Abrams, $22.50.

This book traces the history of fly fishing over 2,000 years, chronologically, by looking at 50 flies. For each it details the year it was first tied and by whom, the location where the fly was created — state or country — and the “original recipe” or materials used to make it. There’s a lot of interesting background for each.

Four of the flies originated in Pennsylvania. Any ideas which they are?

• “Woodcraft and Camping” by Nessmuk, 127 pages, paperback, Skyhorse Publishing, $9.95.

George Washington Sears, who wrote under the name Nessmuk, first penned this book in 1900. It’s been in print since, including this new version.

Sears was perhaps the first of the ultralight campers. His book is full of information on canoeing, fishing, camping, camp cooking and hunting.

Some is dated. Few outdoorsmen today, when compiling their packing list, will leave their high-tech fibers at home for “two pairs of fine, but substantial, woolen drawers.” But there’s a lot of timely information here, much of it based on adventures that occurred in Pennsylvania.

• “The Complete Guide to North American Fishing” by Ken Schultz, 256 pages, hardcover, Carlton Books, $39.95.

This book is on the pricey side, for sure, but that’s to be expected, considering the glossy pages, plethora of photos and author himself. Schultz is one of the deans of North American fishing writers.

Here, he provides information on nearly 50 species of fish, from bluegills to bluefin tuna, along with information on how to find and catch them all. That’s a lot to attempt to cover, but Schultz delivers.

• “At Home in the Woods,” by Bradford and Vena Angier, 256 pages, paperback, Rowman and Littlefield, $15.95.

Henry David Thoreau moved to Walden Pond in 1845 to live the simple life. A little more than 100 years later, in the 1950s, Bradford and Vena moved into a cabin on the banks of the Peace River in British Columbia to try and recreate the experience.

That brought them some unexpected experiences — days of 63 degrees below zero are something you can’t really prepare for — but led to some interesting stories about hunting, fishing, camping and survival. This is a re-issue of their work.

• “Wilderness Ethics,” by Laura and Guy Waterman, 240 pages, paperback, Countryman Press, $16.95.

In this book, also updated and back in print, the Watermans attempt to define wilderness and get people thinking about how to protect it. They go beyond the usual.

How about hiking trails? Bright colors? Organized outings by large groups? Guidebooks?

Their ideas are, at times, a bit extreme. But they get you thinking.

Bob Frye is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. Reach him at [email protected] or via Twitter @bobfryeoutdoors.

Article by Bob Frye,
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