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Trout – The Complete Guide by John van Vliet

Trout – The Complete Guide is a very easy and informative read for any trout anglers out there and almost made me feel as though as I was back in school going over and refreshing my memory on the basics of the sport I have been doing for about 17 years now.

The book has tremendous visual impact, some very good photographs and a lot of very helpful sequential diagrams on knot-tying, casting, basic set-up, etc which would all be a solid starting point for any novice out there that is learning the art.

Some books I have flicked through in the past do not tell you how to put all your tackle together, something that is pretty fundamental and vitally important to get right before a fly or lure is cast. In this respect, the inclusion of knot-tying diagrams in this book are spot on in my opinion. When I took up trout fishing I was lucky to have a good group of friends and a keen fishing grandfather who all helped me along and taught me the various casting and knot-tying techniques, before I picked up my own methods through experience. A book like this would have been a great starting point then and still would be for any beginner now.

At 140 pages long, the book is very readable and I would recommend even a quick skim read through as even a more experienced angler would benefit and gain a useful refresher. The book covers a variety of topics quickly over the 140 pages, from basic equipment set-up, types of trout, casting techniques, spinning / lure fishing and bait fishing as well as how to fish the different types of wet and dry flies. So definitely an all round, straight to the point basic guide. The only section that was of no use to me was Chapter 7 relating to the different types of trout streams across the United States.

I did pick up some new knowledge though and most notably the section on pages 15-16 regarding the viewing window of trout species and the tunnel of vision to the surface of the water that they have in relation to their size. Chapter 5 was also very new to me i.e. the section on Spinning & Bait Fishing, somewhat alien to me being a fly fisher. I do have a lot of spinning equipment and tackle in the shed though that never gets used so the book gave me the urge to look it out and go through it all and maybe I will give it a bash sometime.

Overall it would be a good buy for anybody interested in starting up trout fishing or who knows someone who wants to start.

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