March 29, 2012

Gear Review - Chasing Wild Trout, An Arizona Wanderings e-Book by Ben Smith

Ben Smith, author of one of my favorite blogs, Arizona Wanderings, has gotten pretty entrepreneurial over the past year or so.  Starting first with selling some of his more popular flies, he's also branched out into logo merchandise, and most recently, e-Books.

A little while back he wrote his first Arizona Wanderings book about Hunting Gambel's Quail.  I don't know who Gambel is, or why one would want to shoot his quail, but it evidently must have sold well enough for Ben to write another book, this time about how to pursue wild trout.

"Why do you want to shoot my quail?"

Over the weekend, I was fortunate to receive a preview copy of Chasing Wild Trout - A Beginner's Guide to Fly Fishing Small Streams.  Eager to read and review it, this post contains an overview as well as my two cents.

Chasing Wild Trout essentially serves as a primer to anyone interested in the gear, tactics, and techniques of fishing small streams for trout.  It's also a pretty solid introduction to the sport for the totally novice angler, who may have little or no background, but is intrigued about fly fishing.

The book is split up into 8 relatively short sections (9 including the Acknowledgments at the end), and is a very brisk and easy read.  Ben does a great job making a subject that one might think to be very technical and difficult...simple and comprehensible.

38 pages in all, there are sections that focus on essential gear suggestions, (including rods, reels, lines, flies, accessories as well as a checklist accounting for all), fishing techniques (with great "how tos" and diagrams), and best of all tips on how to be a responsible outdoorsman, outlining stream etiquette and conservation.


As with Ben's blog Arizona Wanderings, the layout of this book is very clean, simple, and easy on the eyes.  The font is large and clear, and the vibrant photography pops off the pages.  In closing the book, Ben also includes a section with links and referrals to additional sources of information should the reader want to continue his or her research and learnings.

To conclude this review, I must say that I found Chasing Wild Trout a great little read.  While intended for the "beginning small stream fly fisherman," even I, as someone who has fished more than a few streams before, was able to pick up a few nuggets of info to take with me on my next time on the water.  Ben's written a good one, definitely worth the $7.99 download.

The Chasing Wild Trout e-Book featured in this product review was provided to me at no cost by Ben Smith, the author, and holds a retail value of $7.99 per his website.  Ben has been a blogging acquaintance of mine for a few years now and I do hold his work (including those little Mini Hoppers) in the highest regard.  As with all independent gear reviews at Troutrageous!, I try my best to keep my reviews honest and unbiased.  That said, if Ben happened to toss a steaming pile of sh*t my way, I'd let him know it, but would have probably withheld a negative review out of respect.  Luckily, we didn't have to go down that path this time.  Well done Mr. Smith...well done.  

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