A couple years ago at the fly trade show in Denver, we got into a cab with noted fisher Conway X. Bowman. Several of our crew had yet to meet him and I simply motioned toward the front seat and said under my breath, “He’s the Shark Whisperer.” They didn’t get it. But within two minutes, Conway had this cabbie — a Jersey transplant who hadn’t fished with any kind of gear in years — ready to reserve a trip to San Diego and go chase makos off Black’s Beach with The Whisperer. Conway’s enthusiasim for fly-fishing of all species is infectious. His dedication to the pursuit and conservation of sharks in Southern California has been one of the most significant developments in the sport/culture in years. And I imagine his new film, “Speed, Muscle and Teeth” is going to blow doors.
As such, when we recieved an advance of his new book, “The Orvis Guide to Saltwater Fly Fishing: 101 Tips for the Absolute Beginner”, (Skyhorse Publishing) interest was definitely piqued to see what this guy on the cutting edge of flyfishing would bring to the novice.
And the fact is, most of us are “absolute beginngers” at at least one form of salt fly action — an expert at flinging for fall cohos, may have zero experience with bonefish and vise versa.
Starting from simple steps — “How to Choose a Basic Saltwater Outfit”, to the outer limits of fly progression, “Stand Up Paddleboard — Why Not?” — the slightly-larger-than-pocket-sized guide covers a lot of ground, without leaving anything in the dust.
At $12.95 with 192 pages featuring over 300 color illustrations and an introduction by FFJ Sr. Editor Kirk Deeter — this is a good value and given Conway’s increasingly shining star, may well become a classic.