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Book review: " Fly Fishing the Saltwater Shoreline": Ed Mitchell 2001

Book reviews


Fly Fishing the Saltwater Shoreline: Ed Mitchell


The first review for Fish & Fly was on Ed Mitchell’s book “Fly Rodding the Coast” published in 1995. The second is a book published in 2001 and is an excellent reference to fly fishing for specific species, namely Striped Bass, Bonito, Albacore and Bluefish. The methods and techniques you adopt for the Striped Bass are similar to Atlantic Bass and his reference to understanding what is termed “Edges” or areas of transition are an invaluable tool when deciding when to put time into a new area of water – whether you are working the Connecticut coastline or walking the strands in West Sussex you will be staggered by the synergies between our foreshores.


This book does not guarantee you a hook up but more importantly it paints such a superb picture of what you can expect and why you should expect it.


Someone asked me once after a successful season’s guiding what makes a fly fisherman consistently successful at hooking up to a preferred species and my answer to that was the result of reading this book. It doesn’t tell you how to catch but more importantly it takes you on a journey from understanding your inter tidal zone and the telemetry of the species you are fly fishing for.


An apex predator such as the Atlantic Bass or Striped bass merely hunt forage food and reproduce into their gene pool. This book allows you to understand that in order to be successful at intercepting their telemetry you have to understand the prey they hunt and when they are present.

The chalk streams of Southern England present the experienced fly fisherman with the question of which “fly hatch” to match at any given moment in the season and a basic understanding of entomology would be a valuable tool for any dry fly enthusiast, whilst, in exactly the same way Ed Mitchell defines the areas a Salt water fly rodder should look at and which flies he may well do better to use – he redefines your target area, condenses it and explains why he does this, Mitchell simply makes you understand where bait moves and why, understand this and the rest will follow, in the words of Ed Mitchell:


“No type of fishing requires as much knowledge about when and where to go as does saltwater fly fishing. The coastline is so vast that to be successful, a fly fisher must understand predator and prey, their seasonal movements and the inshore structures that attract them”.




Fly Fishing the Saltwater Shoreline by Ed Mitchell is published by Stackpole Books and is another comprehensive assessment of the coastline and the habitats of the species that hunt along it


Available from the Publishers Stackpole Books or for more information email