Smoky Mountain Fly Fishing Book Review 1

An Entirely Synthetic Fish

So it’s freezing and it snowed again last night.  Just when I thought that the fishing season was around the corner, this weather kicks back up and water temps stay under 40 degrees and more waiting.

Anywho, I won’t be able to fish every day (stupid job), so there needs to be more than just fishing reports.  So here’s something I haven’t done in a long time…a book report.  But I’m not going to do an actual book report because I may have a 6th grade flashback.

I read an Entirely Synthetic Fish: How Rainbow Trout Beguiled America and Overran the World by Anders Halverson.  I have to say that I really enjoyed this look at how the hatchery system started in this country and why rainbow trout were the trout of choice.  As most of us have fished in stocked streams before, we all know when fish have been recently stocked, or how they can look different that wild fish.  But the look of how state and federal government(s) were pervasive in putting these fish into wild populations, how disease spread, and how many fish have been raised in hatcheries and put in rivers across this country and the world for sporting purposes, was mind boggling.  The author did a great job of putting a lot of technical and historical information into an easy read.

What this book really did was make me happy and proud to be able to fish for native brook trout in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park.  Brook Trout populations have been decimated in the last century, and the park, Tennessee, and North Carolina have done a wonderful job of protecting and restoring these populations and regulating the fishing to enjoy for hopefully generations to come.  Although brown and rainbows were stocked, it has been years and the populations are all “wild”.  Growing up in a place where I watched Atlantic Salmon fishing disappear, I am acutely aware of how fast a great fishery can end and how you need to enjoy the fishing while protecting it at every opportunity.

This is a great book and I definitely recommend.


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