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Philosophical Fisherman: Reflections on Why We Fish

Earthy and philosophical, practical yet speculative—this book is a wonderful and enduring portrait of a fisherman’s temperament. Full of the late Harold F. Blaisdell’s infectious humanity and wisdom, The Philosophical Fisherman, long out of print, is a classic.

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Blaisdell is always independent and original in his thinking. He refutes the widely held theory that game fish attack artificial lures because they believe them to be baitfish. He argues that fish do not fear leaders per se, but become alarmed only if the leader results in the unnatural movement of the bait or lure. He debunks the vaunted effectiveness of the artificial nymph, explores the best methods of wet and dry-fly fishing, and tests his theories against such gamefish as trout, smallmouth bass, landlocked salmon, walleyes, and northern pike. There is something here for everyone who fishes—including a persuasive argument that the average angler anywhere in the country can invariably find superb fishing with in hour’s drive of his home.

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