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The Science of Fly-Fishing

Stanley Ulanski

BUY Cloth · 224 pp. · 5.5 × 8.5 · ISBN 9780813922102 · $29.95 · Jul 2003

The foundations of fly-fishing history, literature, and mechanics are firmly anchored in the disciplines of science, yet until now there has been no comprehensive work that integrates scientific components into the sport of angling for trout and other game fish. The Science of Fly-Fishing fills that void. Stan L. Ulanksi presents the basic elements of the physical and biological sciences in a way that helps the reader see their practical application to fishing.

The Science of Fly-Fishing is designed for anglers—whether they have any formal background in science or not—who are curious about the relevance of science to their sport. The angling-related scientific concepts revealed in the book require no more of the reader than a good dose of common sense and a willingness to expand his or her fly-fishing knowledge. Ulanski’s thoughtful explorations of topics such as the physics of fly casting, the angler’s environment, the diet of trout, and the role of lake geology and biology will help anglers reach a greater understanding of and appreciation for the natural aquatic home of their quarry.


A few previous books have tapped into the artistic, spiritual, philosophical, and ‘way of life’ aspects of fly-fishing—I like to call it the Zen of fishing—but The Science of Fly-Fishing goes beyond that to offer a fresh perspective on fly-fishing that will be attractive to the scientist, the philosopher, and the serious angler alike. I agree with Ulanski’s premise that fly-fishing is grounded in science, and that fishing, by nature, is an interrogatory pursuit; in clear and accessible prose, this book lends both depth and breadth to that discussion.

M. W. Smith, author of Fishing the New River Valley and Fishing the Roanoke Valley

About the Author(s): 

Stan L. Ulanski is Professor of Geology and Environmental Science at James Madison University.

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