The 7 Best Best Books About Fishing

Written by Susan Olayode
Updated: October 7, 2022

This post may contain affiliate links to our partners like Chewy, Amazon, and others. Purchasing through these helps us further the A-Z Animals mission to educate about the world's species..

Fishing books are educational manuals designed to teach you everything about catching a fish, either as a sport or for food. These books are essential for new anglers because they provide information about fishing styles and gear selection best practices. Other information in these books includes ideal fishing spots, the different types of lures, and varieties of live bait.  

A random Google search for the best fishing books will generate extensive results. But not all of these books will provide inspiration and accurate information written by experienced anglers. Therefore, selecting fishing books that will actually help you get better with a rod and reel is essential.

Buying fishing books with only luring and bait types won’t help you catch fish. That’s because they don’t provide essential information about fishing fundamentals. Excellent bait and luring tactics can’t help you have an excellent fishing experience if you don’t know how to fish. 

Are you a or do you just need a refresher course? We love fishing, so we’ve compiled a list of seven fishing books that we think are the best. We’ll discuss these books below and address relevant questions to improve your knowledge.

  1. The Orvis Fly-Fishing Guide, Revised
  2. The Orvis Fly-Fishing Guide, Revised
    • Ideal for beginners
    • Explains how to choose and use rods, reels, and lines and how to cast
    • Written in an easy-to-understand, entertaining style by Tom Rosenbauer, who won the Angler of the Year award by Fly Rod & Reel magazine in 2011 for the book
    • Includes instructive line drawings by Bob White
    • Appropriate for experienced anglers who want to hone their craft
    Check Amazon
  3. Basic Fishing: A Beginner's Guide
  4. Basic Fishing: A Beginner's Guide
    • Author Wade Bourne augmented the book with high-quality photos and diagrams
    • Provides a step-by-step guide to everything a new angler needs to know about fishing equipment, bait, lures, boats, and accessories
    • We like the book's chapter arrangement, which slowly introduces new anglers to the world of fishing
    • Includes a guide to highly recommended fishing locations
    • Teaches newbies how to find fishing spots and even how to clean and cook fish
    Check Amazon
  5. The Total Fishing Manual: 318 Essential Fishing Skills
  6. The Total Fishing Manual: 318 Essential Fishing Skills
    • Available in a wide variety of formats, including Kindle, hardcover, spiral-bound, and paperback
    • Includes detailed instructions and fantastic photos
    • Contains 318 field-tested tactics to help new anglers develop their own individualized fishing strategy
    • Learn how to customize your rod and reel and how to pick the best lures and baits for any given location or situation
    • Provides proven strategies for catching trout, walleyes, and other fish that will make you the envy of other anglers
    Check Amazon
  7. Fishing For Dummies
  8. Fishing For Dummies
    • Focuses on fly fishing basics, including how to choose equipment and evaluate water conditions
    • The concept is that with the proper understanding of the basics, anyone can become a pro
    • The book includes information on boating and kayaking and provides GPS hacks
    • If you don't know how to clean and cook your catch, don't worry; this book will teach you
    • Provides detailed, full-color illustrations to support you on your quest to become an angler
    Check Amazon
  9. The Little Red Book of Fly Fishing (Little Books)
  10. The Little Red Book of Fly Fishing (Little Books)
    • Written by Charlie Meyers and Kirk Deeter
    • The book is written in an entertaining, straightforward manner with a focus on providing practical information
    • Provides 240 fishing tips
    • Tips include how to evaluate water, place and drift flies, wading, "fighting" a fish, and much, much more
    • This guide is like having an expert angler on call whenever you need answers about a particular aspect of fishing.
    Check Amazon
  11. Complete Book of Fishing Knots, Leaders, and Lines
  12. Complete Book of Fishing Knots, Leaders, and Lines
    • Written by Lindsey Philpott, a knot expert
    • This book is a comprehensive guide to making fishing knots
    • It includes 50 knots for beginners to experts
    • It also includes fishing tips and tricks that help you become a pro
    • Available in Kindle and paperback formats
    Check Amazon
  13. 52 Rivers: A Woman's Fly-Fishing Journey
  14. 52 Rivers: A Woman's Fly-Fishing Journey
    • Features storytelling chapters from Shelley Walchak
    • Includes inspirational photos and clear illustrations of fishing lessons
    • Readers find out how to use their equipment to their greatest advantage, from their rod and reel to their boat
    • Provides a list of fishing locations where readers can make memories with their families
    • This book won the Regional Non-Fiction gold medal at the 2015 IPPY Book Awards
    Check Amazon

1. Best Overall: The Orvis Fly-Fishing Guide

Life-changing information valuable to anglers at all levels makes this book our top choice. This book is all you need to learn new techniques like Czech nymphing, Tenkara, and more. One thing we love most about this book is the instructive line drawings from Bob White and how entertaining it is to read.

The Orvis Fly-Fishing guide highlights valuable tips and tricks for anglers of all levels. We believe the chapters are easy to process, even for teenagers. This book is the way to go if you want to learn or improve your fishing skills.

When researching this fishing guide, we found that this book thoroughly explains how to choose and use reels, lines, rods, and how to cast, making it ideal for beginners. However, this book is also an excellent choice if you’re a professional looking to hone your craft. It won the author, Tom Rosenbauer, the Angler of the Year award by Fly Rod & Reel magazine in 2011.

Best Overall
The Orvis Fly-Fishing Guide, Revised
  • Ideal for beginners
  • Explains how to choose and use rods, reels, and lines and how to cast
  • Written in an easy-to-understand, entertaining style by Tom Rosenbauer, who won the Angler of the Year award by Fly Rod & Reel magazine in 2011 for the book
  • Includes instructive line drawings by Bob White
  • Appropriate for experienced anglers who want to hone their craft
Check Amazon

2. Best for Beginners: Basic Fishing: A Beginner’s Guide

This beginners’ guide is a step-by-step manual packed with knowledge about fishing equipment types, baits, lures, boats, and accessories. With this knowledge, anyone passionate about fishing can quickly become a pro at the sport. The author, Wade Bourne, explained the art of fishing with excellent photographs and diagrams.

We like this book’s chapter arrangement as it slowly introduces the reader to the world of fishing. Also, this book provides a guide to highly recommended fishing locations. 

Another exciting thing in this book is that readers will learn how to find fishing spots and even how to clean and cook fish. Additionally, readers learn about safety procedures and how to select the proper gear for fishing adventures. 

Best for Beginners
Basic Fishing: A Beginner's Guide
  • Author Wade Bourne augmented the book with high-quality photos and diagrams
  • Provides a step-by-step guide to everything a new angler needs to know about fishing equipment, bait, lures, boats, and accessories
  • We like the book's chapter arrangement, which slowly introduces new anglers to the world of fishing
  • Includes a guide to highly recommended fishing locations
  • Teaches newbies how to find fishing spots and even how to clean and cook fish
Check Amazon

3. Best for Kids: The Total Fishing Manual

This fishing manual by Joe Cermele is available in diverse formats, from Kindle to hardcover, spiral-bound, and paperback editions. We love the Total Fishing Manual’s method of improving readers’ fishing skills with detailed illustrations and amazing photos. It also contains 318 field-tested tactics that help readers develop a reliable fishing strategy.

We found that this book teaches readers how to customize their rods and reels and pick the best lures and baits. The book provides readers with proven strategies to catch huge trout, trophy walleyes, and other fish.

Anglers of all levels will appreciate this book’s detailed instructions that make fishing easy. Whether fishing with kids for fun or out for a lifetime adventure, this book is the way to go.

Best for Kids
The Total Fishing Manual: 318 Essential Fishing Skills
  • Available in a wide variety of formats, including Kindle, hardcover, spiral-bound, and paperback
  • Includes detailed instructions and fantastic photos
  • Contains 318 field-tested tactics to help new anglers develop their own individualized fishing strategy
  • Learn how to customize your rod and reel and how to pick the best lures and baits for any given location or situation
  • Provides proven strategies for catching trout, walleyes, and other fish that will make you the envy of other anglers
Check Amazon

4. Best for Aspiring Anglers: Fishing for Dummies

This fishing guide primarily focuses on exploring fly fishing basics, choosing rods and reels, clothing and gear, and evaluating the water. The concept is that with an understanding of fly fishing basics, rods and reels, and water evaluation, any beginner can become a pro.

We found that this book explained all about lines and tackled essential tips for using kayaks and boats. This book even has chapters that prepare readers for what to expect beyond the shore with GPS hacks.

This book helps you learn how to clean and cook your catch. It also contains full-color fishing illustrations to guide and support anglers at all levels. Another exciting point in this book is its chapters discussing the latest high-tech fishing gadgets and how to stay safe on the water.

Best for Aspiring Anglers
Fishing For Dummies
  • Focuses on fly fishing basics, including how to choose equipment and evaluate water conditions
  • The concept is that with the proper understanding of the basics, anyone can become a pro
  • The book includes information on boating and kayaking and provides GPS hacks
  • If you don't know how to clean and cook your catch, don't worry; this book will teach you
  • Provides detailed, full-color illustrations to support you on your quest to become an angler
Check Amazon

5. Best Pocket Guide: The Little Red Book of Fly Fishing

This fishing guide’s primary focus is to explain the tricks and tips that make a great angler in a simple, straightforward manner. Notably, much of the information in this book focuses on the essential elements of fly fishing. This book is insightful and entertaining, with 240 fishing tips divided into five parts. 

The tips in this book by Charlie Meyers and Kirk Deeter are entertaining, plainly spoken, and practical. If you want to learn water evaluation, placing and drifting flies, and wading and casting, this will quickly become your go-to book. 

The book also offers guidance on how to cast more accurately, “fighting” a fish, and other practical tips that every angler needs to know.

Best Pocket Guide
The Little Red Book of Fly Fishing (Little Books)
  • Written by Charlie Meyers and Kirk Deeter
  • The book is written in an entertaining, straightforward manner with a focus on providing practical information
  • Provides 240 fishing tips
  • Tips include how to evaluate water, place and drift flies, wading, "fighting" a fish, and much, much more
  • This guide is like having an expert angler on call whenever you need answers about a particular aspect of fishing.
Check Amazon

6. Best for Intermediate Anglers: The Complete Book of Fishing Knots, Leaders, and Lines

Lindsey Philpott, a knot expert, wrote this guide with chapters discussing fishing knots. This book contains directions for 50-knot types ranging from beginners to specialized experts and is available in Kindle and paperback formats. It is also a step-by-step expert instruction guide with excellent fishing tips and tricks. 

One of the things we like best about this book is that readers learn how to tie knots properly to get the best catch of the day. From tying knots to selecting lines and using the rod, this book offers information to help you become a pro.

This book explains the knot-tying process more in-depth with illustrations and color photographs. When researching this manual, we found chapters explaining the building of terminal rigs, knots for fly fishing, etc. Additionally, readers learn Arbor, Australian braid, Japanese fisherman, Bimini twist, and other knot types.

Best for Intermediate Anglers
Complete Book of Fishing Knots, Leaders, and Lines
  • Written by Lindsey Philpott, a knot expert
  • This book is a comprehensive guide to making fishing knots
  • It includes 50 knots for beginners to experts
  • It also includes fishing tips and tricks that help you become a pro
  • Available in Kindle and paperback formats
Check Amazon

7. Best for Inspiration: 52 Rivers: A Woman’s Fly Fishing Journey

This book about fishing focuses on inspiring and building the confidence of aspiring and professional anglers. With storytelling chapters from Shelley Walchak, readers get encouraged by the book’s beautiful photographic memories and illustrations with excellent fishing lessons.  

Readers will find out how to get the best out of a boat, rod and reel, and how to fish with courage. Also, readers will learn about the most exciting fishing locations where they can create photographic memories with kids and relatives.

An exciting thing about this book is that all the tips and tricks stem from real-life experiences. Many readers are envious and inspired by the author’s fishing experience. It’s no wonder that this book won the Regional Non-Fiction gold medal at the 2015 IPPY Book Awards.

Best for Inspiration
52 Rivers: A Woman's Fly-Fishing Journey
  • Features storytelling chapters from Shelley Walchak
  • Includes inspirational photos and clear illustrations of fishing lessons
  • Readers find out how to use their equipment to their greatest advantage, from their rod and reel to their boat
  • Provides a list of fishing locations where readers can make memories with their families
  • This book won the Regional Non-Fiction gold medal at the 2015 IPPY Book Awards
Check Amazon

How to Choose the Right Book About Fishing

When choosing the right book about fishing, there are a number of things to remember. Not all fishing books contain the same information or offer similar value. There are essential factors when choosing the right book for fishing:

  • Seller rank
  • Value for money
  • Brand value
  • Specifications
  • Availability
  • Customer ratings
  • Customer reviews

Seller Rank

You want to check a fishing book seller’s rank on Amazon before buying. Seller rank represents a number assigned to products on digital platforms when customers buy them. This number is a good indicator for a product, so consider checking for it when shopping for fishing books.

Books ranked #1 recorded more sales than projects ranked 100,000, representing quality and value. For example, a book ranked 100,000 in Amazon’s fishing category makes more than 100 monthly sales.

Value for the Money

The internet is home to millions of fishing books, but evaluating what you get for your money is critical. Purchasing expensive books with no real value is not a great idea. Nor is purchasing inexpensive books with no real information.

Evaluate the content of a fishing book and choose one with a great source of knowledge. Most fishing books provide tips and tricks, so consider one with detailed information that suits your needs.

Brand’s Value

You want to see that the book’s brand is reliable, regardless of the price. Good brands maintain a high standard and reputation, meaning they value customers’ loyalty and recognition. In order to do so, they need to consistently produce high-quality, engaging, entertaining, and insightful books.

Therefore, it only makes sense to consider the brand value of books about fishing before making a choice. Plus, many fishing book brands distinguish themselves with unique and inspiring features. Authors integrate these features to differentiate their books from the competition.

Specifications

Many books come with unique specifications illustrating the project details. In other words, the specification references the standard and quality you should attach to the book.

In this section, you’ll find information clearly defining the book’s number of pages, weight, and dimensions. Having these numbers at your disposal can help measure the quality and make the proper book selection.

Availability

Modifying and adding new features to books on digital platforms is common for authors. New books replace old books now and then, so check a book’s availability before clicking the buy button.

Most websites let you know whether books are readily available to order. When a book is unavailable, many platforms let customers know whether or not to expect delivery soon.

Customer Ratings

Customer ratings remain an essential factor to consider before choosing books about fishing. These ratings are customers’ verification of the book’s quality or lack thereof. They provide insights into how beneficial the book is to verified readers.

Better ratings mean a good number of people benefited from the information provided in the book. While ratings can vary for different reasons, most books with valuable content have high ratings. Consider fishing books with 4.5 to 5-star ratings.

Customer Reviews

Here, you’ll understand the book in-depth as customers highlight the pros and cons in this section. Expect a thorough analysis of fundamental topics in a book while reading customer reviews.

Most book reviews are from verified purchases and actual customers, making them essential for you to peruse before buying. They provide answers to critical questions before you click the buy button. You’ll learn the distinguishing features and how the book compares to other competitors in the market.

Up Next

The 7 Best Best Books About Fishing FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions) 

Why should I read books about fishing?

Consider reading books to learn different fish types and get better at fishing. Fishing books are usually educative, entertaining, and inspiring with illustrations and photographs. These books discuss lures and bait types for a great fishing experience. You’ll learn the necessary tactics, techniques, tips, and tricks to get better at fishing. Besides, these books reveal the best spots, whether fishing for fun or food.

Can I become a pro fisherman by reading books about fishing?

Many books about fishing contain valuable information that can make a beginner a pro with regular practice. You’ll find the necessary information to become a pro fisherman, even without prior experience. For example, the Orvis Fly-Fishing guide explains the selection and usage of reels, lines, rods, casting, and fly selection. You’ll feel more confident hitting the water after taking lessons from this excellent fishing guide. The beginners’ guide to basic fishing is another book that can turn you into a pro fisherman.

How much should I spend on fishing books?

Fishing books are usually reliable and valuable as you progress from a beginner to a professional. So paying a reasonable amount for a book with outstanding quality and accuracy is a great idea. These books can vastly improve your fishing skills; the average cost is $10 to $60. While these books vary in content volume, they also differ in features.

Thank you for reading! Have some feedback for us? Contact the AZ Animals editorial team.