Fly Fishing Woman -
By Cecilia "Pudge" Kleinkauf
Book review by Dan Fallon
In the recent past I have had the honor
of meeting and writing about Ms. Kleinkauf and her exciting life as one of the most
respected woman fly fishers in Alaska. When one thinks about Alaska and the unlimited
opportunities that exist for all fly fishers, the image of that grey haired certainly well
heeled male standing in perfect waters holding huge salmon or trout usually comes to mind.
The reality is woman have become the largest new population in global fly fishing, each
year far more ladies are picking up long thin fly rods and becoming most proficient. The
question I hear most often is "Can woman actually learn from other woman." Yes
of course they can, Pudge has been a staunch advocate of woman teaching woman the
complexities for many years. In my mind it makes excellent sense and I applaud her energy
and true hands on knowledge of the sport and Alaskan waters. "Fly Fishing Woman"
is a wonderful book published by Epicenter Press, edited by Kent Sturgis an Alaskan
regional publishing house. When I heard about this book and the fact Pudge wrote it and
its photos shot by Michael DeYoung, I could not wait to review it! First the
photos are truly sublime, Alaskan colors, great fish shots, shots of woman learning
and catching releasing serious fish.
This book from page one contains
excellent maps of prime fishing grounds and is quite concise in regard to throwing flies
in places like Kodiak Island, The Talachulitna River, Tangle lakes, Brooks River, Aniak
River. In the rear section of the book many photos of Alaskan Flies and exactly how to tie
them are clearly laid out. What a joy to read this book, I highly recommend anyone
interested in Alaskan fly fishing or any woman thinking about getting into the sport
cannot go wrong starting with this little treasure. The real essence of "Fly Fishing
Woman" for me is the sincere, caring fashion the book is written.
Pudge is already world famous for her
Alaskan fly exploits and quite well known in regard to her teaching woman the sport. The
grand surprise is the book takes you step by step as students first get on streams and
hook up to wild salmon and trout. You feel as if your right there with student and teacher
and you can feel the excitement when the first fish is on. Now the best news is after
these fish are hooked, Pudge walks her students easily and with humor through all the
pitfalls of actually landing and gently releasing fish. I loved reading these anecdotes
and looking at the drama on the students faces, what fun! Those of us who have met
Pudge are united in feeling the natural grace and dedication she easily emotes, even if
your not a fly fisher her spirit is infectious and the quality of the writing alongside
breath taking Alaskan photos make the book a grand gift.
Contact Cecilia "Pudge"
Kleinkauf in Anchorage Alaska (907) 274-7113 or on the web Pudge@womansflyfishing.net
Review by Dan Fallon © 2004