20 Best Fishing stories and books with PDF 

20 Best Fishing stories and books with PDF

Fishing has always held a special place in my heart. It’s one of the calmest of activities and it builds patience and perseverance at levels which no other activity can even dream of. It provides for not only amazing relaxation (sipping a beer and waiting for the perfect moment) but also an exhilarating adventure (trying to keep the beer down without spilling it but almost throwing it down most of the time!!) I am not ashamed to say that I find immense joy in casting my line, feeling the gentle tug of a fish, all the while being surrounded by the tranquillity of nature. And that’s what, as I sip a cold one, led me to write this article on 20 best fishing stories and books.

I vividly recall my childhood days spent by the water’s edge, a simple fishing rod in hand, alongside my father (he was a legend, as all fathers are!!!). Those precious moments created an unbreakable bond between us as we shared tales of the one that got away or the biggest catch of the day. And as you all know, the ones that got away make up for best stories. The excitement of reeling in a fish and the thrill of our friendly banters became cherished memories that continue to bring a smile.

What many of my fellow anglers might not know is that there is a treasure trove of fishing stories and books and novels that perfectly capture the essence of fishing. These narratives not only provide entertainment but also inspire and educate, offering insights into the art of fishing, the wonders of nature, and the incredible stories of fellow anglers.

So, let’s dive into the captivating world of fishing stories and books and hopefully you’ll be as amazed as I am when I write this article. As they say, let’s get on the boat of unforgettable angling moments and relive cherished childhood memories once more!

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Also You can download a free PDF copy of the 20 Best Fishing stories and books right below.

“The Old Man and the Sea” by Ernest Hemingway

Rating: 9/10

“The Old Man and the Sea” is a captivating tale of resilience and the triumph of the human spirit. Set in Cuba, the story follows Santiago, an aging fisherman who embarks on a daring fishing expedition in search of a magnificent fish. Despite his struggles and the harsh realities of the sea, Santiago never loses hope and remains determined to prove himself. As he engages in a grueling battle with the fish, I was drawn into Santiago’s world, feeling his physical and mental challenges.

Hemingway’s vivid descriptions and evocative language transported me to the depths of the ocean, making me feel the immense power and beauty of nature. The novella is a profound exploration of the indomitable spirit that resides within us, reminding us of the strength we possess even in the face of overwhelming odds.

“A River Runs Through It” by Norman Maclean

Rating: 9/10

“A River Runs Through It” by Norman Maclean is a mesmerizing and poignant story that intertwines themes of family, nature, and the art of fly fishing. Set in the rugged landscapes of Montana, the novella follows the lives of two brothers, Norman and Paul, as they navigate the challenges of their upbringing and their shared passion for fishing. Through Maclean’s lyrical prose, the reader is transported to the tranquil rivers and majestic mountains, where the brothers find solace and connection.

The story beautifully captures the bond between the brothers and the spiritual essence of fly fishing as a metaphor for life itself. Maclean’s mastery of storytelling and his deep understanding of human emotions make “A River Runs Through It” one of the best short stories about fishing, leaving a lasting impression on readers.

“The River Why” by David James Duncan

Rating: 8/10

“The River Why” by David James Duncan is a captivating coming-of-age novel that explores the deep connection between an angler and the natural world. The story revolves around Gus Orviston, a young man who seeks solace and purpose in life through his passion for fishing. Frustrated with the complexities of the modern world, Gus embarks on a journey to find himself and understand the deeper meaning of life along the rivers he loves.

Through encounters with a colorful cast of characters and his own introspection, Gus learns valuable lessons about love, friendship, and the delicate balance between human existence and the natural environment. David James Duncan’s rich descriptions and poetic storytelling create a vivid backdrop for Gus’s exploration, making “The River Why” a remarkable and thought-provoking novel that celebrates the beauty and power of rivers while delving into the complexities of the human experience.

“Trout Fishing in America” by Richard Brautigan

Rating: 7/10

“Trout Fishing in America” by Richard Brautigan is a whimsical and unconventional novel that defies traditional storytelling conventions. The book is a collection of interconnected vignettes, poems, and prose fragments, all centered around the theme of trout fishing. Through Brautigan’s experimental and lyrical writing style, readers are taken on a surreal journey that blurs the boundaries between reality and imagination.

The book explores various aspects of American culture and society, using trout fishing as a metaphorical lens to examine themes of freedom, nature, and the human condition. With its playful and irreverent tone, “Trout Fishing in America” challenges literary norms and invites readers to question and interpret the meaning of each vignette in their own unique way. It is a remarkable and unconventional work that appeals to those seeking a literary adventure beyond the confines of traditional storytelling.

“The Big Two-Hearted River” by Ernest Hemingway

Rating: 9/10

“The Big Two-Hearted River” by Ernest Hemingway is a masterful short story that showcases the author’s signature style and explores themes of healing, rejuvenation, and the power of nature. The story follows Nick Adams, a young World War I veteran, as he embarks on a solitary fishing trip in the Michigan wilderness. Hemingway’s sparse yet evocative prose immerses readers in the serene and untouched beauty of the natural landscape.

Through Nick’s actions and observations, the story delves into his psychological journey of finding solace and inner peace amidst the scars of war. As Nick fishes the river and sets up his camp, Hemingway captures the nuances of his sensory experiences, highlighting the therapeutic and cathartic effects of nature. “The Big Two-Hearted River” is a poignant and introspective work, demonstrating Hemingway’s mastery of storytelling and his ability to convey profound emotions with economy and precision.

“True Love and the Woolly Bugger” by Dave Ames

Rating: 7/10

“True Love and the Woolly Bugger” by Dave Ames is a delightful and humorous novel that caters to both fishing enthusiasts and readers looking for an entertaining story. With its focus on fly fishing and the whimsical pursuit of true love, the book offers a unique blend of humor and romance. Ames skillfully weaves together amusing anecdotes, witty dialogue, and endearing characters that bring the fishing community to life.

While not a literary masterpiece, “True Love and the Woolly Bugger” delivers an enjoyable reading experience, perfect for those seeking light-hearted entertainment. The novel offers a fun escape into the world of fishing, providing a mix of fishing stories and comedic adventures.

“The Earth Is Enough” by Harry Middleton

Rating: 8/10

“The Earth Is Enough” by Harry Middleton is a heartfelt and introspective memoir that transports readers to the enchanting landscapes of the Ozark Mountains. Middleton recounts his experiences growing up in a humble rural setting and immersing himself in the wonders of nature. Through vivid descriptions and evocative prose, he captures the essence of his deep connection with the land, the rivers, and the creatures that inhabit them.

With a focus on fly fishing, Middleton weaves together tales of his angling adventures, painting a vivid picture of the symbiotic relationship between humans and the natural world. Yet, “The Earth Is Enough” is more than just a book about fishing. It delves into themes of self-discovery, healing, and the profound solace that can be found in the simplicity of life. Middleton’s writing is lyrical and poignant, evoking a deep sense of reverence for the Earth and its mysteries.

“The Longest Silence: A Life in Fishing” by Thomas McGuane

Rating: 9/10

“The Longest Silence: A Life in Fishing” by Thomas McGuane is a captivating memoir that chronicles the author’s lifelong love affair with fishing. McGuane takes readers on a deeply personal journey through his angling experiences, spanning rivers and oceans across the globe. With lyrical prose and a keen eye for detail, he shares his intimate reflections on the art of fishing, the allure of the natural world, and the profound connections between angler, fish, and environment.

McGuane’s storytelling intertwines tales of exhilarating triumphs and humbling failures, capturing the essence of the angling experience with honesty and reverence. Whether he’s pursuing trout in pristine mountain streams or chasing marlin in the deep sea, McGuane’s passion for fishing shines through every page. “The Longest Silence” is a poignant exploration of the intrinsic relationship between fishing and life itself, making it a must-read for anglers and nature enthusiasts alike.

“The Fishermen” by Chigozie Obioma

Rating: 9/10

“The Fishermen” by Chigozie Obioma is a powerful and haunting novel that delves into the lives of four brothers in Nigeria and explores the tragic consequences of their childhood fascination with fishing. Set against the backdrop of political unrest in the 1990s, the story unfolds as the brothers disobey their father’s strict warnings and venture to a forbidden river where they encounter a local madman.

This encounter sets off a chain of events that forever alters the dynamics within the family and leads to a series of heart-wrenching consequences. Obioma’s writing is lyrical and evocative, capturing the complexities of sibling relationships, the weight of tradition, and the impact of superstition on the human psyche. “The Fishermen” is a tale of innocence lost, familial bonds tested, and the indomitable spirit of individuals grappling with fate. With its vivid storytelling and poignant themes, it stands as a remarkable and thought-provoking literary work.

“Dances with Trout” by John Gierach

Rating: 8/10

“Dances with Trout” by John Gierach is an engaging and humorous collection of essays that celebrates the joy and obsession of fly fishing. Gierach, an avid angler and skilled storyteller, takes readers on a delightful journey through various fishing experiences, sharing his insights, observations, and reflections along the way. With wit and charm, he captures the essence of the angling lifestyle, from the pursuit of elusive trout to the camaraderie found among fellow fishermen.

Gierach’s writing is filled with warmth and wit, as he navigates the idiosyncrasies of the sport, the quirks of fellow anglers, and the tranquility of the natural world. “Dances with Trout” is not only a celebration of fly fishing, but also a testament to the enduring allure of the outdoors and the simple pleasures found in casting a line. It is a delightful read for both seasoned anglers and those curious about the magic of fly fishing.

“Death, Taxes, and Leaky Waders” by John Gierach

Rating: 9/10

“Death, Taxes, and Leaky Waders” by John Gierach is a delightful and humorous collection of essays that captures the essence of the angling life. Gierach, a seasoned fly fisherman and master storyteller, shares his witty and insightful observations about the joys, challenges, and absurdities of the sport. With his signature blend of humor and introspection, Gierach takes readers on a journey through fishing adventures, misadventures, and the idiosyncrasies of the angling community.

From battling leaky waders to encountering peculiar fishing companions, Gierach’s anecdotes offer a relatable and entertaining glimpse into the world of fly fishing. While the book primarily focuses on fishing, it also touches on broader themes of nature, conservation, and the contemplative nature of being on the water. “Death, Taxes, and Leaky Waders” is a must-read for both avid anglers and anyone who appreciates Gierach’s unique blend of wit, wisdom, and love for the great outdoors.

“The Tent Show Summer” by Charles Gaines

Rating: 8/10

“The Tent Show Summer” by Charles Gaines is a captivating and nostalgic novel that immerses readers in the world of a traveling tent show in rural America during the early 20th century. The story revolves around a young boy named Alex and his experiences as he joins his father, a magician, on the road with the show. Through Alex’s eyes, readers witness the magic, excitement, and challenges of life on the road, from setting up the big top to performing captivating acts.

Gaines beautifully captures the atmosphere and camaraderie of the traveling show, as well as the profound impact it has on Alex’s coming-of-age journey. With lyrical prose and rich character development, “The Tent Show Summer” transports readers to a bygone era, evoking a sense of wonder, nostalgia, and the timeless allure of the traveling show. It is a heartwarming and enchanting novel that celebrates the power of dreams, family bonds, and the transformative nature of the stage.

“The Call of the Wild” by Jack London

Rating: 9/10

“The Call of the Wild” by Jack London is a timeless and gripping adventure novel that follows the transformation of Buck, a domesticated dog, into a wild and resilient creature in the harsh Alaskan wilderness. The story begins when Buck is kidnapped from his comfortable life and sold into service as a sled dog during the Klondike Gold Rush. As Buck navigates the brutal realities of the unforgiving landscape, he taps into his primal instincts and learns to adapt to survive.

London’s vivid descriptions and powerful storytelling skillfully depict the brutality of nature and the instinctual yearning for freedom. Through Buck’s journey, the novel explores themes of survival, loyalty, and the innate connection between humans and the natural world. “The Call of the Wild” is a captivating tale that resonates with readers of all ages, leaving a lasting impression and a renewed appreciation for the untamed spirit within us all.

“The River’s Tale: A Year on the Mekong” by Edward Gargan

Rating: 8/10

“The River’s Tale: A Year on the Mekong” by Edward Gargan is a captivating and immersive account that takes readers on a mesmerizing journey along the Mekong River. Gargan, an experienced journalist, spent a year traveling the length of the Mekong, from its source in Tibet to its delta in Vietnam. Through vivid descriptions and personal narratives, he paints a vivid picture of the river’s cultural, historical, and ecological significance.

Gargan delves into the lives of the people who depend on the river for their livelihoods, explores the diverse ecosystems it sustains, and unravels the complex social and political dynamics that shape the region. “The River’s Tale” is not only an engaging travelogue but also an insightful exploration of the interplay between human activity and the natural world. Gargan’s passion for the Mekong shines through every page, making this book a captivating read for anyone interested in the profound connections between people and the rivers that define their lives.

“The Compleat Angler” by Izaak Walton

Rating: 7/10

“The Compleat Angler” by Izaak Walton is a classic work that serves as a timeless guide and celebration of the art and joy of fishing. First published in 1653, it is one of the most renowned and enduring books on the subject. The book takes the form of a dialogue between the experienced angler Piscator (a persona for Walton himself) and his student Viator. Through their conversations, Walton imparts his wisdom and love for fishing, touching on various techniques, fishing spots, and the appreciation of nature.

However, “The Compleat Angler” goes beyond a mere fishing manual, as it also delves into broader topics such as the value of friendship, contemplation, and the simple pleasures of life. Walton’s prose is rich and poetic, painting vivid pictures of serene rivers and peaceful landscapes. With its enduring charm, “The Compleat Angler” remains a beloved classic for anglers and literature enthusiasts alike.

“Casting a Spell: The Bamboo Fly Rod and the American Pursuit of Perfection” by George Black

Rating: 8/10

“Casting a Spell: The Bamboo Fly Rod and the American Pursuit of Perfection” by George Black is an engaging and enlightening exploration of the iconic bamboo fly rod and its significance in American angling culture. Black delves into the history, craftsmanship, and allure of these meticulously handcrafted rods, tracing their evolution from humble beginnings to objects of desire for fly fishing enthusiasts. Through meticulous research and interviews with craftsmen, Black unravels the stories behind renowned rod makers and their quest for perfection in their craft.

Alongside the narrative of the bamboo rod, he weaves in the broader context of American angling, capturing the spirit of the sport and its dedicated community. “Casting a Spell” is not just a book about fishing tackle, but a love letter to the artistry, tradition, and enduring fascination of the bamboo fly rod. With its blend of history, craftsmanship, and passion, it offers a captivating read for anyone interested in the intersection of art, nature, and angling.

“The Angler: A Novel of Love and Fishing” by Shaun Morey

Rating: 7/10

“The Angler: A Novel of Love and Fishing” by Shaun Morey is a captivating blend of romance and angling that immerses readers in a tale of passion, adventure, and self-discovery. The novel follows the journey of Joe, a talented but troubled fly fisherman, as he navigates the complexities of love, loss, and his deep connection to the water. Morey’s vivid descriptions of the fishing landscapes and the thrill of the chase bring the angling scenes to life, while the tender exploration of relationships adds depth and emotional resonance to the story.

As Joe grapples with personal demons and seeks solace in the river, he embarks on a transformative journey of healing and redemption. “The Angler” beautifully captures the allure of fly fishing and the power it holds to heal and connect people to nature and one another. With its blend of heartfelt storytelling and the magic of angling, it offers an engaging read for both fishing enthusiasts and those seeking a tale of love and self-discovery.

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20 best Fishing stories and books – PDF

Hope you had fun reading about my treasure trove of fishing stories and books and novels that is the essence of fishing!  Please happily download the free PDF copy of the most famous Fishing stories and books below.


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