Thursday, November 7, 2013

50 Best Tailwaters to Fly Fish


BLOOMINGTON, Ind. – A detailed look at North America’s 56 best fly-fishing tailwater destinations by Terry and Wendy Gunn is the newest title by fly-fishing book publisher Stonefly Press.  The 272-page, 4-color softcover book is the work of the guides and outfitters with “boots in the water” on each of the respective tailgaters.

“We named it 50 Best Tailwaters to Fly Fish, but after compiling everything, there was just no way to eliminate any, so we wound up with 56 chapters on individual rivers throughout the United States and Canada,” said co-author Terry Gunn.

The concept of the book is best summed up by fly-fishing icon Lefty Kreh in his foreword:  “Tailwaters are the salvation of fly fishing for trout. These are the streams or rivers exiting from dams with the flow dependent on the amount of water released. They furnish a constant supply of clear, cold water necessary for trout and their food.

“Many trout fishermen believe all major rivers are located in the West.  But some of the finest are in the East, created when the Tennessee Valley Authority dammed so many southern rivers to furnish the region’s power during late-1920s and Depression era 1930s. Some of these tailwaters are among the best trout rivers anywhere in this country and within easy driving distance of thousands of anglers.”

According to the Gunns, the book’s chapters are divided first by region, and then from south to north within each region to accommodate travel and road trips.  In addition to detailed contour maps of each tailwater, which include local roads and river access points, there are suggestions for gear, regulations, fly patterns, seasonal hatches, and wading areas.  The book also includes contact information for local fly shops, outfitters, and lodges, along with suggested best bars, restaurants, hotels, campgrounds, and emergency medical services.

“We feel fortunate that so many good friends and well-known outfitters – folks like Pat Dorsey, Craig Mathews, John & Amy Hazel, Tim Linehan, Mike Mercer, Mike Lawson, Lefty, and so many others – contributed to the book.  We all agreed that there is no other one like it in the field, which made it an even greater responsibility to take on.  And we couldn’t be happier with the final product!” said Wendy Gunn.

50 Best Tailwaters to Fly Fish is the go-to tailwater bible for fly-fishing enthusiasts.  It is priced at $34.95 and available from flyfishing shops, book dealers, or directly from Stonefly Press (Go to for more detail.)

Book: 50 Best Tailwaters to Fly Fish
Authors: Terry & Wendy Gunn
Foreword: Lefty Kreh
Publisher: Stonefly Press, Bloomington, IN
Pages: 272 pp.
Photos: Over 200 4-color
Maps: 56 4-color, contour maps
Price: $34.95
Available: October 2013
Chapters: 56 chapters drafted by guides and shop owners who know the waters best
Quote: Nothing like this has ever been published and serious trout fishermen will find this one of the most useful books ever. – Lefty Kreh


Stonefly Press, founded in 2011, is the publisher of fly fishing books, guides and maps, including   An Introduction to Fly Fishing for Trout (Williams/McPhail) and The Orvis Guide to Fly Fishing for Carp (Deeter).  Stonefly Press publishes in both print and digital formats for fly-fishing devotees across the globe and actively partners with both authors and customers to provide guided fly-fishing excursions and retreats. Their mission is to advance the work of authors and increase the quality and sustainability of wild fisheries for future generations.


Terry Gunn, a full time guide since 1983, and his wife Wendy started Lees Ferry Anglers Fly Shop and Guide Service on the Colorado River tailwater below Glen Canyon Dam (Lake Powell) in 1989. They acquired Cliff Dwellers Lodge in 2001. They are the longtime co-hosts of the TV program, Fly Fish Television Magazine.  To schedule an interview, phone (800) 962-9755.

Here's what other's had to say about the book...

I have known and fished with Terry and Wendy Gunn for more than 30 years, in both saltwater and freshwater. In their home Arizona waters and some faraway places like Baja California. They both are classic fly anglers and demonstrate their profound knowledge on the water and on these pages you are about to read. I would feel pleased and privileged to fish with them both, anywhere in this world.

Besides the information they personally provide, there are chapters they gleamed from some of the best of the best, John Hazel, Mike Mercer, Mike Lawson, Tim Linehan, Pat Dorsey, Craig Mathews, Dave Brown, and a foreword by my old friend, the inimitable Lefty Kreh.

You will enjoy and learn from 50 Best Tailwaters to Fly Fish.

-       Stu Apte, IGFA Hall of Famer, author of Of Winds and Tides

"Let's get one thing straight: Fly fishing in America's Lower 48 would not exist as it does today, were it not for tailwater dams.  Most of the trophy fish photos, and many of the most technically-creative methods anglers now rely upon were created under a spillway somewhere.  Nobody, but nobody, is more dialed on the nuances of tailwater fishing than are Terry and Wendy Gunn.  And nobody is more connected to others who understand the best places and methods involved in effective tailwater fishing than the Gunns.  I know this because the Gunns have done more to teach me about technical tailwater fly fishing than anyone.  If you want to play big-league ball and catch large trout, this book will be key.   It's the most comprehensive 'where-to' with some 'how-to' I've ever seen.  I'm genuinely grateful that they made it happen."

-       Kirk Deeter, editor of TROUT magazine, editor-at-large for Field&Stream, and author of The Orvis Guide to Fly Fishing for Carp  

Tailwater trout fishing is a very important component in the North America fly fishing scene. Just looking back at my best fishing this summer, all my destinations were tailwaters; the Beaverhead in Montana, the Taylor in Colorado, the West Branch of the Delaware in New York and the Deschutes River in Oregon. Terry and Wendy Gunn have now cataloged the best tailwaters with appropriate information that will enhance every reader’s fly fishing experience. 50 Best Tailwaters to Fly Fish may never leave my tackle bag.

-       Brian O’Keefe, Cofounder, Catch magazine

If I were planning a dream trip to fish the Bighorn River or other tailwaters, I'd first buy this book. "Tailwaters" has the best information you can find on 56 world-class streams that can make your fly-fishing dreams come true.  It's a foundational guidebook to adventure and fulfillment for anyone who enjoys the very best experiences in our sport. The hatches information alone is worth the price of the book.

-       John Randolph, Publisher Emeritus, Fly Fisherman magazine

Not many people realize that today most of the best trout fisheries in the lower 48 states are tailwaters, or influenced by dam release.  They all have some common elements, but just knowing how to fish one doesn’t guarantee success on another.  Wendy and Terry Gunn have identified the best tailwaters in North America and distilled each fishery into a succinct and helpful guide with no fluff—just good solid info.  The maps of each river are alone worth the price of admission. If you don’t know much about tailwaters and you like to catch trout you must have this book.  If you think you’re an experienced tailwater angler you’ll be sorry if you don’t get a copy.

-       Tom Rosenbauer, Marketing Director, The Orvis Company, author of The Orvis Fly-Fishing Guide


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