Texan's book provides a river of information for trout anglers

From: Bob Tuttle

Sent: Saturday, January 11, 1997 9:47 PM

Texan's book provides a river of information for trout anglers

BY MIKE LEGGETT Austin American­Statesman Staff


It used to be that if one believed most outdoor publications, trout fishing was something reserved for snooty, pipe­smoking professors in tweed hats and flannel shirts. Texans need not apply.

And because even the closest trout fishing was hundreds of miles away in Colorado, New Mexico or Missouri, Texas residents stayed away in droves. Bass fishing, trotlining, or wading the saltwater flats took the place of drifting a nymph beside a clear­water logjam.

All that has changed, though with cheap gasoline, inexpensive fly­fishing tackle and better information about how, where and why to fish for rainbows and browns and other trout. Gimme caps and blue jeans are as common as wool pants these days as a whole new world opens up for would­be trout anglers.

Marks Williams knows a fertile field when he sees one. "There's such an interest in trout fishing now," said the Dallas resident. "That's the reason for doing the book."

The book Williams is talking about is his "Trout Fishing Source Book," a soft­cover, large­format encyclopedia of sorts for the angler who wants to know anything about trout fishing in the United States. It covers 46 different states including Hawaii, and provides information about where to fish lures and gear, fly shops, guides and outfitters.

In addition to the reference book, Williams also has begun building a directory of maps of trout streams around the country These can be used in conjunction with the source book and eventually will cover the trout­fishing territory he has written about.

"It took me about four years of research and a year of writing to produce this book," Williams said. "Before that, I didn't know I was working on the ~book, but I was out there gathering information. I always wanted to write the great American novel, but this is where I wound up."

"Trout Fishing" may be better than a novel, though, because the end of the book doesn't mean the end of the fun. With so many states and streams from which to choose, the beginner and experienced angler alike can find a place to try almost anywhere.

"Anybody who wants to know something about trout fishing can also contact me and I'll help them set up a fishing trip any place they are traveling," Williams said. Some trips are wilderness experiences, but others can be squeezed into a business trip or family vacation without getting far from civilization.

For instance, Williams covers and offers tips on fishing the more than 2,700 miles of trout water in Virginia. Most of that is easily accessible from metropolitan areas such as Washington, D.C., or Baltimore.

Texas, a latecomer to the trout fishing world, gets its own mention in Williams' book. The Guadalupe and Brazos rivers are the major attractions and Williams notes fly shops and guides to use to set up trips and gather information about fishing there.

"The Trout Fishing Source Book" is 488 pages and sells for $19.95. It is published by Menasha Ridge Press in Birmingham, Ala. (800) 247­9437. The book is available at various book stores and the Austin Angler or can be ordered from Williams at the River Maps Company, (888) 261­1501.