Book Review: Salt: Coastal and Flats Fishing Photography - The Compleat Angler

April 09, 2014

“Yes, but at least you get to go to beautiful places.”

These are the words of reassurance offered to my girlfriend about my fly fishing. And it’s true: fly fishing does take you to truly beautiful places around the world.

Salt: Coastal and Flats Fishing Photography by Andy Anderson, a new coffee table book exclusively about saltwater fishing, captures the beauty of these places. The photos are gorgeous, often taking up a full two page spread at a time. This is a lush book dense on beauty and light on words. Published by Rizzoli, who specializes in high-end coffee table books like this, the book is the nicest I’ve seen on the subject.

The book is driven by photos by Andy Anderson, whose work is incredible. Tom Bie, writing in the latest issue of The Drake, speaks to Anderson’s talents and rapid rise. Some of the photos in the book, like the series of which the cover is one part, are remarkable as much for their quality as for how they were taken: in the cover shot, the force of the wave has sent rocks and debris in the direction of both Anderson and the fishermen. These shots transport you.

The words, provided by Orvis’s Tom Rosenbauer, compliment the photos with stories of fishing, of gear, and of places. They essays aren’t nearly as formal as the book, but they too transport you to another time and place.

But they don’t, thankfully, always transport you very far away: many of the shots are of New England, and the Northeast. Photos from Cape Cod appear regularly, as do images of Rhode Island and Connecticut. I always like seeing these places represented, to remind people that not only do we have great fishing here in New England, but we have great beauty as well.

In the end, I was grateful to be reminded of how glad I am to live in New England. Andros? Yeah, it’s beautiful. But Monomoy, the Vineyard, the coast of Maine — they sure are beautiful too.

Note: The Compleat Angler doesn’t have copies in the store yet, but we’re working on it!

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