Book Review: The Brown Trout – Atlantic Salmon Nexus

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There are more fly fishing books published each year than any angler can really keep track of. Often, new titles are simply rewrites of familiar content or halfhearted efforts for guides to further establish themselves on their home waters. Occasionally a book comes along that is of such significance that all others are left in its dust. LaFontaine had Caddisflies, Schwiebert had his volumes on nymphs, and now Supinski makes his mark with The Brown Trout-Atlantic-Salmon Nexus — a new book that will surely be an instant classic.

The Brown Trout-Atlantic-Salmon Nexus is nothing short of masterful. Author Matthew Supinski’s lifetime of observation of brown trout and Atlantic salmon and his passion and love for these fish are revealed in what might be the most comprehensive publication on these fish ever offered. And it’s not just Supinski’s affection for these fish that is so remarkable. In The Brown Trout-Atlantic-Salmon Nexus, Supinski shows that he is not simply a passionate angler and guide, but he is also an inspiring writer and an impressively skilled historian, fisheries biologist, and entomologist, despite not having the formal training. In fact, his work is so strong and detailed, it is safe to say that many full-time experts in each field would give Supinski a nod for his work.

It’s been said that a good angler is a scientist, and Supinski’s work is exhibit A for that case. The Brown Trout-Atlantic-Salmon Nexus is the culmination of a lifetime of study, and it’s clear that thousands of days on the water have led to memories and reflections that were imprinted deep in the author’s brain and are now in print in more than 260 pages of text.

The Brown Trout-Atlantic-Salmon Nexus covers it all. Supinski’s history of these fish starts (possibly) 55 million years ago and is described as such a momentous event by the author that it almost reads as a new creation account. On the eighth day …

From the evolutionary history of the fish to their distribution from Europe to New York to Patagonia and beyond, nothing goes uncovered in this book. The reader gets to imagine how humans encountered brown trout and Atlantic salmon during the Stone Age while also considering how resilient these fish are, having survived tens of millions of years of evolution, planetary chaos, world wars, and now the threat of increased water temperatures — a threat that might be too difficult to overcome.

Throughout the book, beautiful images highlight how unique each fish is, and anglers can learn everything from how trout handle UV light to how and why they react to different life cycles of aquatic insects.

I have read fly fishing books since I was a teenager, and we’ve reviewed many on The Venturing Angler. This is one of the best fly fishing books I’ve ever encountered. Brilliant work!

To learn more about The Brown Trout-Atlantic-Salmon Nexus, please click here.

— Tim Harden

Disclosure: This publisher is in a professional relationship with the Venturing Angler. Though potentially benefiting from this relationship, we do not post what we do not believe to be true. To read more, click here.