Book Review - An Entirely Synthetic Fish

by Jake Schilling February 06, 2020

By Jake Schilling - February 2020

Professional Fly Fishing Guide Jake Schilling

Recommended Reading: An Entirely Synthetic Fish

Today I'm doing a short write-up on a book I just finished up that was recommended by a friend of mine who is a fisheries biologist.  This is an excellent read for any angler, especially ones who spend time in Montana, California, and Colorado as this book touches on these states frequently.  It is a super interesting read on how rainbow trout became the most commonly stocked fish in the US and around the World.  I guide many anglers each summer that had no idea rainbows are not native to the Madison, let alone a huge majority of the United States.  
What I found most interesting in this book was the shifting ideologies around the country regarding the appreciation of native fish over the past 50 years.  Many of the same areas that were stocked with rainbows are now removing them through various methods to open up habitat for natives like a cutthroat.  It seems to be a classic case of our country not realizing what they're missing until it's gone, or close to it.  
There is also an excellent section revolving around the time period when Montana quit stocking its rivers.  It was a huge shock to the general public who, at the time, couldn't wrap their heads around the idea that the discontinuation of stocking fish would actually boost wild fish's size and overall numbers, greatly.  But, the findings from Dick Vincent's (MT FWP biologist) research in the early '70s was solid, and the results continue to be a huge part of why people come from around the world to fish in Montana, we have an excellent population of wild, large fish that would only be damaged by stocking.  

Jake Schilling - Professional Fly Fishing Guide - West Yellowstone Montana

About Jake Schilling - Professional Fly Fishing Guide for Madison River Outfitters

At age 21 Jake moved to West Yellowstone from Missoula in May 2012. That first summer he spent two months living in a tent, before moving into a 1971 Lark camper until October.  After three years of part-time guiding, Jake moved into a full-time guide job with MRO.  During the winter he spends his time spey casting, midge fishing, steelhead fishing, and cross-country skiing while off work. Jake’s laid-back attitude and patience are unmatched, he loves taking the day slow; walking the boat and always having one more fly to try before moving on.

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