C. Boyd Pfeiffer’s hardcover book entitled Shad Fishing was the first book that I picked up to learn how to successfully target shad on the fly. The book was published in 1975, and although a bit dated and out of print, it is still relevant to shad fishermen 40 years after it’s release. The information in this book allowed me to build a strong foundation for successfully targeting shad, and I have built upon that foundation with each year of experience on the water.
Shad Fishing covers history, biology, tackle (both spin and fly fishing,) tactics, and even has several recipes for cooking shad. The book includes descriptions and photos of over 40 flies, and it is a book that I reread every year before the shad run. The original book is becoming more difficult to find in great condition, but is available second hand in conditions acceptable for most fishermen’s home libraries. If you are looking to learn more about this wonderful fish, and how to find, catch, and cook them, then I highly recommend adding this fishing classic to your collection.
As a tribute to Pfeiffer’s Shad Fishing, this year I have decided to embark on a journey in to the past, and I will tie versions of each of the classic shad flies found in this book, take a high definition color picture of each of them, and record a video demonstrating how they were tied. Each of the shad flies that I tie from the book will be found in the The Pfeiffer Collection.
Note: Shad Fishing was updated and republished in 2002. It is no longer in print, but I have ordered the book second hand and look forward to reading it before the 2015/2016 shad run. The description says there are 176 fly patterns included… WOW!