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Angling for a book on fishing? Cast line for these

The saying goes "Time spent fishing cannot be deducted from a man's life."

What few people realize is the same goes for time spent reading about fishing. And this week several local anglers offer suggestions for good bedside - or stream-side - books. It's life-saving material. And we begin with the lunker of all fishing books:- THE COMPLEAT ANGLER; By Izaac Walton; Ecco Books; $12 (paper).

Izaak Walton was born in 1593 and lived to the wizened age of 90 (he spent a lot of time fishing). Alive during tempestuous times in England, Walton decided to write a soothing little book of lore and reflections as an antidote to the ruthlessness around him. Today much of the advice and fishing insights are dated, but the sweet, easy tone of the book remains, and fishermen still love to leaf through the pages.

Author Thomas McGuane says Walton shows that "watchfulness and awe can be taken within from the natural world.. . . He tells us how to live."

- BASIC FRESH WATER FISHING; By Cliff Hauptman; Stackpole Books; $16.95.

Billed as a step-by-step guide to tackle and know-how, this book is full of photos, illustrations and explanations. Sections include "What to Fish For," "What to Fish With" and a final chapter full of inside pointers. Very reader-friendly, with lots of white space and large print.

- ADVANCED FRESH WATER FISHING STRATEGIES; By Dick Sternberg; Cy Decosse Publishers; $29.95

Byron Gunderson of Fish Tech on Highland Drive recommends this one. "It's not too technical for a beginner," he says, "but it's not too easy, either. Some texts are so elementary that you've digested what the book has to offer before you're half way through. But in this book, the answers appear as you progress. Before you realize you have a question, you get the answer."

- FISHING FUNDAMENTALS; By Wade Bourne; In-Fishing Library; $11.95

Gunderson bills this book as "not expensive, but full of meat." It's a comprehensive look at fishing - all kinds of fishing - on an elementary level.

"It's for people who are just getting into fishing and don't know how deep they want to go," he says.

- THE WOMAN ANGLER; By Laurie Morrow; St. Martin's Press; $24.95.

Morrow, the author, knows her way around the outdoors. She is an editor with "Shooting Sportsman" and has written pieces for dozens of publications including "Field & Stream." Her goal, she says, is to play down the "TTT" (Technical Tackle Talk) and play up the aspects of the sport that appeals to many women - the fluid motion of the cast, for instance, the touch needed to set a hook. After the blockbuster success of the Orvis Women's Fly Fishing Schools, this book became a natural.