Beginner's Reading List
There are countless excellent books written specifically for the beginning fly angler, dozens of which I have read cover to cover, a number of them multiple times. While each deserves recognition, many of them try to take the beginning angler too deeply into the sport leaving the apprentice angler in a state of early confusion.
Fly fishing need not be as complicated as some texts would have us believe. The student angler does not need to know the scientific names of insects encountered on the stream. There is time enough for that later. Nor do they need to know dozens of presentation techniques. They only need to know that a fly of matched color and size is the first step in fly selection and to fish surface or subsurface is the first step in presentation.
The novice angler needs and wants a reliable starting point that will avoid immediate confusion and lead to understanding. The books I have listed here, along with some of my own writings are intended to give just that, a place to start.
But most importantly the beginning angler needs to know, no matter how accomplished a seasoned angler may appear we ALL started out knowing little of what is to be learned over time! 

The Curtis Creek Manifesto by: Sheridan Anderson
Written, conceived and illustrated by a self-professed angler, artist, wander and eternal foe of the work ethic, the late Sheridan Andreas Mulholland Anderson (September 18, 1936 — March 31, 1984) gave us an artfully executed tongue-in-cheek yet completely accurate blueprint for those venturing into the world of fly fishing. This is a book that due to its cartoon layout and execution I mistakenly dismissed as a joke for many years. In 2006 I came into possession of a copy through happenstance, which I placed away on a shelf as a novelty for almost 2 years. When I finally sat down to give it a serious look I consumed the entire work in a matter of hours. Since that time I have reread it numerous times for the sheer entertainment value and as a basic refresher. Don’t be fooled like I was, get a copy, read and enjoy!

Copyright © 1978, Frank Amoto Publications, Portland, OR
Trout and Their Food by: Dave Whitlock
If I was conducting a class for beginning fly anglers aspiring to chase trout I would use this as the textbook for that class. Using his vast knowledge on the subject, concise writing skills and phenomenal artistic ability Dave takes the reader on an easy to follow informational and visual journey into the aquatic world where trout live and feed. Novice or seasoned, this book will make anyone a better angler. Because of this book’s complete yet concise nature I have added it to both the Beginner List and the Intermediate Reads List. When I first read this book it came as a welcomed refresher in trout behavior and the food they eat.

Copyright © 2010, Skyhorse Publishing, New York, NY
Fishing the Four Seasons by: Dave Hughes
As seasons change the habits and haunts of trout change along with the weather and light periods. Flies and techniques that are successful in the spring will change as the heat of summer shifts the habits of trout and their food sources. The same is true of fall and winter. This book breaks down the changes that occur in the world of trout and offers anglers a wealth of usable information making it possible for any angler to catch trout through the four seasons.

Copyright © 2001, The Lyons Press, Guilford, CT