Monday, July 12, 2010


A few months ago I briefly wrote about the late Texas outdoors writer Russell Tinsley here at The San Marcos River.

Recently, I just re-read his tome on Texas freshwater fishing, aptly titled, well,

FRESHWATER FISHING IN TEXAS. It's a great little book, and in addition to great photos of boats, lakes, rivers, boats and fishing gear from "back in the day", it's actually packed with good information for any freshwater fisherman.

Most telling, I think, about Mr. Tinsley was his love of his dear friends. For example, the cover of FRESHWATER FISHING IN TEXAS features a picture of a fellow named A.W. McLaughlin. Mr. Tinsley also dedicates that particular book to his friend A.W. Mr. Tinsley's photo, holding a nice bass rod with Ambassador reel in one hand and about a five pound bass in the others would have been a fine cover shot, but based upon reading hundreds of his articles and several of his books, I can tell you that he was more interested in paying tribute to his buddy A.W. than he was in stroking his own ego.

I first became aware of Mr. Tinsley's writing when I was still in elementary school, about the time I discovered the holy trinity of fishing magazines for fishermen in Texas to buy: Outdoor Life, Sports Afield and Field and Stream. Then, sometime in the early 70's a monthly magazine published out of an office on Bingle Road near U.S. 290 in Houston started up called The Texas Fisherman. It was a great magazine as well.

Through these magazines, I read articles by Mr. Tinsley. Later, as I was older, when visiting Austin I always made it a point to look for his columns in the Austin American Statesman, which was quite a good newspaper back then. Mr. Tinsley was my kind of fisherman, in that he used casting, spin-casting, spinning and fly gear to land his fish. That was rare in Texas back then, and is still somewhat rare when someone embraces all the methods of casting in their fishing reportiore, particularly in Texas.

I bought several of his books at stores or through the Texas Fisherman. FRESHWATER FISHING IN TEXAS is one of those books. There has been a serious amount of outdoors magazines, fishing magazines and books on the subject of fishing, camping, hunting, boating and the like that have passed through my clutches over my lifetime, and very few were kept until now. FRESHWATER FISHING IN TEXAS.

My copy is from 1973, but although lots of lakes have been added since then, the basic theories remain the same. The rivers have undergone changes, and there have been population explosions and shifts all over the state.

Still, any chance you get, read a hunting or fishing article or book by Mr. Tinsley. He'll make a great sportsman out of you, if you aren't one already.

I found a great article by a younger outdoor writer online about the last years of Mr. Tinsley's life. You might find this interesting if you're a Tinsley fan like I am:
The book in the top picture was a successor book to Mr. Tinsley's Freshwater Fishing in Texas, called Fishing Texas: An Anglers Guide.
The bottom photo shows a middle aged Mr. Tinsley, happy as he can be, with a turkey shot with bow.

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