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     The history of Northwest fishing is a very colorful and entertaining one.  Fortunately some of the early fisherman recorded their exploits in writing. This was in several forms, like newspaper and magazine articles,  book’s and local fishing guides.  It is the information in these guides that I have based a large part of my web site on.  These early fishing guides contain the stories, reports, pictures and advertisements that capture this moment in local outdoor sports. They transport you back in time as you read the exploits of these pioneering outdoorsmen who opened up this vast sportsman’s paradise.  This web page contains the history of these early sporting guides as best as I have been able to determine thru the collecting of these vintage guides.   

     The earliest guide that I have yet to find came out in 1921, it was put out by the “Monette Hardware Co.” of Seattle.  This was called the “Fisherman’s Guide Book” and contained fishing spots that were located within driving distance of Seattle and it being the beginning reference point. This is an extremely rare book ,  I have only found one copy of it.

     The next guide that I will discuss came out in 1925, it was put out by “Piper and Taft Sporting Goods Co.”.  “Piper and Taft” were the premier Sporting Goods store in Seattle at that time.  They had started in 1897 and had built up a highly respected Sporting Goods business in downtown Seattle.  A young eager employee at the young age of thirteen joined them in 1913.  His name was Eddie Bauer and he stayed with “Piper and Taft” until 1920 at which time he started his own Sporting Goods business.   The “Piper and Taft” fishing guide was called “Taft’s Sportsman’s Guide and Handbook” and it was published in 1925 and then again in 1928.      

I have just recently acquired what I would consider to be the “Holly Grail” of Northwest fishing guides. I have known of it’s existence for around 5 years now, but I have never seen one of these elusive creatures. Well my friends “Big Foot” has been discovered and is living in my old fishing guide collection.  This fishing guide was Compiled and Edited by Clinton W. Rowley and Published by Piper and Taft back in 1930.

I have just recently acquired a new Northwest fishing guide that I never even knew existed.  This first Ben Paris "Northwest Fishing Guide" was  Edited by H. Loughary and Published for Ben Paris by the Seattle Printing & Publishing Co..  The later "Fisherman's Guide to the Northwest" (see Below) was originally published in 1935 by David Pollock and Edited by Milton S. Reichert and was taken over by Ben Paris on the 4th edition in 1940. This is the publication that has come to be known as the "The Ben Paris Guide" after their long publishing history of this guide. However this newly discovered guide moves up Ben Paris involvement in the fishing guide business by a whole nine years.   

     The next guide that I will discuss is what I’ll refer to as the “Ben Paris Guide”.  This guide started in 1935 and ran up to 1980 with a total of twenty four editions to their credit.   The reason that I refer to it as the “Ben Paris Guide” is due to the many years that Mr. Ben Paris sponsored this guide.  Ben Paris owned a couple local successful Restaurant and Bar’s as well as a Sporting Goods business.  He was also responsible for the Northwest’s first Salmon Derby back in 1931. He was highly respected by the local business and sporting community alike.  With it’s forty five year run, this guide had no equals and reins king of all of these vintage publications.

     After World War II their were many servicemen returning to the Pacific Northwest. They were desperately seeking some rest and recreation after their horrific experiences of the war.  Two of these returning servicemen were Art King and Lee Morris, they were looking for up to date information on the local hot spots.  When they were not satisfied with the existing information they decided to publish their own fishing guide.  It was called the “Liar’s Handbook” and was published in 1946 out of Seattle.  On the Editor’s page, Art King made mention that this was the first edition with more to follow.  I have never found any evidence that a second edition was ever published and I will have to assume this is a one hit wonder.

     The last guide that I will cover was first issued in 1947 and was called the “Washington Sportsmen’s Guide (with attached maps)”.   It was put out yearly by “Edward W Pulver & Son” of Seattle and lasted into the early 1960’s.  The unique thing about this guide was that the inside of the front and rear covers contained pockets.  These pockets contained sportsman maps for the whole state of Washington.  I will refer to these as “Pulver guides” and they were also issued for most of the western State’s.  

     There have been many other local guides that were published later, most of them are outstanding in content.  I have in my collection a fair number of these other guides and they make excellent collectables.  At this time however, I have not posted any information on these other local fishing guides. I prefer to cover the older and more rare examples instead.  I will however display guides from other Northwest States other than just Washington.  I will also cover British Colombia fishing guides as well..

     If you are thinking about collecting these vintage Northwest fishing guides, then you should do so. They will provide you with many hours of entertainment and the challenge of the hunt.  For those of you already collecting these, I don’t need to say a word,  I know that you have already caught the collecting fever.  I hope that you will enjoy viewing my web site and  if you have any questions or comments, please email me with the link at the bottom of this page.  



Larger Cover scans along with the Table of Contents can be viewed by clicking on the thumbnail pictures below. 

"Click Here" To see a current list of my Extra Fishing Guides For Sale


Monette's Hardware

Fisherman's Guide Book 



Printed in 1921




Taft's Sportsman's Guide

1925 Taft Guide

1928 Taft Guide

Pacific Northwest Sportsman's 

Guide Book



Printed in 1930




Northwest Fisherman's Guide

Published by Ben Paris



Printed in 1931





Ben Paris Guide

1st Edition (1935)

2nd Edition(1937)

3rd Edition (1938)

4th Edition (1940)

5th Edition (1942)

6th Edition (1944)

7th Edition (1946)

8th Edition (1948)

Peace Arch Special Edition (1948)

9th Edition (1950)

10th Edition (1952)

11th Edition (1954)

12th Edition (1956)

13th Edition (1958)

14th Edition (1960)

Century 21 Special   15th Edition (1962)

16th Edition (1964)

17th Edition (1966)

18th Edition (1968)

19th Edition (1970)

20th Edition (1972)

21st Edition (1978)

22nd Edition (1979)

23rd Edition (1980)



Liar's Handbook




Washington Sportsmen's Guide









Other Guides of Interest

Western Bass Club "The First Bass Club in the US"


Oregon Fishing Guides