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About The Authors
Ron Cordes

The angling adventures of Ron Cordes have taken him literally around the world from the wilds of Alaska and Africa, to the jungles of Nepal, to Lapland in the far northern hemisphere, and to the rain forests of New Zealand in the southern hemisphere. He has been on the editorial staff of both "Fly Fisherman Magazine" and "Fly Fishing Heritage" magazine and has published and lectured worldwide.

In addition to his magazine editorial contributions, Ron conceptualized and co-authored what many have touted as the finest book written in the US on fly-fishing lakes called "Lake Fishing With A Fly". This book, co-authored with Randall Kaufmann, has been in print for over 20 years. Two other books authored by Ron include "Fly Fishing For Backpackers" and "Backpacking for Fly Fisherman". When he first created the Pocket Guide concept, Ron asked his good friend and fly fishing legend, Gary LaFontaine, now deceased, to work with him in developing a series of guides on fly fishing. Their efforts led not only to the current series of eleven volumes on fly fishing, but to many titles in other areas that could also benefit from the unique Pocket Guide concept and format.

Ron’s public service activities are also unusually broad. He’s currently on the board of directors of the Teton Regional Land Trust in Driggs, Idaho, as well as on the board of directors of the national Trumpeter Swan Society. In the world of fly fishing he is one of the national vice presidents for the Federation of Fly Fishers. Ron is a life member of the Federation of Fly Fishers as well as Trout Unlimited.

As one might by now expect, his professional activities are extraordinarily broad ranging as well and extend well beyond writing. He has a PhD in chemical engineering and a JD in law, both from the University of California at Berkeley. Ron has worked in research and development for Exxon. He also worked as a lawyer, a project manager, a program manager and an organizational manager for the US Department of Energy’s Idaho National Engineering Laboratory. Ron has also served as a scientific advisor to the Government of Iran’s Department of Environmental Conservation; as a trial attorney; and as an entrepreneur. Ron is currently focusing his efforts on the development of a revolutionary new way to make ultrafine metal and ceramic powders, including titanium powder.

Ron and his wife, Betty, reside in southeast Idaho where they enjoy the great outdoors in all of its splendor.

Gary LaFontaine

Gary LaFontaine had an extraordinary background in fly fishing, having started at the age of 9 in his home state of Connecticut. Amazingly enough, he was guiding before he reached his teens. He first worked as a bass fishing guide in Georgia and later as a fly fishing guide on the famous western rivers, the Big Hole and the Madison. Gary graduated from the University of Montana with a degree in behavioral psychology. His thesis was on the selective feeding of trout, combining intellectual interest with personal passion. Much of his thesis work was done in scuba gear at the bottom of a hole, watching trout rise for food. His first fishing article was published at the tender age of 15. As one of America's most famous fly fishing authors and lecturers, Gary had published over 100 articles on fly fishing alone. In addition, he had published two books of poetry, more than 200 short stories and poems in literary magazines, and articles in professional magazines and popular magazines on psychology.

In addition to his writing and lecturing activities, Gary was also a partner in Greycliff Publishing Company and founder/director of the "Book Mailer". Both Greycliff Publishing and the Book Mailer were showcases for the beloved Cordes/LaFontaine Pocket Guides that Gary co-authored with his friend and fishing buddy, Ron Cordes. Greycliff also published a variety of books including "Mayflies" by Knopp and Cormier, "True Love and the Woolly Bugger" by Dave Ames, and John Holt's two books - "The Montana Fly Fishing Guide" - Volume I (West of the Divide) and Volume II (East of the Divide). In 1990, LaFontaine, then in his mid-40s, won the Arnold Gingrich Memorial Award for Lifetime Writing Achievements, which predated the many Cordes/LaFontaine Pocket Guides series, three more books and a full decade of productivity. Gary was selected as the Angler of the Year by Fly Rod & Reel Magazine in 1996.

On January 4, 2002 Gary LaFontaine died following a lengthy battle with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) or Lou Gehrig's disease. He was 56 years old. By then, Gary had published more than 100 articles on fly fishing in more than a dozen different national and regional publications. He authored five books and coauthored many more including "Fly Fishing the Yellowstone" (with Bob Jacklin) and "Fly Fishing the Madison" (with Craig Mathews). Gary’s books about fly fishing have become the “standards” in the field, as have the Cordes/LaFontaine Pocket Guides.

While Gary is perhaps best known for his classic work "Caddis Flies", the Cordes/LaFontaine Pocket Guides series, and his revolutionary "sparkle pupa" series of fly patterns, his legacy is much more than that. Gary's greatest legacy was the way he taught and touched the hearts of countless fly fishers, novice and expert alike.

Gary LaFontaine was loved by many and was a great loss. Mike Lawson and Stan Bradshaw, two of the many co-authors of these incredible Pocket Guides, and good friends of Gary LaFontaine, each wrote a letter in rememberence of Gary.

Click Here to Read Mike Lawson's Memorial

Click Here to Read Stan Bradshaw's Memorial

Many other experts have contributed
to the Pocket Guides series, including:

Greg Vivian
The Pocket Guide to
Cross Country Skiing

Wally Stewart
The Pocket Guide to
Auto Maintinance & Repair

Jay Rowland
The Pocket Guide to
Fly Fishing For Steelhead

Harley W. Reno
The Pocket Guide to Lure
Fishing For Trout In A Stream

Betty Cordes, CRNA
The Pocket Guide to
Emergency First Aid

Mary Mather
The Pocket Guide to
Outdoor Photography

Michael Brady
The Pocket Guide to Golf


Stan Bradshaw
The Pocket Guide to
Outdoor Survival

Ned Hawkins
The Pocket Guide to
Auto Maintinance & Repair

Ehor Boyanowsky
The Pocket Guide to
Fly Fishing For Steelhead

Steve Gilbert
The Pocket Guide to
Field Dressing Game

Bruce Newell
The Pocket Guide to
Basic Canoeing

Michael Maloney
The Pocket Guide to
Fly Casting

Lester G. Cordes
The Pocket Guide to
Walleye Fishing The Lakes

And Many others!

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