Rivers are the centerpieces of some of the greatest stories ever told, and some of the most epic adventures ever chronicled. To make a list of great river books, we polled our staff, friends and family about their favorites—there are so many!—and culled it down to these must-reads.
These books inspire, educate and excite us. Inside their covers, you’ll ride the rapids with explorers down the Grand Canyon, tie flies with a trout bum, and swim upriver from the viewpoint of a Chinook salmon.
We hope these titles transport you and give you a greater sense of wonder and connection next time you’re out on the river.
From bluegrass to soul, oldies to recent hits, we created a mix of some of the best songs inspired by the river. May it remind you of the tremendous joy our rivers bring into our lives, and their importance to all life here in the West. If you have any suggestions for songs you'd like to see added to the list, email us your suggestions. We hope you enjoy what you hear!
As we combed through the suggestions we received for this list, it became clear that rivers have played central roles in every genre of movie out there: comedy, drama, romance, crime, thriller, documentary and, of course, adventure! If there’s one thing this illustrates, it’s the importance of rivers to our lives and to our stories. They’re woven into everything. And that’s why Western Rivers Conservancy continues to protect them.
We hope you enjoy this list. We surely left a few favorites off, but these are the ones that rose to the top.
Western Rivers Conservancy hosted renowned fly fishing photographer Val Atkinson for a live Zoom how-to on photographing rivers and river scenes with your iPhone! Val shared his favorite tips and tricks in a one-hour instructional session that covered the fundamentals of great photography—stuff that will help anyone improve their photo game on the river. Topics covered:
Rivers are where we make some of our fondest memories, but it can feel impossible to capture those special moments on a camera phone. Val will help you do better! And hopefully those photos will help you share your love of rivers—and why we should conserve them—with others.
About Val Atkinson
Val Atkinson is an internationally acclaimed fly fishing photographer
whose work has taken him to over 30 countries. He has published four
photography books, and his photography has appeared in more than 100
publications worldwide. This is a rare chance to learn from a true pro,
who knows rivers intimately and knows how to capture them unlike anyone