Published Nov 1. 2012

The Flies that Catch Fish

Flytiers' Flies
Medlar Press
Publishing year: 
Chris Sandford & friends
Reviewed by: 

This is a book right after my heart. No-nonsense fishing flies presented in a clear and appetizing fashion with really excellent pictures, step-by-step photos, thorough tying instructions and even a bit of prose about each of the originators of the flies.

What more can I say?

Well for the sake of the more scrutinous and skeptic readers, I should probably elaborate a bit on my praise.

What more can I say?

The book is as the title implies a list of flies devised and tied by fly tyers (aren't all flies?).
Nine tyers each presenting three flies. In essence there are more flies presented since some have variants or even come in pairs (like The Dynamic Duo), so you will find somewhere between 27 patterns and a few more in the book.

The tyers represent a broad specter of pattern and tying styles, although they all present freshwater flies except for a single bonefish fly. The flies still range from flies for gar (the US crocodile-like fish) and carp over salmon to chalkstream trout, so there's something for almost all tastes.
Each tyer is introduced with a couple of pages and pictures, and the flies are described in detail with great photos of the finished fly and the tying steps, fishing situations and details of selected tying methods. I really like the variation - both in style, pattern selection and presentation, and unlike many pattern books, this one can easily be read without the aim of tying the flies.
The book closes with a slightly odd, but still very entertaining chapter by John Knott on the history of fly-tying tools. Not really relevant, but certainly not misplaced either, and just another testament to the great variation of the book.

And don't cheat yourself by forgetting the really, really last chapter, which is written by the book's photographer Andrew Herd, and is simply hilarious! The fly he presents looks just as fishy as the rest of the flies in the book - and it can catch bats too if you are so inclined - but you will need a full-bore riffle and a packet of mints to tie it!

A fabulous book, and an excellent stocking stuffer or gift for the fly tyer.

Find Chris' own web site here.

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