GFF book review

Hairwings & Tubes

A Comprehensive Guide for Anglers & Flytyers

Author: Chris Mann
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Chris Mann
Hairwing & Tube Flies for Salmon
Merlin Unwin Books, 2004

GFF rating: 6 out of 7
Global Class

Reviewed by Martin Joergensen

With this book Chris Mann has worked his way through yet another pile of flies sent to him from all over the world. His first epos in the series was the Shrimp & Spey flies, and he has now taken on a second and very large group of flies.

The concept is the same as Mann's second latest book. Why change something, which worked well the first time? So this book is also divided into three main parts: history, Europe and the US. As in the first book these are trailed by a comprehensive list of the flies and pattern descriptions.

The historical part takes you on a journey from the distant origin of the hair wing concept through the overwhelming fly style of the Victorian ages up to contemporary and much simpler hair wings and streamers. Telling this tale in a couple of dozen pages is almost impossible, but Mann does a very good job of it, and manages to illustrate the main styles and events with a generous selection of patterns.
The shift from Europe to the US and back again is covered and the introduction of tubes - not least the Scandinavian style - is well covered.

In the two sections that follow, Mann does what he can to get around the subject of hair wings in Europe and the US. This is an almost impossible task, and even though the author has flies from every corner of the globe, there is bound to be one-and-other fly tier who is just a bit too prominent, while others are missed. Both sections still cover all main styles and all important tiers and originators tiers, and with Mann's countless illustrations there is more than enough to rest your eyes on and get inspired from.

As in the last book, this one is as much carried by Mann's excellent illustrations. His computer graphics skills are stunning, and even though the drawings may look a little antiseptic and uniform at first, they have all the juice and character needed to convey the "look and feel" of the flies. Chris has drawn some of my flies, and I can assure you that the drawings are very like the original flies. And when Mann puts several almost identical flies together in a table the differences show clearly no matter how subtle they are.

In other words: Chris Mann has done it again and provided us pattern-hungry fly tiers with a wealth of new patterns to inspire us.

Chris Mann's illustrations are extremely accurate and informative

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User comments
From: Petr Stasek · PetrStasek·at·  Link
Submitted August 27th 2006

hallo...sorry for my english language,but I am from Czech Republic and I am just living in Englan..I am looking for some the best place for fishing see trouts in England..Thanks for your help...Petr

From: Kate Pike · silverzorra·at·  Link
Submitted June 8th 2006

Just about to start to tie tube flies as a result of reading the above book. Perhaps you could
present a section on tube fly "how to" and so on in a future GFF presentation. It seems to me
that tube flies make more sense than "on the hook" flies in many cases; dealing with those
nasty bluefish for one example. Your "global class" rating is well deserved and appropriate
regarding this informative and beautifully illustrated book.

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