Skip Morris

Tying Foam Flies

Reviewed by Martin Joergensen

Tying Foam Flies

  • Skip Morris
  • Tying Foam Flies
  • Approx. 50 pages, large format, softbound
  • Published in 1994 by Frank Amato Books in Portland, Oregon
  • ISBN 1-878175-89-0
  • Price: US$ 16.95
What stirred my interest in this book was Charles Garwood's article on foam flies for panfish. In this he mentions Skip Morris as his inspiration.
During a recent visit in Seattle I stumbled over the book, and as it's absolutely reasonable priced and looked very interesting, I immediately bought it.

And I can understand why Charles was fascinated and inspired by the book, because it's an excellent fly tying book that contains most of what you can desire: Knowledge, humor, good instructions and lots of patterns. Skip Morris obviously knows what he's talking about, but manages to present it in a very relaxed and humorous way.

A good example of this in found in the introductory chapter on types of foam. Here Morris covers the different types of foam in a very pragmatic way, but still squeezes in a bit of 'science' regarding the different types of synthetics used to make foam. And the way he presents soft foam is not unlike the tone many other places in the book:

"Soft foam is soft. Clearly in this paragraph I haven't yet made any statements that could reasonably be challenged"
Morris covers types of foam that are commercially available, but emphasizes that useful foam is everywhere - from packaging to coffee cups.

An example of the fine page layout in Morris' book
The introduction does not go in depth with too may tying aspects. Foam and thread tension gets some attention, but from there it's on to the patterns.

These are excellent examples of innovative and more ordinary use of the material. A selection of patterns are described in depth with detailed tying instructions and very good step-by-step photos of the whole process. A dozen or so patterns are covered in this way, varying from dun imitations to large flies useful for bass and even pike.
In the last part of the book Morris lists more than 30 patterns with list of material and a photo of the fly. Here as in the detailed instructions we will find patterns by Morris as well as many other tyers.

The book is packed with color photos mixed with an occasional B/W drawing or two. Together with the large format and the calm and consistent layout, this makes the book an eyepleaser. It also helps the reader in learning the few tricks of the foam trade.

This book will certainly make me dig out those ethafoam sheets that I bought in a Michael's Craft Store last November. The result will most likely be small divers a la The Morrisfoam Diver to try out on sea trout some not-too-distant summer night.

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