Reviewed by Bob
Dig out your gallows
tools, you're gonna need it
after you read this book.
Flies the Paraloop Way
Hardcover, 191 Pages
Suggested retail: $35.00US
thought was probably the same as yours - what is "paraloop"?
is part technique, part style - mostly for floating (or at least
"emerging") flies. Take a piece of a parachute, a bit
of a thorax dun, and some thoughts of a comparadun, mix, and you'll
arrive at a paraloop. It is really none of these, yet all of them.
what a "paraloop" is. Clear? Probably not. Look at the
pictures and it will make sense. Better yet, read the book.
takes us through a complete course in this style of fly tying,
from the tools required and the materials used through the tying
techniques, and finally the application of the techniques to specific
chapter deals with
tools, and here is where I had a good chuckle when Mr.
Moutter made the following statement:
development of the Paraloop has resulted in many a gallows tool
being wiped down and used after years of collecting dust.
charged! I've had a gallows tool for nearly 10 years now that
has yet to be used, although I've tied many dozen parachute flies.
What surprised me most when I started reading Mr. Moutter's book
is that I remember where it is! And off to the garage I went!
to being reintroduced to our long-lost gallows tools, we also
are given reason to create yet another tool - a "neck breaker".
Tim Allen would be proud of us - two new tools to add to our collection.
While most tyers will claim they use only a smattering of the
most basic tools - don't believe it. We're all gadget nuts. Mr.
Moutter gives us an excuse to surrender to our fetish without
need for apology. Heck, that alone is worth the price of the book.
remainder of the discussion on tools is pretty straightforward.
The need for a vise, a pair of scissors, bobbins, hackle pliers,
etc., is pretty standard stuff. I'm guessing the audience of this
book already has a firm grasp on their favorite tools, and as
such Mr. Moutter probably could have saved a few pages and glossed
over these "essential but obvious" tools.
enjoy a discussion of materials. Put two tyers together in a room
and you can be sure that before long the discussion will turn
to materials. I admit to being intrigued, indeed surprised, to
see a reference to squirrel tail as a dry fly winging material.
As a streamer or wet fly wing, yes. A dry fly wing? Ok - we'll
have to take his word on that and try it ourselves.
to siliconized polypropylene yarns, cobblers wax, "buzzer"
hooks, etc., makes it clear (if it wasn't already) that Mr. Moutter
is a UK based fly tyer. The brand names of materials and hooks
may not be familiar, but the descriptions of the materials, threads,
and various hooks should make finding substitutes pretty simple.
He is even kind enough to give us a hook comparison chart for
his favorites, so we can select a hook from a brand we are comfortable
with. Here again, most of the tyers reading this book will already
have a stock of their favorite hooks, threads, and hackles, but
it helps to learn his reasonings behind his choices when we begin
to tie our own flies.
of the book is split between technique and patterns. He walks
us through a detailed step-by-step procedure for tying a "basic"
paraloop fly, which I thought was very well done. I took the book
to my own tying desk, opened it up, and followed his instructions
to the letter, and did not find that I was lacking any instruction.
A person who has tied a variety of flies will be able to pick
up this book and tie perfect paraloops with no problem. There
are no "secret handshakes" left out. He then takes us
through some special techniques needed for different types of
Paraloop flies. I found these "how-to" sections very
well done - much better than most I've seen in print.
are a mix of adaptations of classic patterns (a Paraloop Wulff,
anyone?), some originals, and some "guest" patterns
provided by fellow tyers of the paraloop style. The latter sections
cemented my opinion of Mr. Moutter as a man of ethics, as he repeatedly
acknowledges those other tyers who independently developed similar
tying styles and offers them space in his book to share their
thoughts in their own words. A rare selfless act in an ego filled
world. I was particularly drawn to the patterns of Mr. Brian Cornwall,
where he uses a Paraloop style hackle on a Klinkhamer style fly
to create a "Paraloop Klinkhamar". You can be sure I
will have a selection of these in my box this year.
I will admit
when I first picked up this book, I was dubious whether it was
possible to create an entire book based on a single tying technique.
After reading through a few times, it is clear that not only is
it possible to fill a book with solid informaiton, but that more
will come. Fly tyers, if nothing else, are inventive blokes who
will sieze an idea and modify it in some way to make it their
own. I look for many "Paraloop" style flies to pop up
in publications for quite some time.
the highest complement one tyer can pay to another is to add the
other's patterns to their own working set of flies. In that respect,
I will be honoring Mr. Moutter many times this season and for
years to come. Thank you, Ian, for adding yet another arrow in
my quiver of fly tying tricks.