Published May 3. 2014 - 9 years ago
Updated or edited Sep 13. 2015

Book review: A World of Pike Flies

A Remarkable Gathering Of Streamers, Dreamers, Feathers, Fur, Colour And Pike.

Truly a remarkable gathering of pike flies, and another very personal view on pike fishing and pike fly tying from Dutch pike angler and artist Ad Swier.

Ad Swier
Westerlaan Publishers. Lichtenvoorde, Holland.
Publishing year: 
Reviewed by: 

In the European pike fly fishing community Dutch Ad Swier is a well known profile, probably best known for his beautiful art, often depicting the toothy predator which this book is about, but also for his writing and engaging in the community, in shows and activities around fly-fishing for pike.
For this reason it's no surprise that he has managed to gather an impressing array of pike fly tyers and have had them submit pike fly patterns and stories for a book such as this.
He has written about pike fly-fishing before in the form of the 2006 book Passion for Pike, which might be somewhat unorthodox, but never the less is an excellent book on the subject.

The current title is not quite as unorthodox even though Swier does have his ways with words and the English language, and throughout the book engages in conversation with himself and a fictional character called Critical Man, whose role amongst other things is to oppose Swier's elitist fly-only stance. Swier also refers to the pike as Mike (the Pike), and has his own very special and very entertaining way of conveying his messages.

But Swier hasn't written all the text in the book. His contribution is more like a fourth and the rest has been contributed by the people who have submitted patterns. Each fly tyer has sent one or several flies to the Netherlands and added some text telling the story and the specifics about the flies. These pattern articles form the major part of the book, and is in essence what it's about.
The content is mixed and if I should express one criticism, it's the way it's mixed. The single fly patterns and the tyer's text is well isolated and illustrated with large and excellent photos, but Swier's text intertwines with the patterns in such a way that I at least lost track a couple of times after having read the author's pitch for the next section, then leafing through several pages with patterns before that section actually started. The flow could have been better.

But that is a small price to pay for the great content. You will get just about any type of pike pattern you can imagine and some which you might have a hard time imagining. There are flies from a large number of well known as well as not so well known pike fly tyers, and the variation and creativity is immense. You will recognize a lot of thwe names from books, magazine articles, videos and fly tying shows and you will even find a number of tyers who have been featured on The Global FlyFisher.

If you are at all into pike fly fishing and tying flies for Mike the Pike, this is a must have title, and a great addition to the pike angler's library. And you will be well entertained as you read your way through Ad Swier's great text and pages up and pages down of well tied and innovative and imaginative pike flies.

If you are at all into pike fly fishing and tying flies for Mike the Pike, this is a must have title


Martin, I was about ...

Martin, I was about to write a review for this book a few weeks ago and then noticed that yours was already in the pipeline. Although I find the book to be quite refreshing with Ad's stream of consciousness writing, I do have one criticism....even if the flies don't have tying recipes, it would be nice to at least have a picture of all those mentioned so that the reader could at least get some visual cues on how to construct them. This lack of consistency was a bit frustrating.

Thanks for the review

Hi, So where can ...


So where can one get a copy of Ad Swier's book? I looked on and and couldn't find it. Googling it didn't turn up much either.

Best regards,


Log in or register to pre-fill name on comments, add videos, user pictures and more.
Read more about why you should register.

Since you got this far …

The GFF money box

… I have a small favor to ask.

Long story short

Support the Global FlyFisher through several different channels, including PayPal.

Long story longer

The Global FlyFisher has been online since the mid-90's and has been free to access for everybody since day one – and will stay free for as long as I run it.
But that doesn't mean that it's free to run.
It costs money to drive a large site like this.

See more details about what you can do to help in this blog post.