Published Feb 27. 2012 - 9 years ago
Updated or edited Sep 13. 2015

Book review: Atlantic Salmon Flies of Nova Scotia

A collection of Atlantic Salmon flies and a tribute to those that tie them

You have to love this kind of book! Published by a local enthusiast and full of patterns that are used locally. Nothing any large publisher would probably touch, but thanks to Damian Welsh and a self-publishing project the book is available to the whole world as print-on-demand.

Self published (Blurb)
Publishing year: 
Damian Lee Welsh
Reviewed by: 

I have said this before in connection with other books: I wish there were more books like this! When I say that, it's typically because we're talking something very exotic, something niche, something different, something admirable or something else that characterizes a book, which has been published in spite of economic motivation, market mechanisms or even common sense.
Such a book is Damien Welsh' book about the flies of Nova Scotia.

Exotic? Check! Nova Scotia has to be called a fringe fly fishing destination for most of us.
Niche? Check! Not just Nova Scotia, but flies from Nova Scotia.
Different? Well not in structure or concept. Fly patterns and and portraits of tiers have been seen before.
Admirable? Check! You have to admire a book that's been born as the love child of an enthusiastic fly angler and fly tier.
In spite of economic motivation, market mechanisms and common sense? Check, check and double check! No one in their right mind would do this and expect books to flow out in hundreds and money to pour in in bucket loads!

Damien Welsh has collected a row of flies from his local area, written a nice text about the flies and done some research on the originators, getting his hands on photos and facts. He has shot pictures of each fly, and lists materials and the history of the pattern.
Some of the flies are well known and not local to Nova Scotia, like the Blue Charm and the Green Highlander. There are also flies with a local attachment like the Cosseboom Special, which was in fact originated on Rhode Island, but was first fished on Nova Scotia's Margaree River in the beginning of the last century.
And there are of course original, local patterns originated and used by Nova Scotia salmon fishers.
All'n'all a great book with great stories about some great flies.

I can certainly put my fingers on a technical slip or two and it's also quite obvious that it's "home made", but the concept and the content - and the whole project. What's not to like?

I will have to shortly cover the flaws. I don't consider them grave, but they do bother my graphic eye, and listing them might help other people getting their own books even better.
Font choice: The book has too many font faces. Fancy fonts are... fancy. I prefer classic book fonts.
Font sizes. The font sizes change all over the place - even on the same page and in the same section. I like consistent and conservative.
Image scaling and cropping: A number of images are stretched to fill an image frame. The result is people squashed very flat.
And speaking of photos... the flies are shown lying flat on a uniform surface in an oval cutout. I would have liked to see a more creative presentation of the flies.

But as I said: I wish there were more books like this! I love it when people throw money and energy after a passion to be able to share it with the rest of us. I add some extra bonus for the effort and offer this book a 5 - excellent - on our review scale. Some people might consider it average or even below... but I really like it.


Damian is a helluva ...

Damian is a helluva helpful guy too. As a new tier he offered guidance to me on a few occasions. Having met a few of the local tiers online, I am anxious to get this book...


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