Published Feb 1. 1996 - 26 years ago
Updated or edited Aug 4. 2020

Book review: Tube Flies - A Tying, Fishing & Historical Guide

Mark Mandell & Les Johnson
Frank Amato Publications, Inc., Portland, OR
Publishing year: 
95 pages, softbound or hardbound, illustrated, color
Reviewed by: 

The authors have added immeasurably to the fly tier's repertoire with this wonderful volume dedicated to the tube fly. Here in one slim volume is collected a brief history and a full range of applications regarding tube flies for the first time. For the tier wanting to try tying tube flies there are well written and beautifully photographed tying sequences. For the beginner tube fly tier there are well-documented sections on tools, equipment, and materials. For the innovative fly tier there are thought provoking ideas on the use of both traditional materials and modern materials. For everyone there is a full range of tube fly applications. Tube fly patterns and applications for panfish to billfish and every game fish in-between.

There are basic tying instructions, including photographic illustrations, for Atlantic salmon tube flies, Streamer tube flies, Slider tube flies, and Popper tube flies. There are sections on using foam, plastic, and balsa for popper and slider bodies. Information is also included on converting traditional classic Atlantic salmon and Streamers to tube flies. A list of sources for the materials and tools used in tying tube flies is also included. This wealth of information will allow every tier to get a successful start in tube fly tying.

The authors have also brought the currently best tube fly tiers to the attention of the whole fly tying community. More importantly, the authors have brought the collective wisdom, knowledge; skills of these tube-fly fly tiers to the forefront.

One of the really pleasant aspects and strong points of the book are the photographs done by Jim Schollmeyer. Jim clearly understands the color photographic medium as well as the color-printing medium used to convert photographs to printed illustrations. Each photograph is clear, focused, well lighted, and pleasing to look at. The high quality of the photography even overcomes the use of a coated paper stock, which is really to glare producing for use at the tying table.

Overall, this is a book of high enough quality to justify the higher cost of the hardbound edition, and that has a place in every fly tier's library.


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