Fly Fishing and Fly Tying Books that every fisherman should have. Part 1

This book has been my favourite for the past few years.   Within its covers, there is a wealth of intelligent observation, which he complements by analysing some of the unproven myths that many of us have generally accepted and passed onto each other over the years.   Unafraid of challenging head on established dogma, Wyatt is able to pepper his American(but he’s Canadian) style phraseology with original dry humour and wit.  I enjoy his forensic dismantling of fishing scenarios that I’ve also encountered and I’ve employed some of his tactics successfully.  Of particular interest is the rationale for design and use of the Deer Hair Emerger.  Good fly pictures, disappointed that many more are in Black and White.  A must have book.

You cannot consider yourself to be a serious tyer of flies without this book close to hand.  And in turning the pages, you quickly become aware of the limitations of your tying skills.  Expensive, undoubtedly, and some of its explanations are atypically American worded, so you have to re read them to fully understand, but the excellent step by step pictures on every  technique imaginable, – and there are more than you’d ever beleive existed.  This book provides you with the details of how to set about tying any kind of flies, for any kind of fishing destination in the world.  Should I ever be washed up on a Desert Island, then this is the book that I’d want, together with a huge chest of materials and tools, to be washed up on the shore beside me.  Enough content to keep you absorbed for years.

A fishing life we'd all aspire to

An almost romantic love of living alongside a Chalkstream he’s blessed with fishing, the subtext of which is an enviable, much sought after lifestyle.  An easy raconteur who’s accounts of everyday and special day encounters with his river, fish, and the characters that formed part of the fishing fortunate on this picturesque and famous river.  Maybe a book for the nostalgics, but delightfully littered in margins and headings with pencil drawings of flies and scenes of the chapter and month of the year. 

I doubt if there are many fly tyers who do not have this handy pocket sized book somewhere close to hand when they are tying.  In parts it is a little difficult to follow in the structure of its layout.  Whilst highly informative, whenever I refer back to it, I always find myself wishing that  that some of the photographs and illustrations had been better and larger, there is an amateur feel to them, but I think this was probably dictated by publishing costs, and also prevented by its chosen format.  It is a text book that steers the populist side of entomology.   Possibly ‘the’ reference source for fly identification prior to fly tying in the UK, not always easy to find and follow individual stages of fly life, but I wouldn’t be without it even if the spine of it has been cracking and pages coming loose since I first purchased it.   

This book can destroy your sanity. It should be read only if you’re absolutely satisfied with living in the UK doing your everyday fishing.   To the less secure, this book will have you reaching for luggage bags and a variety of rods whilst googling the places he fishes.  A successful writer and film producter who has too much talent to call upon, evidenced here as an accomplished writer able to evoke a sense of his younger days with some excellent fishing destinations.   His ability to use the English language in such a subtle and yet powerful way is a master class of communication.  If you have only one book token, – this is the book.

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