The author of this English hard-jacketed book is an internationally acclaimed fly-tying exponent and Fishing Master whose flies are included in the collections stored at The Flyfishers’ Club in London and in the Masters Fly Collection at the Catskill Museum in the USA. Additionally, his previous book entitled The Feather Bender’s Flytying Techniques and a number of his other writings have been bestsellers throughout Europe and the USA.
This most recent effort is primarily aimed at the fly-tying beginner for whom it should be a real treat – nothing pertaining to the art of tying has been overlooked, and the knowledge is delivered in a most practical and comprehensive style. The well-laid-out, informative pages, accompanied by excellent images, contain highly valued instructions for even the more experienced professional and hobbyist fly-tiers.
The sincerity of the author in sharing his passion is further enhanced by the elevation of the information to a new level, with the book being equipped with QR codes, which instantly link the reader to a YouTube channel where a clear video and audio presentation reinforces the descriptions of all the fly-tying contained within the book. Clear guidance and instruction regarding tools and materials required and the necessary techniques are replicated and complementary in these excellent videos; they should be referred to in combination with the reading of the book. Consequently, undertaking the craft of tying flies becomes a whole lot simpler with utilisation of the two media offerings; a comment box provides the online follower with the additional option to ask questions and seek advice from the author.
The selection of hook size, shape and weight is also covered, with mention made of the importance of tying flies in the correct proportion, keeping them lifelike and attractive to fish; in gaining experience, the enthusiast should be able to repeatedly duplicate the correct size and shape of the chosen fly. Some patterns are encouraged to be beneath the water surface while others float seemingly half drowned or upon the surface.
Up for discussion and description are 12 recognised international trout flies, which New Zealand fishers will be familiar with, and should the feather and fur requirements mentioned remain foreign to this country, we have alternatives which will compensate successfully.
The author’s delivery is meticulous in detail; the layout is orderly and impeccable, providing a clear format for beginners in this colourful and interesting hobby. The introductory pages provide a brief glossary of fly-tying jargon, after which, readers are advised on what tools to purchase and the techniques required to master and create fishable and attractive-looking flies. The 12 trout flies under scrutiny are dealt with individually – each in their own short chapter. The book concludes with more useful information on the subject and a brief index.
It’s refreshing that the text accompanying the report is in easy-to-read print, which is helpful for both reference and reader. However, the ‘standout impact’ of the book has to be the liberal quality and quantity of helpful stunning images; there are photographs on all pages and not a poor reproduction among them – I’ve yet to see a book with clearer visual support. The author’s competence with a camera is proudly on display, demonstrating 27 years as a professional photographer.
Combined with Merlin Unwin’s presentation and publication, the result is a splendid DIY book on the art of tying fishing flies. New Zealand fishers and anyone interested in this fascinating pastime would be more than happy to have it on their library shelf.
By Barry Ord Clarke
Published by Merlin Unwin Books, 128 pages
More info www.nationwidebooks.co.nz