Anglers have been tying funny-looking attractant stuff on fish-hooking devices for thousands of years and more books have been written about tying flies than any other type of fishing technique.
From hooking abundant panfish to trophies weighing hundreds of pounds, getting the right head, body and tail on a hook shank has been a fascination that has generated fun for anglers of all ages through the ages.
Earlier this year two books on fly fishing were published; both bring together a host of fly fishers and their tackle tips and tricks of interest and good use to those at all levels of angling skill – novice to longtime veteran fly flinger.
Barron’s Educational Series released in March Tony Lolli’s “Fly Patterns by Fishing Guides” that is a good read at home or on the water. Lolli, with nearly 50 years devoted to fly fishing, writing, teaching and guiding, has put together a masterful collection of expert guides from around the world who have successfully used patterns to up their catch count and trophy take.
The text, with a hidden spiral binding, illustrates 200 flies that really work on freshwater and saltwater fishing forays. Each guide/contributor offers a brief explanation of the fly’s use on the water, materials needed to tie the particular fly and how-to, numbered stages of the tie illustrated in a photo of the fly.
From a Foam Wasp that Paul Van Den Driesche ties in the Netherlands to a Kenji Shrimp Fly that Kenji Sekiguchi uses in Java, unusual but functional fly patterns abound.
While many of these guides live and fish in distant places such as British Columbia, Scandanavia, and other regions of Europe, many of the ties – from midges to extreme squids – look good for outings on Cattaraugus Creek, Eighteen Mile Creek or any other inland or feeder stream where flies, bug, grubs, minnows, leeches and crayfish serve as fish forage.
The “Basic Tools” section at the start and the “Starting and Finishing Techniques” sequences in this book provide useful tips and time-saving tricks for fishing the hook in the vise, attaching thread, doing a whip finish, forming a head, dubbing, looping on wings and attaching collar hackle.
Lolli wisely ends with the collar and leaves the rest of the body and tail options to the imagination and creativity of the reader. That section of stuff along the hook shank has been the business of anglers from ancient to the most modern times while on fresh or salt water.
Look for this latest Tony Lolli text at area book stores, Amazon or barronseduc.com under “sports.”
Chris Santella, best known for his “Fifty Places” series, has brought together 25 ardent fly anglers who offer much information about why and how they go about fly fishing in a newly released book, “Why I Fly Fish.”
Best known among contributors has to be Bernard “Lefty” Kreh, outdoors writer, photographer and world traveling fly angler for more than a half century. Other names better known away from a trout stream include Donald Trump Jr. and Henry “Fonzie” Winkler. Both offer useful fishing insights for newbie and seasoned fly anglers.
Area outdoors TV viewers may recall Canadian fishing show host Red Fisher using the aphorism “God does not subtract from the allotted span of men’s lives the hours spent in fishing.” Santella introduces his book with the quote attributed to Mohammed and the philosopher Piscius to help to explain the appeal of fishing in general and fly fishing for devoted anglers in love with the sport and willing to share their insights.
Santella does that well in his telling of how fishing has shaped the lives of prominent, devoted fly anglers. Along with fly fishing the streams for trout, many of the bios focus on fishing for bass, pike and other fish.
Golfer Nick Price recalls all holiday trips of his youth spent fishing with his dad and looks forward to worldwide fishing once he hangs up his clubs. Winkler, born in New York and an actor/entertainer in Los Angeles, writes, “My soul lives in Montana, where I fish.” When it comes to fly-fishing highs, he concludes, “I seem to have more of those magical moments in Montana than anywhere else.”
Each contributor offers places and good advice for the reader to learn about and enjoy in the future. “Why I Fly Fish” is available at stcbooks.com.