Chris Mann and Terry Griffiths - Beginner's Guide to Flytying

Merlin Unwin Books £9.99
ISBN 1873674392

It would be quite easy to be sniffy about the release of yet another beginner’s book on fly tying, particularly when the market is so overloaded that most of its rivals have been remaindered, but this one is certainly worth a look. For a start, it is cheap and I can’t think of many quality hardbacks that have come in at this price recently. The large format is well chosen and the colour illustrations are excellent, though for some reason, the cover makes a huge deal about the revolutionary nature of the artwork. The illustrations are clear, but not particularly remarkable examples of modern computer-generated art, so if you buy this book expecting to see something new and exciting, you are in for a disappointment.

What do get is probably the best novice’s book on fly tying that has appeared to date. After covering basic fly tying methods, tools and materials, the authors move on to give step by step instructions for tying a twelve different flies. The patterns are well chosen, incorporating most of the techniques that are needed to tie modern flies, and scattered throughout the book are helpful sections on “tricks of the trade” – hair stacking, head varnishing and so forth. Recommended.