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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
on 3 February 2010
As an angler for over fifty years and a fly fisher for over thirty years, I had often caught fish on flies given to me by friends from northern climbs. The secret to their success is their sparsity, but they look difficult to tie! This book dispells any thoughts of complexity, laid out in full colour with accompanying instructions from Mike, it makes it soooo easy to tie these northern gems. A great book, well worth the money. A lifetimes reference on the subject. Mike Harding should write a sequel!
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on 25 December 2009
This is a great book, describing many of the spider patterns (and how to tie them, and how to fish them) that are so successful on the Northern spate rivers. A full colour plate of each fly with tying materials and information about the flies. It's spiral binding makes it easy to open and place by your fly tying bench without damaging the pages.
Essential reference book for anyone wanting to tie or know more about these intriguing patterns which no-one really knows exactly what they represent in nature......but does this matter as they work so well uuup north.
Not for Southern Jessies :-)
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on 1 January 2010
A quirky little book from a man who is something of a character. Well printed, sadly inevitably in China, the ring bound format is very useful, and the presentation of each fly type is excellent. For a book whose main content is descriptions of traditional north country fishing flies, it contains enough to make it very readable to any angler, while being a prime source of reference.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 7 July 2010
Although the flies were obviously meant to catch trout and grayling, they are also good to catch warm water fishes. I live in central Brazil and fish mostly in warm water lakes and if you have a little bit of patience to learn the proper presentation and strip methods, they are killer flies here too. About the book itself, the quality of photography is superb, with nice, big, clear and crispy images of each finished fly which leaves nothing out... you know exactly what the fly must look when it is done. On the other hand, the book DOES NOT bring instructions for each and every pattern, such as in Gathercole books, but it brings a fairly detailed tying description for each of the four groups of flies described in the book... since there are only material changes from pattern to pattern within each group, I think it was a wise decision by the author. As a plus, the text is a very good and light reading, quite hilarious at times... a pretty rare thing in fly tying books (check out Charlie Craven's as another good reference to the humorous topic). The overall impression is of a very useful and readable fly tying book... perhaps one of the best I have read so far. Highly recommended... no mistake.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 20 February 2010
I've been out of touch with fly fishing for a few years now, and while doing a refresh of my fly boxes reflected on my preferred method being the use of simple spider patterns in small sizes. Imagine my surprise to find this book, and written by the very funny stand-up I saw in the late 70's.
My previous wet-fly patterns were based on the Roger Fogg book 'The Art of Fishing the Wet Fly' which, while a good read, left a bit to be desired regarding the actual appearance of the patterns quoted. No such problem with this book. It shows you in closeup detail exactly the make-up and proportions of the pattern, right down to the most appropriate hook to use.
There are so many fly patterns included (144) that you will need to pick and choose which one's are the best for you (some patterns are similar), otherwise you will need a lot more fly boxes! Mike's tips on fishing the patterns is also useful and straight to the point.
The general format and presentation is a joy to use, and as such I've no hesitation in highly recommending this book.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on 23 December 2009
An excellent book for North Country River flies.
Suoerb illustrations and very easy to follow instructions. A must for any North of England Fly angler
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 2 January 2010
this was bought as a Christmas present for my husband. He just loved the book and was delighted to receive it as a Christmas present. He'd wanted this book for some time and he says it is absolutely excellent. Delivery of this product was really good.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 2 February 2010
This was purchased as a present for Mr Newton and he is highly delighted with the book. The content is good and the author writes in a very interesting and entertaining mode. Thoroughly recommended as a good book
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on 11 March 2010
I bought this book with some reservations, the author is from Lancashire! as every Yorkshireman knows we invented Cricket and North Country Spider Patterns.
Joking aside Mike Harding has created an excellent modern book on the subject. It is simple and to the point and as it is wiro bound, the pages stay open for fly tying sessions.
Best fly dressing book in a long time and i believe the author has moved to Yorkshire so I will forgive him for being born wrong side of the pennines!
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on 3 July 2012
It's great to find a fly tying book that gets back to basics, too many fly tying books concentrate on stocked rainbow trout flies. These spider patterns are simple to ty and are deadly fish catches for all types of fly fishing. Whether it be brown trout, sea trout, salmon, UK Bass, mullet and they will also work on rainbows if that's your cup of tea. Simple sparse patterns usually work best.

The book is a great read and very well put together.
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