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4.8 out of 5 stars129
4.8 out of 5 stars
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on 25 February 2012
I couldn't make up my mind whether to buy this book, "Pocket Guide to Matching The Hatch" by Peter Lapsley and Cyril Bennett, or the larger book by Pat O Reilly entitled "Matching the Hatch-Stillwater, River and Stream". In the end I bought both. Since I thought other fishermen might have the same choice to make I'm making a comparison of the 2. I spent a lot of time over the last number of years trying to identify flies and the artificial fly patterns to match them with some successes but a lot more failures. The Pocket Guide gets straight down to business with pictures of the flies and a picture of the pattern side by side along with the times of year to expect them to hatch and a map of the UK and Ireland to show the locations where they hatch. Even better, there's a double page with a chart which shows the flies by month, the patterns to use and the page number of the book on which you can find the information including pictures of the fly and the pattern. This is the kind of book that you'd like to have with you on the bank when you're fishing. It is a nice size for putting in a bag or large pocket but unfortunately it's not laminated.

There's also some information on the life cycle of flies which is useful, but the book concentrates more on matching the hatch. In comparison Pat O Reilly's book goes into much more detail about identifying flies by giving information about their life-cycle, explaining what to look for on a fly in order to classify it and points out that matching the class, of fly, can be as useful as identifying the name of the fly since fish look for certain outline features rather than an exact match. This book also shows pictures of flies and matching patterns, as well as fly-tying details if you tie your own flies, but it's more a book to read at home and if you study it well it does help to catch fish. The book gives a list of 7 flies that should catch fish for the whole season and another 12 that are useful to have. In the past I bought flies that local fishermen recommended and while some of these were good a lot were not. This book narrows down the choice from hundreds or thousands to 19 that work all season.

So which is the better book?. I would say that they compliment each other rather than cover the same information, although there is of course some cross over. I would recommend that both should be got. However if you only wanted to buy one, the choice would depend on the type of person you are. If you just want a quick fix to get catching fish then the pocket book is probably the best choice. If you are the kind of person who likes to read and re-read a book until you get it into your head the Pat O Reilly book gives more information on identifying the fly class even when you can't identify the particular fly and this would be your best choice.

I hope that if you're reading this review it helps you make your decision. Tight lines.
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on 12 May 2010
I am relatively new to fly fishing, battling with challenging techniques, everything from casting that little bit of fluff and feathers to actually tying my own flies. I am pretty much on top of this side of things now, reading the water and knowing what fly to use on any given situation has however completely eluded me.

Many books, magazines and online articles later I am still not much wiser. A nugget here and a gem there perhaps but that's about it. That was until I discovered 'Pocket Guide to Matching the Hatch'. What a revelation! This compact little book contains just about all the info most of us would ever need clearly laid out with illustrations of the life cycle of each insect pus the patterns of the flies that represent it. The material is in chronological order working through the season clearly showing flies that work best on running or still water thus leaving little to doubt.

I dare say there are a number of seasoned anglers who feel they are above all this. However, judging from some of the vague, misleading and ill informed advice I have received at the water's edge I think perhaps they might like to reconsider. Personally I cannot recommend it highly enough, I wouldn't go out without it and for the price, it's an absolute no brainer!
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on 16 April 2010
This is an outstanding little reference book for those who find it difficult 'matching the hatch' to the particular artificial. The fact that it shows picture of all the corresponding flies to the artificial is a simple but brilliant idea. There is also a lot of additional useful information. I suddenly find I don't need all the varieties I have and carry a much smaller flybox! Success to date 100%! Strongly recommended....
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on 26 April 2010
This guide is ideal for anglers having little or no knowledge of the more important insects and flies living near to the water. It is produced in a concise and straight forward way in a pocket sized guide. Natural flies are identified and expected times of the year for their appearance are shown as well as a recommended artificial match.
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on 6 November 2010
Brilliant. Tells you all you need to know unless you are a professor of entomology or your name is Skues. Small enough to fit in the pocket to take to the water. The description of rises is very useful. Describes the fly, habitats and seasons and suggests an imitation. No padding, no waffle, no problem. For beginners and intermediates, it is indispensible - unless you like to chuck and chance it!
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on 4 November 2010
Excellent pocket book providing enough information to enable the right fly to be selected for the month of the year, and for the part of the country you are fishing in. Good colour pages identifying the nymph, dun and spinner stage and also the fly the closely resembling each stage of development. This is a must.
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on 11 December 2010
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on 2 March 2011
This little book is great to slip in your pocket when going fly fishing either on the river or a still water. It has clear pictures of the actual fly and the artificial fly. The rings make it easy to use even when the hands are cold. Very useful for the novice fly fisher or as a teaching aid for adults or children. Very happy with it.
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on 14 February 2014
I am new to fishing, driven by my nine year old grandson's desire to learn to fish and for me, his pal, to join him. I have acquired a selection of rods, reels and other fishing gear from fishermen who have also given me advice, and tackle shops, and have read many books on the topic.

I have the opportunity to fly fish with my grandson for a week on a Yorkshire Dales river during the month of February as my first 'real' attempt at the sport. This is outside the trout season so we will be fishing for grayling.

Trying to understand what flies are needed for river fishing in February was becoming a complex task. On-line advice was available from trout farms on what flies to use when fishing their managed ponds for reared trout, and books concentrate on trout with little advice on out of season fishing other than a short mention of grayling fishing in the autumn – no help to a novice wanting to fish in February.

Matching the Hatch Pocket Guide resolved all of my problems. It has a chart of what species of insect are about each month of the year, as well as notes on how flies are made and fished to mimic these insects. It also has double page spreads showing the actual insect and the flies that represent it at each stage of its hatching. It gave me all the information to source the insects abundant in February on rivers – midges and shrimp - there are not many insects at this time of year, and the various stages of their hatching as they rise to the surface.

As a newcomer, the book has shown me the correct flies to use for the time of year, and avoided my uninformed efforts to use inappropriate flies that are out of season and thus not recognized as suitable food by the fish. I now have flies that represent the insects that are about in February and I am ready to fish!

Successful or not, at least my first attempt at fishing will be with the correct flies giving the best chance to land a fish or two. Without this book, I would not have had any information on selection of fly from the thousands that are discussed in books, on-line articles and magazines. The flies I was considering using, although attractive, were totally unsuitable

Highly recommended as a very usable and informative book, well presented and very easy to understand and use.
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on 29 September 2010
This is a great book, although not pocket sized as advertised. It provided valuable information of where and when specific flies are to hatch whether they be on still waters or rivers, and what alternatives to use from your fly selection. I have learnt so much from this book and consider myself more able to identify what is on or in the water, as previously I was finding it difficult to determine what the trout were actually feeding on. This has opened up my fishing skills tremendously. Buy it you will not be dissapointed at the price.
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