Shop now Shop now Shop now  Up to 50% Off Fashion  Shop all Amazon Fashion Cloud Drive Photos Shop now Learn More Shop now Shop now Shop Fire Shop Kindle Listen with Prime Shop now Shop now
Customer Review

2 of 5 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Very poor, 12 Feb. 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Year of the Spider (Kindle Edition)
Personally I did not enjoy this book, I found the writing to be poor and repetitive. I had bought the book hoping to learn something new of the flies and technique of spider fishing. There was no edifying information on either aspect that I found within the book, instead it was a dreary account of a years fishing by a seemingly novice angler. Not even the fishing was well described, nor did it inspire me to get out on the river.
The book comes with photographs of the flies used but they are poorly tied and not true to the spider style in terms of hackle/body/hook proportions. Not only that, the images of the flies and the river fished that illustrate the book were poorly shot and edited. While the concept was interesting, the actuality was far from that - a real shame as the subject is well deserving of a good book.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No

[Add comment]
Post a comment
To insert a product link use the format: [[ASIN:ASIN product-title]] (What's this?)
Amazon will display this name with all your submissions, including reviews and discussion posts. (Learn more)
This badge will be assigned to you and will appear along with your name.
There was an error. Please try again.
Please see the full guidelines ">here.

Official Comment

As a representative of this product you can post one Official Comment on this review. It will appear immediately below the review wherever it is displayed.   Learn more
The following name and badge will be shown with this comment:
 (edit name)
After clicking on the Post button you will be asked to create your public name, which will be shown with all your contributions.

Is this your product?

If you are the author, artist, manufacturer or an official representative of this product, you can post an Official Comment on this review. It will appear immediately below the review wherever it is displayed.  Learn more
Otherwise, you can still post a regular comment on this review.

Is this your product?

If you are the author, artist, manufacturer or an official representative of this product, you can post an Official Comment on this review. It will appear immediately below the review wherever it is displayed.   Learn more
System timed out

We were unable to verify whether you represent the product. Please try again later, or retry now. Otherwise you can post a regular comment.

Since you previously posted an Official Comment, this comment will appear in the comment section below. You also have the option to edit your Official Comment.   Learn more
The maximum number of Official Comments have been posted. This comment will appear in the comment section below.   Learn more
Prompts for sign-in


Track comments by e-mail
Tracked by 1 customer

Sort: Oldest first | Newest first
Showing 1-1 of 1 posts in this discussion
Initial post: 27 Jan 2015 04:56:40 GMT
Last edited by the author on 18 Mar 2015 00:48:35 GMT
"IF" poses as an expert on fly fishing forums where he originally attacked Year of the Spider posting under the name Caddisfan. He is from Aberdeen and I made him angry by contradicting him and attributing his bad mood to the weather in that part of the world. I also made a joke about the Scottish diet to which he took great offence. "IF" is an anonymous Amazon account created to exact revenge. SharkeyP and Kris are his virtual gang. Their motive is perhaps a rage against the impotence that life has visited upon them, a sense of mischief, or maybe just the urge to break things that all little boys have, so don't think too badly of them.

To the substance of the review.
North Country spiders are soft-hackled flies. The "style" of their tying has changed since the 19th Century when TE Pritt wrote Yorkshire Trout Flies and continues to evolve. The modern "style" is for very thin bodies with a sparse hackle, but this was not so in Pritt's day. Back then, hooks were eyeless, curved wire, with the line incorporated directly into the fly - being laid along the shank and tied in from the start. Look at the images in Yorkshire Trout Flies and you will see the line is already attached to the flies. That line would be about the same thickness as the wire used to make the hook, effectively doubling its diameter. Double the diameter and you triple the circumference. This means that in Pritt's day, before the advent of eyed hooks, there would be three times as much thread making up the body of the fly.

Looking again at the original paintings in Yorkshire Trout Flies, it also becomes apparent that the hackle was far heavier than in modern spiders. And yet they caught fish in numbers. Whether the modern spider is more effective than its fatter, fluffier ancestor is a question that has no answer (would a more modern tying have drawn the same fish?). Describing the flies in Year of the Spider as "not being true to the spider style" in terms of body/hackle proportions therefore makes no sense. There is no such thing as "true spider style".

Writing that the flies in Year of the Spider are poorly tied is equally empty of meaning. Perhaps they are not thin or sparse enough for modern tastes, but again, that is more about style than substance. They are effective - as evidenced by the images of the fish contained in the book caught by the very flies that are "poorly tied". Even if they were poorly tied, would that not be good news for the reader? Because if a poorly-tied fly can fool such fantastic trout, grayling and chub, then even the most inept tier has cause for optimism.

As for the writing and photography being "poor"; these are matters of opinion. I could argue that in my opinion they are wonderful, and the debate cannot realistically go any further.

The technique of spider fishing? Cast the fly across the current, let it come around and hang and then perhaps let out a little more line. If at any time during this process a bend should suddenly appear in your fishing rod, well, there you are...

To conclude; there is a tendency in some quarters to present fly fishing as an inaccessible and complicated sport only available to an elite few, allowing "experts" to bask in their imagined superiority and denounce other anglers as "novices".

It is a recasting of the Emperor's New Clothes.

Pay no attention to such people and enjoy your fishing. It is the only sensible response.
‹ Previous 1 Next ›

Review Details



Top Reviewer Ranking: 7,906,152