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on 14 September 2011
I found this book helpful and useful and it is what many reservoir fly anglers have probably been waiting for - a book devoted entirely to stillwater fly dressings. Flies for other locations are not listed which makes it all the more comprehensive.

It includes both old and new patterns, traditional and contemporary. The selection is very wide-ranging. There is a fly for virtually every situation among the patterns included.
There are chapters on nymphs, wet flies, lures and fry patterns, dry flies and emergers, and finally a short one on terrestrials.

I liked the fact that the dressing menus are quite detailed: for example the author specifies whether the hackles should be a collar, throat or palmered one, which you don't always get. Together with the photographs everything is quite clear.

The chapters on what makes a fly attractive to the fish, and choosing a collection of flies, are both enlightening, and give food for thought.

As an appendix there is an article which was written by Dr Bell of Wrington. I have never seen anything by him before.

If you are looking for one book which covers most of the field this could well be it, and if you have already got books on fly dressings it makes a good supplement.
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on 2 July 2013
The book aims to present an overview of the major patterns used for UK still-water fly fishing. In this way, the books departs from previous British and Irish fly pattern books (C Jardine's Sotheby's guide to fly fishing, Headley's trout and salmon flies, O'Reily's trout and Salmon Flies, Malone's Irish Trout Flies) by focusing exclusively on the British still-water trout scene.

It follows a logical structure and presents the major patterns in the traditional design category of nymphs, dry, lures and wet flies. The flies are tied in consistent manner and are very well tied. The photographs of the flies are fine but much higher quality does exist in other printed publications. But the fly photos are still clear and informative.

The major problem with the book, in my opinion, and which I think the previous reviewer has identified, is that the book covers a lot of old ground which can be traced in previous books, especially John Roberts New Dictionary of Trout Flies and Bob Church series of fly pattern books. Most of the patterns the author lists are traditional patterns and these are located in the previously mentioned texts, amongst others. There are, of course, some new patterns listed, such as the Cruncher, the Blob, Fritz lures and Nomad. The book's protocol of listing and showing (photos) of original designs only means many of the popular variants of these patterns are not seen (although the books will make reference to possible variants). For example, a claret dabbler (p.113) is shown without pictures of the Golden olive and Green Dabblers which are used as often as the claret version. Indeed, the golden olive dabbler was the original dabbler. The issue is that the newcomer is left to wonder what "Golden Olive" shades looks like and will be forced towards another text for clarification. Another example is the Bumble series.

Generally, we do not gain a visualization and understanding of the major variants of these patterns which are currently very popular. In a way, many of these flies are concepts or designs (crunchers, dabblers, sedgehogs) which have spawned their own variants with sometimes subtle but important differences. As such, the author has overlooked a most contemporary feature of British still-water fly tying - the constant development of existing themes and patterns, especially through new materials and the influence of competition anglers. If you consult M O-Farrell's book you will see a different style altogether.

So the book is a fair synthesis of the British still-water pattern variety - with some new patterns. This therefore presents a very good introductory overview to a newcomer to the sport. If, however, you are an experienced fly tier who has been grounded in the fly tying literature, you may find this less informative and useful. Although it may be still be pleasing to own. This is the case for myself.
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on 12 September 2013
A good read as well as a reference book. Returning to fly-fishing, after a break of 41 years, I needed to re-learn. I have found this book helpful on tied-fly identification, with hints on their usage. I look forward to it's use.
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on 10 July 2014
A very informative book to add to my fly tying books.
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on 4 September 2015
A super up to date book.
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on 12 May 2011
Great book for a beginner to fly fishing and fly tying has given me an insite into fishing larger waters.
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on 13 March 2012
This book will be invaluable for reservoir trout anglers who want an up to date reference guide to the fly patterns in use today.

It includes the best of both the old established and successful new patterns; they are all clearly laid out and described in sufficient detail to turn out close reproductions.

If you don't tie your own flies there is still a lot of helpful information about each fly, when to use it, and how to fish it.

If you only wish to buy one reference guide to reservoir fly patterns, this should be the one.

I found it extremely helpful.
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on 17 January 2011
My father was on and on about this book coming out. He loves it. Need I say more?!
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on 27 April 2011
a very disapointing book that is just a revision of other past works with nothing new
not worth the read
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