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Pocket Guide to Matching The Hatch Vs Matching The Hatch - Stillwater, River and Stream
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.