HELP - Fly Tying Reference Books [Archive] - Fly Fishing Forum

: HELP - Fly Tying Reference Books

02-01-2002, 08:12 PM
As a follow up to several recent posts, the last one I've followed is by " Quentin" asking for help on tying flies.
What are your reference &/or pattern books for tying SW/Bass flies?
How would you rate them? (without being overly scientific)

Rating Scale
1 = OK, but not a lot of patterns or instructions
5 = Excellent, lots of patterns, great detailed instructions, lots of sequenced pictures etc.

My books are limited when it comes to SW/Bass patterns:

1- Saltwater Fly Patterns - Revised edition - Lefty Kreh ISBN #1-55821-337-6 (pbk.)
Rating = 4

2- Stripers on the Fly - Lou Tabory - ISBN # 1-55821-639-1
rating = 2

3- Inshore Fly Fishing - Lou Tabory - ISBN # 1-55821-158-6
rating = 2

I am not including general reference books like The Fly Tiers Benchside Reference - Leeson & Schollmeyer simply because it is not specific to SW patterns

Bob Pink
02-01-2002, 09:59 PM

Veverka's book "Innovative Saltwater Flies" is beautifully illustrated but weak on specific instructions. I'd give it a 3.5

"PopFlyes " by Bob Popovics is excellent for the patterns he favors and seems to set a new standard for thorough instructions. 4.5

I'v also got a couple of Gartsides' books which are 'inexpensively' produced ( no glossies ) but have tons of variations on some of the classics. 2.5

02-01-2002, 10:30 PM
I have each of the books mentioned in the above threads as well as both Michell striper books and Roberts on pattern. There ok but mostly tying is not the primary purpose. Alan Caolo has a good sight fishing striper book and does cover some fly tying as does Curcione's saltwater book... so rating them somewhere in the middle. The Three other books that I would rate would be a 3.5 for "Saltwater flies: over 700 of the Best" by Deke Meyer. and sraight 5's for "A perfect Fish, illusions in Fly Tying" by Ken Abrames and Dick Brown's " Bonrfish Fly Patterns". Laying out closeup picture with material, directions, fishing techniques, locations, and finally variations with location combinations goes to Dick Brown.. If you have not seen that book you should and when you do you will wish that other books for other species had the same presentation. Abrames has great art work and is very Philosophical and a real pleasure. I agree with Bob on Veverkas book. lovely book, can stop looking though it but there are some errors and missed steps in the instructions.

02-02-2002, 07:22 AM
I just use Lefty's(4), Veverka's (5) (my favorite) and a few mass production books.

One book I continue to find more & more valuable is George Roberts' , " A Fly-Fishers Guide to Saltwater Naturals and Their Imitations"
- I'd rate this a 5 as a refernce book to know as much as possible form one source on what the bait is , where & when.
- Several successful, traditional patterns, great plates of the bait & the flies.

02-02-2002, 07:53 AM
Ooooh, great topic. Timely too!

I made a wish list of books based on previous threads. I hadn't included "Pop Fleyes" because I thought it would be too advanced for me, but after seeing Grego's recommendation and reading the reviews above I think I'll have to pick it up. I also think I'll bump "A Perfect Fish: Illusions in Fly Tying" right to the top of my list.

Thanks guys!

02-02-2002, 10:28 AM
Eric Leiser's "The Book of Fly Patterns" is a very good how to book, but of course it doesn't have any of the new patterns, since 1987. but the book covers both fresh water, and saltwater. It list quite a few patterns, how to tye them, a list of materials that were available back then.He pushes his Black Angus streamer fly. I would rate the book about a 3.5, but materials are outdated.:)

Dble Haul
02-02-2002, 12:15 PM
The previously mentioned books are all very good. I can add Umpqua's book of 1500 patterns and rate it about a 3 because it has all fly types in there broken down by section, but the salt section is very good. There aren't any tying instructions, but the pictures are in color and the pattern recipes are included.

I'll also mention a book by Frank Wentink called "Saltwater Flytying". It doesn't have a wide variety of patterns, but it does describe in detail the different pattern types (deceivers, poppers, sand eels, blondes, etc.) and how to expand on them and make new patterns. The pictures are black and white, but each section provides a bit of history of the fly type and is enjoyable. I'd give it about a 3.5.

02-03-2002, 12:26 AM
It used to be that Popovics and Abrames represented the two poles in tying, Popovics the high-tech/newest materials/match the hatch perfectionist and Abrames the all- natural/impressionist/philosopher. Both their books, BobPop's "Pop Fleyes" and Abrames'"A Perfect Fish," rate fives with me So does George Roberts' "Saltwater Naturals." Good science and good plates of what it is we're trying to imitate. Veverka is great for inspiration, and Lefty and Wentink are encyclopedic. Those last three are in the 3.5 to 4 range.

Interestingly, Popovics and Abrames apparently have had a meeting of the minds recently, and Popovics is buying in to Abrames' color blending philosphy. The discussion is over on the mid-atlantic board, Stripers Online, where I hang out when I switch to the dark side for plugmaking info. Look here: