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Thread: Shrimp & Spey Flies for Salmon & Steelhead Reply to Thread
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Topic Review (Newest First)
11-05-2002 12:39 AM
flytyer Sean,

I have both books. I bought the Mann book shortly after is was available in the U.S. earlier this year. I find the Man book to be a very useful volume because of the inclusion of the Irish Shrimp style, grub style, and Ally's Shrimps flies. These fly styles are not well known here in the U.S. or Canada; however, they are very effective fly styles.

The Ally's Shrimps especially for both summer and winter work. Granted they are not the easiest flies to tie, but they are a lot easier than a full-dressed fly or a G'P. And they are very effective and can be tied from as large as you wish to as small as is practical for steelhead or atlantic salmon.

The Irish Shrimp style is very effective during summer/fall and late spring. They can be tied in rather small sizes and have the three-dimensional movement and sillouette of all good fishing flies. They have what Alec Jackson calls the illussion of bulk when in the water.

Yes, the Mann book does not have actual photographs of the flies, and it does not have tying directions or fishing instructions for them either; however, it does provide the history of the styles and provides the pattern recipes as well. For a person who has learned how to tie body veilings, tail hackles, tented jugle cock wings, spey hackles, braonze mallard, etc. it is a superb book.

The Shewey book has the how to tie sequence instructions, and the how to fish instructions along with actual photographs of the flies to go with the fly recipes. It also has an emphasis on G.P., Spey, and Dee style flies. Shewey completely ignores the Ally's Shrimp and the Irish Shrimp style, a shortcoming in my view. However, it is a very fine book.

To these two fine volumes, I would recommend folks get Knos's "Autumn on the Spey". It is available froom Fly Fisher's Classic Library (they have a web site of the same name). It is expensive form them, about $70.00 plus airmail from England, but worth every penny because it has the old spey flies illustrated, gives the pattern recipes, and tells how to fish them as well. A most useful little tome. First published in 1872 and just as up to date and useful today.
11-04-2002 11:22 PM
NrthFrk16 I prefer the Shewey book as well...the Spey Flies and Shrimp Flies book seems to lack depth especially at a point where you want to know the illustrations of the flys instead of actual photographs are really annoying as you can not truly decipher what the fly should look like.
11-04-2002 09:07 PM
Stu Farnham
I've reviewed both books

... for the Fly Anglers OnLine site. Go to, click "Features" from the menu on the left of the home page, then click "Stu Farnham Books" , scroll to the bottom of the page, and click the link for previous reviews.

I prefer the Shewey book as well. There's more information on tying techniques, more information on fishing strategy, and it's a beautiful book. The Mann Gillespie book has more patterns but is fundamentally hampered by the computer-generated graphics used in lieu of photographs.

11-04-2002 01:26 PM
pastortd Here's a review: GFF Book Review. Of course, I think the Shewey book is better, but... I have a bias
11-04-2002 01:17 PM
sean Oops meant this book. I have the Shewey book...

11-04-2002 01:13 PM
Jolly good book ... even if it just sits on your coffee table.

This is one you just sit in your chair, stare at the wonderfully done colour photo's, and say .......

arn! Wish I could tie anywhere near that good." Jim Jones bought the book; no regreats he spent the money.
11-04-2002 01:12 PM
KerryS Spey Flies and Dee Flies: Their History & Construction
by John Shewey

There was a brief conversation about this book when it was first released.

I have browsed through the book many times and read many parts so far. I have not read the book cover to cover yet but with books of this type, I can take a long time to read the whole book.

So far, what I have read of this book has been excellent. I have learned much about the origins of many flies and I have learned several new tying techniques. All in all I would say this is a must have book for anyone interested in spey/dee flies
11-04-2002 12:02 PM
Shrimp & Spey Flies for Salmon & Steelhead

Looked through the archives and have not seen this book mentioned.

What do you all think of it ?

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