Today, as I was going about my office routine, our warehouse manager brought a new arrival to the front desk. I pondered the cover for a moment, fully prepared to be underwhelmed. Another fly tying book, cleverly titled Flytying. Brilliant!
Then I noticed that Ted Leeson was credited for the introduction. Hmmm. Definitely more interesting. So began my customary “flipping through” where I scan a new book for content and photography. To my surprise, the first chapter was written by Darrel Martin, one of my personal heroes. Suddenly I was seriously interested. As I continued through the volume, I noticed Darrel’s name popping up over and over. Other notable authors included A.K. Best, D.L. Goddard, and Sylvester Nemes! It was clear that this book was something special, so I went back to the beginning and started reading.
I came to realize I was holding a rare gem–perhaps one of the finer fly tying books in print. No less than 24 of the chapters were attributed to Darrel Martin, and 23 to A.K. Best. The complete title, while convoluted, explains how the book came to be so grand: The Best of Fly Rod & Reel: 30 Years of Tips, Tricks, Patterns, Flytying. Pen-and-ink illustrations by Tim England offer a classy addition, contributing the kind of hand-crafted beauty that we fly anglers appreciate. And to top it all off, the last 35 pages of the book are devoted to “10-Minute Ties,” featuring 21 simple-but-deadly trout patterns with clear instructions by A.K.
Whether you are a trouter, a steelheader, a bassmaster or a bluewater traveler, you’ll find plenty here to warrant the fair cover price of $29.95. Heartfelt thanks to the book’s editor, Jim Butler, for assembling such a masterpiece. If only the publisher had coughed up the extra bucks for spiral binding. But alas, few things in life are perfect.
Seek out this book. It will not disappoint.