So a while back, I was quite pleased to see the news Coch-Y-Bonddhu Book (Paul Morgan) was releasing a new book on this subject. The author is Robert L. Smith, whom I've never heard of before, but the publisher, Coch-Y-Bonddhu Books, always stands for good quality.
I oredered the book, and had Paul bring it over to The Danish Fly Festival, where he always has a stand. It was bigger than I expected, and Iøve now finlly finished reading it.
It's a fantastic book that offers a lot of new knowledge on the subject. Robert Smith has put together and described several old fly lists and manuscripts that shed futher light on the flies.
The "beginner" will find all the patterns as well as a chapter on tying techniques. The more "experienced" will definitely find new patterns, but for me, the historic part is the most interesting. The first part of the historic, first chapter is a bit thin with a lot of assumptions including the spreading of these patterns by benedictine and cistercian monks, but also a brief mention of Italian and Spanish "spider"-styles.
Several of the old fly lists and manuscripts are depicted in high quality, so the reader can form an impression of how these flies were handed over from generation to generation. Many old flies are depicted as well, showing the actual, contemporary dressing of the lies (many complete with attached gut leader etc).
Many flies tied by the author are depicted, exquisite tying needless to say, followed by chapters on tying techniques, materials, bird feather anatomy and much more.
The book also, partly, tells the story of the North Country Angling Clubs, which sets these flies into their correct historical and social context. Also "modern masters" are covered, including my own first proper introduction to the correct tying of these patterns, Oliver Edwards.
All in all, this is a fantastic book that I strongly recommend to anyone with a particular interest in these flies as well as people with an interest in general, angling history.
You can order the book directly from Paul Morgan/Coch-Y-Bonddhu Books" - always great service.
Have a great weekend,