Fishing Small Flies
Hardbound : 176 pp.
Stackpole Books $24.95
Reading Ed Engle's latest book, I'm reminded of his masterly fly tying demonstrations at local fly shows. He would tie a lovely size 28 midge in half the time it would take me to fashion a passable woolly bugger. To hear him talk and to read his words, one can't help but see how the mastery of his subject is matched only by his ability to present it.
Seeing average sized flies is one thing. Seeing one smaller than size 20 is something entirely different, especially if it is a nymph. Many flyfishing books give you a few tidbits on seeing fish take your fly subsurface. Engle, though, has the unique ability to take the reader further under the water with exceptional and perceptive advice on ways of positioning yourself, the line, the leader, the fly, and the indicator to enhance how you see.
Yes, an indicator. Engle is not afraid to use strike indicators as both training aids for helping one's fishing vision, and as an occasionally necessary tool when no other way of detecting a strike is possible.
Seeing dry flies smaller than size 20 is not much easier than nymphs. Fortunately, Engle presents a sheaf of strategies to turn any neophyte into a small fly aficionado--with the requisite seasons under his or her wading belt.
Perhaps the greatest tool in this book is its graphical treatment. Four insect species, Blue-winged Olives, PMDs, Tricos, and a midge species are presented in a two-page graphical format. Each stage of the insect's life cycle is depicted along with feeding indicators, fishing tactics and fly pattern to use for each stage. The economy of presentation is remarkable in these chapters.
Engle's book is for the beginner and the intermediate who want to advance, and for the advanced who want to excel. Even advanced flyfishers need help. They can become complacent like anyone else. This kind of book may be just the thing to jump start your fishing strategies by sending you to new levels to meet the beast in the stream.
--Toney J. Sisk
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