Hot Bass flies: Patterns & Tactics from the Experts
Softbound: 134 pp.
Frank Amato Publications $24.95
Bass flies and full-dressed salmon flies have one thing in common, they tend toward the fantastic. Yet, the purpose for tying these flies could not be more different. If you were to ask a bass fly tier if he fishes the flies he ties, he'll say "Hell yeah." Ask the same question of a tier of full-dressed salmon flies, and you'll get "Hell no." Of course, I stretch things a bit.
Deke Meyer isn't trying to impress anyone with a huge collection of gaudy bass flies between the book covers. He is a much better flyfisher than that. You read his book to see the entire gamut of bass flies so you can find those that suit your own temperament and style of tying. He is not afraid to admit, after displaying Ben Wise's simple balsa wood pattern, that "fancy gear and flies are less important than accuracy and presentation."
This is what you want in a book that catalogues things--completeness. There is something for everyone, even spinnerbait patterns for those who will not be outdone by the bass master's among us. The way the patterns are presented, you might find yourself imagining new patterns, taking the head from one fly, using the collar hackle from another one, and maybe some frog legs from page 32 to arrive at the next killer bass fly for your local pond.
The book is nicely organized into types of flies: surface poppers, sliders, divers, spinnerbaits, and subsurface flies. This top to bottom presentation of material comes in very handy when you are trying to find a different type of presentation to improve your odds on the lake. Meyer gives pattern recipes without detailed tying instruction on the individual flies, which is a good thing. Instructions can be found elsewhere. Too many instructions would severely reduce the number of flies to be presented, thus undermining the purpose of the book.
Instead, tiers thoughts with comments on presentation are given throughout. I especially appreciate Larry Dahlberg's thoughts on fishing his famous diver. I never though of using a sinking line with his pattern, and now I'll give it a try come spring time. That's the impression I'm left with after reading the book--numerous thoughts on new strategies as I hunt for the next monster fish.
--Toney J. Sisk
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