Individual taste in books varies as much as the favorite rod or fly.  With that in mind, we hope to review books and videos from the ever-growing fly fishing world, and share them with you.  Books will be the best of all worlds, new and old.  Many of the old books are now available in reprint, and the wisdom contained is timely today.  Others can be found in second-hand book stores, or by mail order dealers. As we find videos we feel are outstanding they will be included. Be assured, reviews are based on what we have actually read, and due to that fact, may not appear weekly.

October 10th, 2005

Innovative Flies and Techniques
By Al and Gretchen Beatty

Reviewed by Deanna Birkholm (LadyFisher)

Innovative Flies and Techniques
I love getting books. For that matter, I just love books. It's fun going through book stores, and from time to time we've found wonderful books in re-sale shops. If you haven't started a personal library yet, you really should give it some thought. The rewards are many, and regardless of how much information we provide here on Fly Anglers OnLine (FAOL), it's hard to cuddle up with a good computer (or have it in the famous 'tile library' either).

Personally I don't buy fly tying books any more, because I no longer tie. But I was just tickled when the newest book from Al and Gretchen Beatty, Innovative Flies and Techniques showed up in our mailbox this week.

The book is in some ways, an extention of their Fly Tying Encyclopedia in that it expands on the ideas and techniques which weren't possible to include. Since the publication of the 'encyclopedia' Al and Gretchen said they were approached by other tiers who had innovative ideas or techniques which they felt should be available to other tiers.

The book is presented a bit differently. Instead of being presented by fly types, or even flies listed alphabetically, the tiers represented are listed by their names. I'm sure you will recognize many of the names, and the flies they tie are great examples of their originality and creativity.

As a prefix to each section you will find an interesting biography of each tier. Some include how they got started, or their favorite flies - a nice touch in an already delightful book.

There are all sorts of flies, from biggies to tiny, fresh, saltwater and warmwater offerings too.

Quoting Al,
" Some of the ideas are very simple and you may wonder why Gretchen and I included them. One such fly is a Ken Magee pattern presented by Clint Smith. The reason it's important is because stillwater trout have an incredible attraction to it. I can't explain why, but the darned fly really catches fish. On the other hand, we were really impressed with a new fur hackle technique (at least it was new to us) presented by Britt Phillips. Innovative fly tier John Newbuy brings an interesting mix of two worlds to the fly dressing equation..."

We do have permission to excerpt information from any book from Frank Amato Publications, and since such care has been given to produce this book in excellent step-by-step photos and text you can be sure you will see parts reproduced here on FAOL. In fact, if you check out Kim's Cased Caddis you can see an example of the Beatty's expert work.

Innovative Flies and Techniques is not just a pattern book. It is an excellent resource for techniques and new ideas which should get your juices flowing. We highly recommend it; it lives up to it's name. ~ DLB

Innovative Flies and Techniques
By Al and Gretchen Beatty
Published by Frank Amato Publications, Inc.
P.O. Box 82112
Portland, OR 97282
(503) 653-8108
Softbound, 8.5 x 11 inches, 195 pages, color
ISBN: 1-57188-347-9
Price: $35.00 US

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