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.

April 13th, 1998

Mayflies
By Malcolm Knopp and Robert Cormier
Published by Greycliff Publishing Co. Helena, Montana



This is a big one. Mayflies, all 366 pages of it, it chock full of information. It truly is a marvelous work. Do not take this book lightly, it is serious stuff. The insects in all stages are here. The patterns or recipes are here. Drawings are very detailed and accompanied with explainations, but color photographs are very limited. There are hatch charts. Data on when the various mayflies emerge, and tables showing peak times in specific regions. And - how to fish the various flies.

We received a copy delivered this week - an unexpected surprise! I knew the book was in process; promo information was at the Amato booth at the Salt Lake fly tackle dealer show. I did not ask for a copy of it, because frankly it is expensive, and I have a problem asking a company to "comp" anything. That said, I was doubly delighted when it arrived. As publisher of this website, I needed a really good reference on fly tying. Even though I taught tying years ago, I am not an expert! And I need to be able to answer questions, find sources for folks with problems and keep up with what is new in tying in general. Thanks to the folks at Amato I can now do that.

I wanted to check just how good the book is. So, since the Fly of the Week this week is Hexagenia lambata, I looked up the insect. Of course it's there - and so is the nymph. Does anyone think of fishing the nymph? The authors have given rather extensive thought to fishing this nymph.

Mayflies

"To initiate the emergence process, the nymphs abandon their burrows, and after moving about on the river-or lake bed swim to the surface film with a wiggling action. Many nymphs may pause about midwater, either to await further signals that metamorphosis is imminent or to regain their strength before continuing their ascent to the surface. Due to the enormous size the duns frequently encounter difficulties in casting off the nymphal casing and may struggle in the surface film for several minutes before completing their transformation."

The authors then proceed to give the recipe for dressing the Traditional or Wiggle Nymph, with the description of the Natural insect alongside the Dressing. What a neat method - it both gives you the insect, and teaches how to do the imitation at the same time.

Following that section is, Fishing the Hexagenia limbata Nymph, which reads: "Productive nymph fishing is generally restricted to the hours about dusk and into darkness, when the nymphs are either active on the lake or river bottom or are swimming to the surface to prepare for the duns' emergence. A traditionally tied nymph fished deep on a sinking line with a strip retrieve, or even bounced along the river - or lake bed, is a proven technique for imitating the nymphs before the hatch. At the beginning of the hatch, fly fishers should change tactics and fish a slightly weighted wiggle nymph around the silt beds of both lakes and rivers, allowing the nymph to sink before raising it to the surface with short strips of line to mimic the undulating motions of the ascending nymphs. Another successful tactic when fishing a stream or river is to fish a weighted (to suit the conditions) wiggle nymph down and across to the vicinity of mud banks and silt beds with a constant rod action to impart the natural's swimming action to the imitation. East-Midwest fly fishers have also found success in fishing Hex nymph imitations during the dull daylight hours of the fall and early winter seasons on both rivers and still waters."

If that isn't enough, the next section is on Emergers, followed with the Dun and finally the Spinner. Each with the imitation, and how to fish it.

Just picture your favorite water, the mayflies you have - and how much information is in this book! On your mayflies! If you are serious about your fly fishing and have mayflies you should have this book. It will improve your success rate. ~ DB

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