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 1st, 2001

Nymph Fly-Tying Techniques

By Jim Schollmeyer
Published by Frank Amato Publications

Reviewed by Deanna Lee Birkholm

There's real help for the fly tiers whose major emphasis is on nymphs. (And since trout take ten nymphs for every dry it seems very logical to tie nymphs). Jim Schollmeyer, half of the team of Ted Leeson and Jim Schollmeyer who wrote the now-standard The Fly Tier's Benchside Reference back in 1998, has an absolutely wonderful new book out!

Nymph Fly-Tying Techniques

Nymph Fly-Tying Techniques!

Quoting the author from the Introduction, "When I was first asked to write a book on tying nymphs, I was reluctant. There were already a number of very good pattern books, and I wasn't really sure that another one was justified. But when I began thinking about nymph patterns, and tyers I have watched, and my own tying, one thing stood out - the way many patterns have evolved from variations on a handful of basic designs and tying techniques. And it occurred to me that something useful might be written demonstrating how such evolutions take place and how a tier's repertoire of flies can be broadened, not by learning dozens of new patterns, but by seeing how a variety of modifications can be worked into fly designs to produce the desired appearance or behavior."

This is not to say this isn't an instructional book. It very much is. If you don't have a copy of the The Fly Tier's Benchside Reference (it was a bit pricey at $100), and are mostly interested in nymphs, Nymph Fly-Tying Techniques will give you everything you need! If you do have The Fly Tier's Benchside Reference, you will find a great deal in Nymph Fly-Tying Techniques covered in much more detail - plus the individual step-by-step instruction for the flies.

There are complete basic tying techniques. Everything from hooks and thread handling to bodies, wings, legs, wing cases, hackle, eyes, bead heads - is there in detail. Large, full color, step-by-step instructions for EVERYTHING. For example, under Wings is:

    Feather Tip Emerger Wings - Top Mounted

    Burned Feather Wings - Side Mounted

    Folded Cut Emerger Wings

    Preparing Quill Wings

    Pairing Quill Downwings

    Bundled-fiber Downwings

    Cut Antron Wing Buds

    Looped Antron Wing Buds

Once through the Basic Tying Techniques there is step-by-step instruction for the methods used for Lashed and Extended Bodies, Strand Bodies, Herl, Barb, Feather and Quill Bodies, Dubbed Bodies, Bead, Pulled, Stacked, Spun and Woven Bodies - each with the flies! There is a complete index, alphabetical, by fly pattern and by the insects themselves. Absolutely first rate.

In most cases a specific fly then also has variations, the Marabou P.T. Nymph also has a variation for a Shellback Marabou Nymph, and taking it a step further the same technique used on a Marabou Damsel. The concept is brilliant, the book is done with a great deal of thought and expertise, and is a superb additional to any fly tiers library. Congratulations Jim, you've done the fly-tying world a very large favor!~ DLB

Nymph Fly-Tying Techniques
125 pages, loaded with color photographs
8 3/4" x 11"
Softcover, $23.95 U.S
ISBN 1-57188-266-9
Published by Frank Amato Publications.

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