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 or viewed, and due to that fact, may not appear weekly.


Reviewed By Tom Deschaine- Aug 26, 2013

Mike Valla is no stranger to fly fishing and fly tying, having published three previous books:

In addition to his books, he has published in Fly Fisherman, American Fly Fisher, Eastern Fly Fishing and numerous other publications. Much of his youth was spent in the Catskills where he had the good fortune of becoming proficient in fly tying under the tutelage of Walt and Winnie Dette.

Mike's latest book, The Founding Flies, is a testament to his skills as an author, tyer and photographer but, more importantly, to his skills as a researcher and historian of the highest magnitude.

The book addresses 43 historic American fly tyers, with easily recognizable names like: Wulff, Whitlock, Leiser, and the Dettes, along with names that may be new to you like Bird, Potts, Gapen and Grant. In each case, Mr. Valla has gone to great lengths to explore each of these classic tyers with highly detailed information on the history of the person, their techniques and the patterns they are associated with. Each article is rich with original and never before published photographs and detailed information obtained from family members, friends and researchers.

This massive undertaking is extremely concise and accurate. In addition to the 43 tyers, the book contains an extensive bibliography, index and an assemblage of almost 300 fly pattern recipes. Mr. Valla's, The Founding Flies, is destined to become one of America's most treasured historical reference books ever written on American fly tyers.

I am very pleased, as you will be, with Mike's craftsmanship. Not only is it an easy and good read but it is a book you'll be proud to place on your shelf. His passions for the craft lead him to produce one of the finest books ever written. Lest, had he not accepted this challenge, these old masters of the vice might be forgotten for all eternity.

Raise you glass and give three cheers for one terrific book!

The Founding Flies
By Mike Valla
Hardbound, 312 Pages, 8 3/4" x 11 1/4"  
Published by Stackpole Books
ISBN 978-0-8117-0833-3
Price: $39.95

See you on the water…..

Tom Deschaine

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