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.
HAIR-WING ATLANTIC SALMON FLIES
Hair-Wing Atlantic Salmon Flies by Keith Fulsher & Charles Krom (1981)
Practical Fishing Flies:
By Satoshi Yamamoto
As I have mentioned time to time, I don't know if I ever go somewhere and fish for Atlantic salmon. But also I understand what I do at my bench with Atlantic salmon flies: framing them and pursuing the ultimate skills. So I hadn't considered obtaining books regarding actual and practical fishing for Atlantic salmon. Even if I had one, what would I read and learn for dressing display flies? That could have been true when I just started and was struggling to get a hang of it.
Now I have matured and reached some dressing level, I am able to pay attention to some other subjects and see them differently. Whether I may fish for Atlantic salmon or not, as a fisherman, I could definitely learn about them and why they take flies and what triggers so. That comes back to a good point: why those people in late 19th and early 20th centuries dressed such "gaudy" – sometimes overly elaborated – flies and why Atlantic salmon were caught with those flies.
This (Fly Tyer Inc., ISBN: 0-9607522-0-X) was given to me by one of my fishing clients. Once I started reading, I was into it. It just reminded me of a modern steelhead book (only one I have) as the approach is very similar: what these anadromous fish are, why they take our flies or not, how to fish for them, and suggested fly patterns.
I will omit the detailed historical review regarding hair-wing salmon flies as this is a series of book reviews. Just briefly hair-wing has its own heritage. Anglers like these two authors have been developing new patterns. What made me really curious is "conversion". American side of Atlantic salmon fishers converted classic salmon flies (from Britain and Europe) into hair-wing Atlantic salmon flies. For example, those colorful, some are hard-to-obtain exotic, feathers for married-wings are substituted to bright fluorescent floss in the same or similar color (plus a tuft of hair). I see. Whether feather or silk (plus hair), wings must act similar. Perhaps colors (or combination of colors) and movements would be important in order to trigger bites from salmon. Now I just made a full circle. Though I may never fish for Atlantic salmon and I definitely can't visit the past, I briefly got the concept of salmon instincts and what people did back then. This tiny bit of concept has become an enlarged imagination (if not day-dreaming) in my head. Certainly it's quite stimulation from a different viewpoint and I regained motivation to pursue the art and skills of Atlantic Salmon Flies.
I'm not exactly sure about the availability of this book. I have seen the same title with the same two authors but the cover is different. Perhaps it would just be a newer edition. Good luck finding!
Satoshi Yamamoto, www.leftyanglerandflies.com, is an outfitter and fly-dresser in Livingston, MT.