Reviewed by Jed Proujansky
This is primarily a book about fly tying for the Northeast,
but it is so much more. It is a book about fly fishing, the
history of fly tying, a compendium of knowledge that cuts
across all aspects of fishing, tying and the history of
saltwater fly fishing in the northeast. To my surprise,
it is unique in its content, covering far more than the
classic list of flies and their recipes.
First, the book is beautiful. It is in a high gloss format
with original art work as well as the requisite clear and
detailed fly pictures. It is nice enough to place on your
coffee table as well as on your fly tying station. Along
with the 400 fly photos (usually three per page) and their
recipes there are numerous photos of fish art and fishermen.
One might call some of these photos as fish ID photos, but
that is like calling the work of Ansel Adams tree pictures.
The flies are organized alphabetically. It seems simple,
but it really works. Grouping flies by their origin, color,
the bait they imitate or any other categorization often
does not work because so many flies fall into multiple
categories. Is a Clouser a Sand Eel imitation or a Peanut
Bunker? It really depends on how you tie it. It is tied
in many colors. What about the Half and Half fly. It is
a combination of a Deceiver and Clouser. Which grouping
would you put that one in. By avoiding those conundrums
and alphabetizing you know you can find Lefty Kreh's
Deceiver under L, K or D (nobody calls him Bernard).
Of course there is also the index in back which makes these
The list of people who the author, shown left, met with and whose
flies are presented reads like a list of who's who in
saltwater fly fishing. Lefy Kreh, Bob Clouser, Nick
Circione, Lou Taboury, Enrico Puglisi or some local
favorites like Mark Sedotti or Ray Stachelek to name
With each fly there is a picture, a list of parts and
the materials to use. In some cases there are explanations
on how to tie the fly. With other flies you get information
on how and where to fish them or the history of that fly.
There are many tidbits of useful information scattered
throughout this book.
For AJ's Epoxy Squid: "This squid fly was designed for
striped bass at Shinneckock, Long Island. It can also be
tied with more durable Ultra Hair for bluefish. The fly
is best fished on a sink-tip line with a stop-and-go
retrieve. Use an initial two-foot pull on the retrieve,
then a short pause."
Note that this is not your book with step-by-step instructions
and photos along the way. There is an expectation of basic
tying skills, but when there are newer or unusual materials
or techniques there is often a sentence or two to help you
along. Don't let that stop you from buying the book. Even
if you don't tie your own flies, you can find patterns that
will imitate what you want and it will let you know how to
fish them. So after reading, buy your flies and have fun.
Recipe for Short Fin Squid Tentacles: "Using a bodkin, push
in the tentacle assemble about 5/8 inches inside the head
cone and bind the tentacle assembly to the head cone. Apply
a drip of Super Glue. When glue cures, flatten the head and
apply head color of choice. Apply a light coat of five-minute
The narratives in the book are both good writing and
interesting. He writes about his coming of age as a
fisherman, and then about his first striper on a fly.
At another point he talks about the progression of fly
tying and how this works in the real world. There are
tidbits about different materials to use when tying
flies and why he prefers one over the other.
On Stewardship" "I wonder often if you don't respect the
fish that you catch how can you ever expect to protect and
preserve it? Most, if not all, of the fly-fishermen I know
practice ardent catch and release. It sems to just come with
the territory. But I will admit, there was a time in my
distant past when a measure of a successful fishing trip
was a stringer of dead trout or largemouth bass."
When you add up all the parts of this book you realize that
in your hands is something that is more than a fly tying
guide, it is a guide to help you catch fish in the Northeast.
Because of the broad range of information and the quality of
the writing it makes this book a good read, as well as a
reference. All in all you have a well written, well
photographed organized book on flies and fly fishing
in the Northeast with much of this information and the
patterns applicable for use wherever there is saltwater.
Saltwater Flies of the NortheastPrevious Reviews
By Angelo Peluso
Photography by Richard Siberry
Frank Amato Publications, Inc.
I was born in NYC and fished the Catskills during the summers of my
youth. In 1968 I started fishing with the long rod. I now live in
Northfield, MA where I have access to trout and warm water species
within minutes of my house. Saltwater fishing is only 2 hours away.
I currently live with my wife of 28 years Joan with whom I kayak. I fish
and she birds. With the kids out of the house I have more time for
fishing related activities. I supply the USF&W Silvio Conte Discovery
Center with their fish and am becoming a certified MassWildlife fishing