When Forgotten Flies arrived last week, I pretty much lost the day.
It was a work day. But I just couldn't help myself. As I turned each page,
and said outloud, "WOW" JC eventually went outside to get away from it
all. That may sound like an overstatement. It is not.
The quality of Forgotten Flies in every way one can judge a very
fine book is there. From paper quality to the outstanding photography this is
terrific! Add to that, real content!
The premise for the book begins with, quoting the catalog, "During the first half of the
twentieth century, a small and dedicated number of craftsmen and women worked
to vitalize the art of fly tying in America. Their names now read like a checklist
of who's who in fly-fishing: John Harrington Keane, Mary Orvis Marbury, and
Herb Welch. They were soon joined by others, including Carrie Frost,
Theodore Gordon, Lewis Rhead, Carrie Stevens, Charles DeFeo, Preston
Jennings, and Ray Bergman. Regardless of their age or gender, these tiers
shared characteristics that made them a new and active core at the center of the
trade. They quietly worked at the bench and, to varying degrees, were all involved
in revitalizing or generating ideas and, teaching or sharing their concepts with
others. In their time, they were successful far beyond normal expectations and
enjoyed every-widening reputations and influence. Unfortunately what happened
next is a phenomenon that transpires all too frequently in history. Their work
simply went out of fashion.
There have been hundreds, even thousands, of early amateur tiers who were never
achnowledged for their contributions to American fly tying. We have selected five
individuals to represent those untold craftsmen who left collections of dressings
that were forgotten or scattered for decades. This book, therefore, is dedicated
to these undiscovered and forgotten flies."
Each of the five individuals chosen to be covered in Forgotten Flies has
their own section, with a biography with wonderful photographs, (most from
family collections) and the flies. Tons of flies, each in glorious color, each very
large to show complete detail - with the recipe! The featured tiers are Ray Bergman,
Charles DeFeo, Preston J. Jennings, Mary Orvis Marbury and Carrie Gertrude
Stevens. The history is wonderful, the photos are wonderful, the flies . . . what
a marvelous contribution to the fly fishing world!
By the way, you can get your own copy of the Catalog shown above, with excerpts and
photos from the book, by sending an email to
The Complete Sportsman.
Please let them know you found Forgotten Flies on FAOL!
We have a copy of The Fly Tiers Benchside Reference which is
a great instructional book. When it came out there were some negative
comments on the price. Since it is now in it's third or fourth printing I
guess the price was not that much of an issue. Just for comparison, I asked
JC to photograph it along side Forgotten Flies. I wanted you to
have an idea of the magnitude of Forgotten Flies.
The other point I want to make is the size of the fly photographs. On the
left you see the same two books, open for comparison. The photos are
not actual size of course, but it gives a good idea of what you have to work with.
I have to admit I had JC weigh Forgotten Flies. It weighs over eleven
If it isn't obvious, I am thilled with Forgotten Flies.
It is absolutely wonderful! It is NOT available through the internet
booksellers. It is available in some book and fly shops, and you can order it
directly from the publisher, which is also the author Paul Schmookler.
500 plus pages, 11" x 14; full color
Hard Cover: $110.00 US
The Complete Sportsman.