A few months back I was offered a preprint PDF manuscript of Drew Chicone's new book 'Feather Brain' to review. I turned it down at the time as I just didn't have the headspace to read an entire book on screen (and I'm obviously too Scottish to print it all out) I instead opted to wait for a full print copy - Fool me, I missed out on getting the jump on something very special.
Let me state here and now, I'm not a fly guy. I'm a presentation guy. And while i get (kinda) the whole fly tying thing, I'm normally of the opinion that the mystique around flies and fly tying is an often overused excuse for crap presentation.
After reading a few chapters of Drew's book I had the unnerving urge to get out the SL12's and jump behind the vice. This is a really great book.
From dyeing materials with sachets of Kool Aid, building a dubbing twister or cutting crab patterns with a bottle cap, Feather Brain is chock full of incredibly useful and effective techniques, sage advice and well researched and clearly presented information.
From simple to advanced techniques Feather Brain is supremely presented with crisp clear photographs and easy to understand instruction. Drew is clearly a master of the craft.
And hell, it's just hugely engaging - can't believe I said that about a book on fly tying.
If you've ever wanted to learn how to tie a decent saltwater pattern (and even if you haven't), buy it, you wont be disappointed. The pages on the Bottle Cap Crab & rubber legs are worth the price of admission alone.
Developing, Testing & Improving Saltwater Fly Patterns.
Get Feather Brain from Drew's site here http://www.saltyflytying.com
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Fly Fishing Emergers. A semi-sunk fly projects more visible stimulus than a high and dry pattern, so it makes a lot of sense to use a design that penetrates the surface film as a ‘searching pattern’, rather than the high-riding flies usually recommended for this job like the Royal Wulff, Humpy or Elk Hair Caddis. For me, the old dry hackle jobs have been moved well down the bench, even for fast broken water.