ForeWord Reviews

great books independent voices

Innovative Saltwater Flies

Foreword Review — Jan / Feb 1999

This book contains a wealth of fly recipes and lore for the intermediate to advanced saltwater fly tier and angler. Thirty-seven of the best saltwater fly anglers in North America present their favorite fly patterns, rationale for their development and varying degrees of detail on how to fish them. The book is lavishly illustrated with color plates by Michael Radencich and promises to be an exquisite coffee table book, albeit one with substantial authority and information on the emerging pursuit of saltwater fly angling.
What is perhaps most striking about the book—and the sport—is the incredible diversity of target fish and their respective habitats, flies and tactics. The authors cover flies and methods for bonefish, several species of tuna, bluefish, snook, salmon, billfish, striped bass, permit and tarpon, just to name a few. In reading about these fish, we are taken from the surging big blue of the open ocean to the stillness of inshore mangrove flats and everywhere in between. One ultimately gets the impression that saltwater angling possibilities are endless.

Veverka’s editing is relaxed, resulting in an uneven but often entertaining series of essays. Individual chapters range from swaggering, intoxicated recollections of remarkable fishing trips to intricate and utilitarian guides to actual fly tying methods and fishing strategies. The book would also benefit greatly by organization by target fish species, but the index listings are helpful. Despite its shortcomings, the book deserves a place on any angler’s shelf due to its vast and varied supply of contemporary fly recipes. Specific information on tying materials and methods presented here is more than adequate to inspire most readers to develop their own patterns.

David Speas