Fly Fishing, Fly Tying & Spey Casting Forum - The Essential Fly Tier - knotnot
  • The Essential Fly Tier

    “The Essential Fly Tier”

    By J. Edson Leonard
    Illustrations by the Author
    Published 1976
    Prentice Hall Inc.
    ISBN 0-13-286112-7
    262 pages

    I picked this book up recently from a second hand book store. This edition is a soft cover reissue of a hard cover earlier version. As mentioned it is both written and illustrated by the author. J. Edson Leonard is self described as an artist by trade and a fly fisherman by choice.

    The book is a good fly bench reference for most novice to intermediate tiers. It covers a large variety of hooks and materials in decent detail. Mr Leonard also describes a tier’s bench and a variety of levels of tying fundamentals.

    In the book the author goes into detail on the ‘types’ of flies as opposed to specific patterns. There are well over 100 pages dedicated to this section. The types covered range from trout flies to steelhead and salmon.
    He even talks about bass and shad flies and pike and saltwater versions.

    There is a section on surface patterns and a good chapter on effective patterns. The chapter on effective patterns covers lots of patterns but a good amount of space makes reference to trout flies. He has included a full list of his illustrations and a comprehensive index.

    The illustrations throughout the book are black and white drawings and can be a bit hard to study in detail. As for any colour pictures, they are only found in a 4 page fold out in the center of the book. There are 44 coloured illustrations of flies which seem rather old school, I would rather hang this up in a den or shop than use it to follow when tying the flies.

    Mr. Leonard began fly fishing in the 1920’s and his knowledge is extensive. If you come across this book check it out. I paid 5 dollars for it, a good bargain for the amount of info with the original price being 11.95.