, October 20, 2007
Tube Flies Two: Evolution is a fine example of what is possible when fly tyers from around the world share their ideas. Too often, fly fishermen and (more frequently) fly tyers, are too secretive about their creations. This book is an open and honest sharing of information that will propel the tube fly world into a new era.
Though it is true that in the history of fly fishing, tubes are reasonably new (around 60 years), it is only recently that tubes have gained popularity and appeared more regularly in fly boxes. Too often we get wrapped up in our usual way of creating patterns, who amongst us has not had "Tyers Block"? I've been fortunate to have commercially tied tubes for over ten years, and tied tubes for my own use for close to fifteen. This book not only reflects past tube traditions, it's an ingenious platform for both new tyers and old hands at creating innovative tubes that address the fish catching needs of almost all species.
Split up into thirty five separate chapters the diversity in this book is remarkable. It's often tempting to focus on one type of tube tying style when writing a book on the subject. Happily, Tube Flies Two: Evolution, steers away from the norm and presents a wide range of flies. Atlantic salmon, pacific salmon, steelhead, bass, pike, and saltwater species, this book has something for all fly fishermen, whether they tie their own flies or not. The personal backgrounds and motivations behind the featured tyers and their patterns, offers an honesty not often seen in angling publications. I particularly enjoyed the stories of how so many tube tyers began. Bic pen inserts, Q-Tips, needle and finishing nail vises, brought back fond memories of my first tubes.
The photos of the flies will serve any tyer with exactly what they need: they are clear and pronounced. Unlike the silhouette fly pictures taken in the vise (like most fly books), these flies are taken all on one page and laid flat on the surface. I feel this gives the flies an appearance that is much more realistic. The full page presentation allows the reader to see all of the tyers offerings in one glance. I found this particularly useful when comparing the different styles of the featured artists.
The material lists and description of how to create these flies is communicated extremely clearly. In so many tying books, I find myself confused after reading some pattern descriptions. There are some remarkable patterns and ways of tying in this book. Not to leave any of these innovative tyers out, several need some special note.
The first (and most notably) are the flies of Jury Shumakov (p.136). From a man that saw his end too young, his flies have revolutionized tube tying. Not only does this book profile the ingenuity that this man brought to the tube, it also profiles some of the most revolutionary patterns to date. Shumakov's most notable; the "Russian Bullet" has had a major impact on how tubes are tied. It must be noted that Jury Shumakov's chapter is substantially bigger than the rest, a well deserved compliment to a fantastic tyer.
The bait fish patterns in this book are superb. Mark Mandell (also one of the Authors) profiles some fantastic tubes that have had me steady at my vice since the book was released (p.80). Mark particularly shows one thing that many tube tyers miss. Tubes are a great way to make a minnow pattern much bulkier, he mentions proportions in his tube flies. Though his flies focus more on tropical species, I can't wait to reproduce these flies for salt water salmon in British Columbia.
If you are into realistic baitfish patterns the flies of Peter Hylander (p. 54) will blow you away. Though most of them are tied in the same manner, they had me thinking in a completely new direction with tubes. I loved the picture on page 57 that compares one of his flies with the actual baitfish in the area, the resemblance was brilliant.
Tony Pagliei (p. 109) also has some innovative approaches to tubes. His convertible system opens up limitless possibilities to "mix and match" tubes with dressed hooks that can give so many combinations. This approach can basically take any salmon, trout, or steelhead pattern an extend it for extra length or bulk. Too many times have I wished for a larger pattern while on the river.
Bob Kenly (p. 68, also an Author of the book) has long been known in tube fly circles. A true master at both epoxy flies and shrimp/prawn patterns (The Foxbat, Turbo Shrimp, Go-Go-Girl, etc.), Bob brings a fantastic way of thinking towards tube flies. Evident in the six flies he presents, he definitely thinks outside the box and is not afraid to say so. He is a true innovator that brings a new breath into tubes.
I was particularly happy to see tyers from Europe involved in this book. Hakan Norling (p.103), Skuli Kristinsson (p. 76), Dag Midtgard (p.90), and Rex Andersen (p. 60), offer some fantastic, more traditional type tubes. Too often tubes are broken into European Tubes, East Coast Salmon Tubes, West Coast Salmon Tubes, Salt Water Tubes, Great Lake Steelhead Tubes, West Coast Steelhead Tubes, etc. I would say that this books most appealing attribute is that not only does it have something for all tyers (worldwide), looking at the different styles of the tyers, it will get your creative juices flowing.
I suppose the best recommendation of any book, weather related to a hobby or not, is how often one picks it up. I purchased my copy shortly after its release date......there is rarely a day when I do not pick it up, sometimes for a chapter read, sometimes just for motivation when creating new patterns. This book has certainly caught my attention and opened my mind up to some very new and creative ways of designing and fishing patterns.
Job well done.
The Canadian Tube Fly Company