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More Flies, Flowers, Fur & Feather - John Crawthorne

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Reviewed by Terry Lawton

More Flies, Flowers, Fur & Feather, by John Cawthorne, is, as the title suggests, a follow-up to the author's earlier book Flies, Flowers, Fur and Feather. John Cawthorne is a very knowledgeable and skilled artist who is equally adept at drawing and painting natural insects, waterside flowers and plants and artificial flies, although his hooks are a bit on the heavy side. Interestingly, as someone who has often had problems identifying flies and insects from photographs, I found it is much easier to identify many of them from John Cawthorne's illustrations which seem to work well for natural things bt less well for man-made things like flies.

This is a book that will appeal to naturalists as much as trout fishermen. It covers stoneflies, midges, shrimps, snails, water boatmen and a wide range of terrestrials including bees and wasps, beetles, hawthorns and heather flies amongst many others. The final chapter covers the life cycles of the various groups of flies and insects in the rest of the book. The information on life cycles and recommended artificials should help anglers with their choice of fly and fishing methods. One slight oddity is that no hook sizes are given, only recommended lengths. One assumes that this has been done so that the artificial will be of the same length as the natural fly or insect that it represents. But it does mean that you will have to measure your hooks to find one of the right length, rather than simply selecting a size 12 long shank, for example.

The descriptions and illustrations of common water-side flowers and plants will help any inquisitive angler to discover what the different plants are that are likely to be encountered on a day by the water. Some are just attractive plants, others will be of importance to the life of waterside insects and so have a greater value for the fisherman.

This is a very useful and informative reference book to go through, perhaps after a day by the river or lake or to look at before fishing so that you have a better idea of what natural flies and insects may be in evidence. It is a useful companion to the earlier book mentioned above and also Cawthorne's other book The Fly Fisherman's Entomological Pattern Book.

More Flies, Flowers, Fur & Feather by John Cawthorne is published by The Crowood Press in hardback at £19.95. 176 pages.

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