The Fly Tier's Benchside Reference to Techniques and Dressing Styles by Ted Leeson and Jim Schollmeyer
Reviewed by Terry Lawton
The Fly Tier's Benchside Reference to Techniques and Dressing styles by Ted Leeson and Jim Schollmeyer is a magnificent, marathon work. The easiest way to give you some idea of its scope is to turn to the table of contents which runs to six pages, detailing the content of the 15 chapters of the book. The book itself is a massive 444 large format pages. As the authors wrote in the Introduction 'Our purpose in writing The Fly Tier's Benchside Reference has been to collect, systemize, and present a wide range of fly-tying methods - both those that have appeared in the literature of the craft, and those shown to us by others. Because of its explicit emphasis on technique, this book differs in a number of ways from other instructional tying texts that you may have seen or used . . '. Although this book was published in 1998, it will be many years before it is outdated by new methods and techniques.
Nearly all the photographs are colour coded: the 'main sequence' photographs have blue backgrounds and alternative steps or tying sequences have green backgrounds. "Other" photographs are distinguished by backgrounds of varying colours. There are over 3,000 photographs in the book and more than 400 tying methods are discussed. Although the book concentrates on trout flies and their tying methods and techniques, many of the methods illustrated can be adapted to suit flies for other species.
About the authors: Ted Leeson is a freelance writer and contributing editor to Fly Rod & Reel and Field & Stream magazines and has written a number of fly fishing books. Jim Schollmeyer is a professional photographer whose work has been published in a range of fishing books, magazines and outdoor magazines. He has also written a number of books.
Anybody who is seriously interested in all the different ways of tying flies, or wants to identify how specific flies have been tied, will benefit from having a copy of this massive work beside them when they are at their tying bench. It is expensive but fly tying groups could always club together to buy a copy as a reference book for the group.
The Fly Tier's Benchside Reference to Techniques and Dressing Styles by Ted Leeson and Jim Schollmeyer is published in hardback by Frank Amato Publications, Inc at $100. 444 pages.
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