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Listen to the River - Vol 2

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Reviewed by Terry Lawton

Listen to the River, Vol 2, is a step-by-step tying book with a vengeance. For example, there are an amazing 43 steps for tying the Adult Stonefly, 33 for the Hatching Mayfly, compared to the usual six or eight, or perhaps 10 if you are lucky, of most fly tying books. This is the book's major strength and to some extent its weakness. It might have been better if the step-by-step tying photos had been shot against a coloured background. The very thin tying thread and some of the light-coloured materials simply do not show-up against the white of the page. This is a minor niggle and it shouldn't spoil the enjoyment to be gained by trying tying some of Steve's very creative and realistic patterns.

There 15 patterns in the book, four nymphs including a revised version of his Ammonite Nymph, four hatching nymphs and pupa, five dry flies and one streamer, which is accompanied by an article on Steve's experiences of streamer fishing with Ted Patlen in the USA. Each fly is accompanied by an often full-page photograph of the finished fly. Steve makes the point that he is not a super-realistic tier but a designer and tier of realistic fishing flies. He has always sought simplicity in his patterns, taking steps out here and there if they add nothing to the pattern but mean that it takes longer to tie. He strives for translucency, silhouette and movement.

I think that anyone buying this book who has used Virtual Nymph fly tying products and materials will have a great advantage compared to those coming fresh to the products and Steve's patterns. The lay-flat edition, with a good chunky spiral binding, can be placed besides the tying vice for easy reference. This is how a practical tying book should be produced. For anyone wanting to start tying beyond the basic patterns, this is as good a place as any to start.

Listen to the River, Vol 2, written and published by Steve Thornton, is available in a number of different bindings, starting with the spiral-bound, lay-flat Working Edition, 144 pages, soft cover at £29.50 or US$57.10

Available from www.virtual-nymph.com and Virtual Nymph stockists.

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