Book Review - Wet-Fly Tying and Fishing, by Roger Fogg
This is a book that will appeal to fly anglers who are interested in the history of fly fishing and who are not wedded to anyone method but are prepared – if they have not done so already - to give wet fly fishing a go.
Roger Fogg poses the question, in the first chapter Introductory Matters, “why fish with traditional wet-flies?” which is answered in full by his book but in essence because, he writes, that “wet-flies are very effective and the techniques by which they are fished are so pleasurable that it makes wet-fly fishing a wonderful branch of the sport.”
Although fly tying come first in the title of this book it is not until page 101 that we get the first chapter on this topic. But when you get there fly tying takes-up more than half the book. Each tying chapter includes very helpful information on choice of hooks, selecting the correct materials and instructions for tying a typical fly. There are some invaluable drawings showing where to find the different feathers on birds’ wings and bodies. Dressings are included for all the flies and their histories and a host of other useful information.
Roger Fogg writes how he likes to “travel light” when wet-fly fishing so that he “can move around and explore as much water as possible.” Keeping moving and exploring are some of the delights of any method of river fishing. Readers will be surprised to find out how effective the wet-fly can be even when “experience” suggests otherwise. He claims to have caught as many trout at hawthorn time on a small Black Pennell as he has on dry hawthorn imitations. As an aside, I don’t think that I have ever seen a trout take a real hawthorn.
In this book, Fogg looks at the historical perspective of wet-fly fishing, when to fish the wet-fly, choosing suitable tackle, and the place of the wet-fly on rivers and stillwaters. The chapters on fly tying cover North Country spiders (often referred to today as soft hackle flies), winged wet-flies, palmers and loch and lake flies. One of the points that Fogg makes is that putting flies into different categories may make life easy for some, but many of the patterns within these categories are not restricted to that specific category. For example North Country spiders will catch fish in lakes and stillwaters and so-called lake flies will catch fish in rivers.
Wet-Fly Tying and Fishing by Roger Fogg. Published by The Crowood Press in hardback, 208 pages, at £25.00.
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