Midge larvae and pupae, tiny parachutes, floating nymphs, micro scuds, tiny antsChoosing the right hook, thread, wire, and amount of weight for small flies plus 75 patterns, including Brassie, RS-2, Renegade, Gold-Ribbed Hare's Ear, Griffith's GnatForeword by John GierachTaking trout on lightweight rods with flies as small as size 20 and 30 is a challenge. Learn to imitate midges' trailing shucks and drowned adults, tie tiny parachutes and white-winged Tricos, and create patterns that mimic microcaddis and micro scuds. Engle covers small-fly history, tying tools, and materials. Tips on fishing techniques come from Ed Engle's 30 years of experience fishing small flies on the South Platte River.
I am not entirely sure what made this book as worthwhile as I found it, perhaps a fascination with small flies, although I quickly learned that what I consider to be a small fly and what Engle does is dangerously different.
The fly patterns aren't for the most part that special, I mean as Engle himself admits, you aren't trying to get as much material on the hook as possible, particularly if that hook size is sitting in the high twenties. So the patterns are simple, mind you many are still remarkably elegant and I am a sucker for elegant flies well tied. Perhaps it is the way that Engle has adapted everything to the Lilliputian scale of these patterns. The hooks, threads and materials are all assessed in terms of what they will look as components of minature patterns. Plus he does deal in part at least one of my bug bears , that the hooks vary so much from one manufacturer and one pattern to another.
I like innovative thinking in general and innovative fly fishing thinking in particular so the book was made to suit me..I have to admit I don't think that I have copied a single pattern from the book, but that wasn't the point for me, it was the planting of an idea, the idea that we can still go smaller, smaller than I had ever conceived previously and I admire that someone is pushing the limit.
I think that I will give the book three stars because it is nicely put together and thought provoking, one star because it really is pushing the limits on established small fly tying and fishing and a bonus star. Anyone who is seriously going out and fishing with hooks as small 32's not only deserves a star but quite possibly a medal as well.