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New Books: Tying Furled Flies

Posted on August 31 2008

A first of its kind, Ken Hanley’s new book on tying furled flies — really tying flies with furled bodies — takes the author’s impressions of what the best tiers have considered the keys to their success, observation and application, and applies them to some unique construction techniques. Hanley, a Californian who is the author of six books and a contributor to two instructional DVDs, set about designing flies that were both more durable and did a better job of imitating mayflies, caddisflies, even dragonflies and alevin. All the while he suggests that furled flies do a better job of addressing an overlooked part of fly presentation — keeping the fly in the fish’s mouth:
“Texture is an often-overlooked element of design, but it is one of the most important features in my work. I strive to create patterns that reinforce what the natural food item might feel like to the fish. Examples include meaty, soft, chewy, and crunchy on the outside — all represent textures that would provide an extra positive reaction to your fly. Most of the patterns in the book emphasize a meaty and chewy texture. If the fish hold onto the fly longer because of a positive reaction to texture, you will have a longer chance to set the hook.”
In addition to more than 500 photos of the steps for tying the 21 patterns in the book (about half of those are color variations), Hanley offers tips for presenting and fishing them properly. The writing is clear and informative, and the photos are top-notch. This is another book from Jay Nichols’s new Headwater Books publishing house, which seems to be bringing an extra level of attention to fly fishing books this year.
Buy Tying Furled Flies: Patterns for Trout, Bass, and Steelhead (Headwater Books, 144 pages, softcover, September 2008) on Amazon.

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