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Book review

Book cover photo.

Tube Flies Two Evolution
Review by Dan Fallon

  Three seconds after being asked to review this excellent new manifesto on tube flies, I thought first I tie flies with feathers and bits and pieces of natural organic animal or whatever! In my mind tubes were a crutch for those who either had no fly tying skills or were simply lazy and wanted a quick way to throw an offering together...... I was wrong, dead wrong. This book will educate and enlighten anyone who thinks they understand Tube Flies and their unique construction! Before I delve into this most interesting work, three aspects of tube flies must be mentioned at the onset. One they are durable if tied correctly, the fact they can be prepared to silhouette almost any bait fish, and if understood tube flies adaptability is the real pay off.

  In my sportsmen fly fisher life Master Fly Tiers like legendary Bamboo Man Walt Powell, consummate Master Tier A. K. Best, Jay Fair, Alaska’s famous lady guide tier Pudge Kleinkauf, young Master Fly Tier Jason Akl, International Super Model fly tier Karen Graham, and many others have amazed me with their talent and dedication. Early fly tying masters who evolved from 15th, 16th Century Scotts, Irish, and much later British genetic pools have set the bar high enough if one only uses traditional materials such as feathers and various animal hairs, parts. This staid tradition which I respect must be understood on its own terms period. The contemporary trends towards tube flies, red or loud colored beads and other new strategies in fly fishing protocol in my mind need to be examined and if warranted respected. This book will accomplish all the above for anyone vaguely interested in this exciting relatively new concept in fly construction.

  Before I discuss three tiers featured in this review, a word about Frank Amato’s fine publishing company. I have reviewed several books by this respected fly publisher. The book titled, "Fly Pattern Encyclopedia by Al & Gretchen Beatty is a wonderfully illustrated Bible of contemporary fly tiers. Amato books are high quality in text, photography and layout, first class.
Contact on the web www.amatobooks.com Phone Portland Oregon (503) 653-8108.

  Mark Mandell & Bob Kenly put this book together with Craig Wester a fabulous photographer made it come alive! Photos are as good as it gets and makes this book complete. I imagine it was impossible to narrow down the list of talented international tiers and still capture the essence of what is going on in the minds and upon the tying benches of these gifted men and woman. In this review many tiers overwhelmed me with their fly fisher general savvy and their creativity.

  Before taking a close look at three of the many gifted featured in, "Tube Flies Two Evolution" Several artists must be mentioned! Tanya Rooney living in Portland Oregon impressed me with her Wolly Buggurish patterns using full fanned long matuka like feathers and eyes creating life like tube flies. Jurij Shumakov hailing from Moscow Russia ties old school appearing patterns with rich vivid colors and detailed nuance, special flies indeed! Mr. Cam Siglers from Vashon Island, Washington ties glistening life like patterns that imitate real bait fish obviously move like bait fish and flash around nicely under water!

  Tim Johnson of Sheboygan, Wisconsin creates patterns with grand old school colors and fine tying skills, a real craftsmen. Bob Kenly who helped put this book together ties clean balanced patterns with solid realistic colors, flies that drive gamefish Koo Koo Koo Koo.... Many fine international tiers are featured in this reference book on Tube Flies, the three I have chosen build patterns with characteristics that are life like and natural when moving under water and would actually catch or fool game fish. Eyes, all patterns that utilize natural eyes work without fail in my experience. That one aspect can make or break a patterns success in tube fly construction in my opinion. In fact the attempt to appear and move naturally may be the nexus of the Tube Fly revolution.... Gaudy colors, fancy wraps, loud flashy may not always feed the Kitty or fool the Trout! A Tube fly that actually resembles, moves, flashes, appears either wounded or just breathing is a winner sportsfans! I’m of the school that insists patterns actually catch fish, not look fabulous your worthless addicted fly friends?

  Bart Chandler Of Basalt Colorado USA

  If the words consummate professional mean anything this fellow from Colorado may be what Webster’s had in mind? Twenty five years tying, seasoned guide, casting coach.... Yes that’s right he lives and breaths his craft as the photos attest. Bart’s flies are for me like gazing back to my Great Grandfather’s Tying Room where beautifully dressed Steelhead Flies rested in vivid rich colors.... I’m intrigued with this sportsmen’s since of history, color balance and understanding these tube flies may work better if they look and flash and move like real wounded baitfish! Bart’s names for his creations caught my attention as well; Gentle Surgeon, Light Gotcha, Baby Lobster, Snapper Whacker, excellent. Bart’s swears by his pattern’s, "I’ve heard comments like, "We’ll fish any color as long as it’s tan." Or, "The fish won’t eat anything that shiny!" He usually ends up taking fish much larger then locals with smallish offerings... Ah Tube Flies adaptability!

  Mike Croft’s Fly Tying Table Resides in Tacoma, Washington USA

  Mike’s graphic artist instincts are apparent in his perfectly balanced patterns. I can imagine the flashy movement of tube fly creations such as, "Croft’s Italian Glass Minnow" This pattern has just enough white marabou and what appears a strand or two of bright tensile. This nuanced realistic treatment catches fish every time Pilgrims! "Croft’s Slider" , "Croft’s Sardina" and the Candlefish pattern are game fish magnets indeed. Mike ties olds school solid heads with eyes in proportion. I like the way each pattern has symmetry and begs for slight wrist movements that imitate a wounded or confused bait fish.. I really like the clear see through heads that give these flies true realism! Tiers who actively stare at water, current, bait fish balls and spend all their time dreaming and scheming fly fishing produce Tube Flies like Mike Croft’s...


  Peter Hylander’s Fly Rods Rest In Seattle, Washington USA

  Peter only has 30 years in this racket, taught casting, fly fishing, worked in fly shops and tied his first Tube Flies 15 years ago. He started his own fly company Seattle Saltwater. Peter is expert at one aspect of tube fly creating and that is complete realistic scale like shimmering skin combined with eyes that match exactly in size, shape and color. This Tube expert in my mind has done it period! These shiny glittering flies are absolutely going to catch fish, great for all species. I’m so impressed with these patterns and their life like qualities!

Review by Dan Fallon 2007 ©





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