Fish Flies: The Encyclopedia of the Fly Tier's Art

Front Cover
Gibbs Smith, 2005 - Reference - 719 pages
1 Review
This is the definitive book on fly-tying, with thousands of fly patterns included for the enthusiast. Expert angler, fly tier, and author Terry Hellekson addresses everything from the history of fly-fishing around the world to the history of fly tying and fly-tying materials. Hellekson shares interviews with fly-tying greats of years past, along with the fascinating history and background of some of the popular individual flies, making this a great read. His colorful recollections of people and events will intrigue and delight even the most serious fly tier. He also shares years of wisdom and knowledge on fly-tying colors; fly patterns; fly-tying tools, hooks, and materials; and fly-fishing and fly-tying methods. Hellekson' depicts hundreds of intricate patterns for dry flies, wet flies, and nymphs. Mayfly, stonefly, and caddisfly species are widely represented with simulations of the phases of their respective life cycles. Detailed patterns for terrestrials, damselflies and dragonflies, leeches and worms, midges, crustaceans, streamers, shad flies, steelhead flies, Atlantic salmon flies, Spey flies, Pacific salmon flies, and salmon and steelhead dry flies round out the book. This encyclopedia is organized into two distinct parts: the first section describes the origins of fly-fishing; the concepts of vision and perception of color; and the tools and materials from which artificial flies are created. It addresses dry flies, wet flies, nymphs, stoneflies, mayflies, and caddisflies. The second section of the book thoroughly attends to the simulation of other insect orders, such as terrestrials and crustaceans, and then delves into the specifics of streamers, shad flies, steelhead flies, and more. Even a fly-fishing novice will be enthralled with illustrations that clarify the patterns in a reader-friendly style. Line illustrations throughout, plus more than 2,950 detailed fly patterns-including 695 flies shown in full color-make this a comprehensive fly-tying encyclopedia beyond compare. Terry Hellekson was born into the world of fly-fishing and spent his early life in Happy Camp, California, where his father had a fly-fishing guide service on the Klamath and Trinity rivers during the 1940s and 1950s. Hellekson not only fly-fished and tied flies as a youth, but he developed many new fly patterns and eventually became immersed in all phases of the fly-fishing and fly-tying businesses. He founded Fly Fishing Specialties, a wholesale and retail business. He continually exchanges information with leading experts in fly-fishing and fly tying. Hellekson has traveled the world discovering sources for fly-tying materials and other products that he sold on the international market. He has also fished many of the great lakes and rivers of the world, traveling to such far off places as Kashmir to test the waters of the Himalayas. Hellekson is one of the founders of the Northern Utah Fly Fishers and the Granite Bay Fly Casters in northern California. Through fly-tying classes and fly-fishing clinics, he has taught countless numbers of fly fishers the fine points of the sporting art. Besides the many articles he has written on fly-fishing and fly tying, he has authored two books, Popular Fly Patterns (1976) and Fish Flies (1995), with this revised edition the culmination of a lifetime of work. He has also made generous contributions to the works of other authors. He now lives and fishes with his wife, Patricia, in Montana, where they have the famous Kootenai River at their doorstep.

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The Beginning
Vision and Color
FlyTying Tools
FlyTying Materials
Getting Started
Wet Flies
Order Ephemeroptera
Order Annelida
Shad Flies
Atlantic Salmon Flies
Spey Flies
Pacific Salmon Flies
Salmon and Steelhead Dry Flies

Order Plecoptera
Order Trichoptera

Common terms and phrases

Popular passages

Page 5 - Complete Angler; or, The Contemplative Man's Recreation : being a Discourse of Rivers, Fishponds. Fish and Fishing, written by IZAAK WALTON ; and Instructions how to Angle for a Trout or Grayling in a clear Stream, by CHARLES COTTON.
Page 1 - Astracus, and in it there are fish with spotted (or speckled) skins ; what the natives of the country call them you had better ask the Macedonians. These fish feed on a fly which is peculiar to the country, and which hovers over the river. It is not like flies found elsewhere, nor does it resemble a wasp in appearance, nor in shape would one justly describe it as a midge or a bee, yet it has something of each of these. In boldness it is like a fly, in size you might call it a bee, it imitates the...
Page 9 - ... take them at almost every cast, and before they sank or were drawn away. He had tied these flies and made his whip especially for his evening cast on this pool, and as the fish would not notice mine, I was obliged to content myself with landing his fish, which in a half hour counted several dozen. Here was an exemplification of the advantage of keeping one's flies dry...
Page 2 - The fishers also shall mourn, and all they that cast angle into the brooks shall lament, and they that spread nets upon the waters shall languish.
Page 1 - They fasten red (crimson red) wool round a hook, and fix on to the wool two feathers which grow under a cock's wattles, and which in colour are like wax.
Page 1 - Then they throw their snare, and the fish, attracted and maddened by the colour, comes straight at it, thinking from the pretty sight to get a dainty mouthful ; when, however, it opens its jaws, it is caught by the hook and enjoys a bitter repast, a captive.
Page 8 - Let a dry fly be substituted for the wet one, the line switched a few times through the air to throw off its superabundant moisture, a judicious cast made just above the rising fish, and the fly allowed to float towards and over them, and the chances are ten to one that it will be seized as readily as a living insect.
Page 31 - ... definitions, one referring to the color of an object as part of visual experience, and the other referring to color as a property of light that can be described in terms derived from the spectral characteristics of the light emitted, reflected, or transmitted by an object. The appearance of color can be described in terms of hue, lightness, and saturation for objects, and hue, brightness, and saturation for light sources. This is the psychological, or subjective, approach, which is widely used...
Page 5 - ... of the hook, that so (if it be possible) the point of the hook may be forced by the feathers (left on the inside of the hook) to swim upwards ; and by this means I conceive the stream will carry your Flies wings in the posture of one flying ; whereas if you set the points of the wings backwards, towards the bending of the hook, the stream (if the feathers be gentle as they ought) will fold the points of the wings in the bending of the hook, as I have often found by experience...

About the author (2005)

Terry Hellekson was born into the world of fly-fishing and spent his early life in Happy Camp, California, where his father had a fly-fishing guide service on the Klamath and Trinity Rivers. He founded Fly Fishing Specialties, a wholesale and retail business. He has traveled and fished the world, seeking out sources for fly-tying and fishing in such far-off places as Kashmir in the Himalayas. He now lives and fishes with his wife in Montana.

Bibliographic information