This past weekend I was sent a small booklet authored by professional fly tiers Jimmy and Gloria Younger from Dumfries in Scotland.
Its called- “The Book” Salmon, Trout and sea Trout Flies.
Jimmy recently featured in the recent film by Eric Steel, Kiss The Water, documenting the life and work of another Scottish tier, the famous Miss Megan Boyd.
And a simple you tube search will come up with some interesting snippets of film of Jimmy tying flies. I love his trick with tinsel tags.
At first glance, this is a simple little book, black and white with a scattering of hand drawn sketches. A few pages in however, and you realise you are reading the wisdom of many years experience behind the vice.
I was instantly hooked! Jimmy, or is it Gloria? takes us through the basic tools, materials, proportions and techniques needed to construct a hair wing Salmon Fly with the occasional gem along the way!
On fly tying Vices…” In the USA, a fly tying vice is known as a ‘vise’, so that there would be no confusion between the two when in print. Over here, we don’t bother about this, as most of us can tell the difference, at some time of the day, at least”
On Jungle Cock.. “I firmly believe that the addition of Jungle cock cheeks make all the difference to a fly, but only from a sales point of view”
Delve further into the book and uncover a treasure trove of dressings for those 350 salmon and sea trout flies, many of which are new to me and I suspect are local to Jimmy and Gloria and in some cases designed by or for particular clients.
This is where the true worth of this book lies. Patterns such as the Caroline Scott, Eskimo Nell, Lord Louis Shrimp and the Sporran grace the pages with the more familiar Stoats, Ally’s and other traditional Scottish fare. It’s a wealth of ideas and possibilities.
On page 40, I came across the McConomy’s Goat, a dressing that sent me straight to my Vice.
If you get a chance, pick up this book. You wont regret it.
I should give this up. Wrapping bits of fluff round a hook for fun, just can’t be normal.