Book Review: 25 Best, Most Versatile Flies by Al Ritt

A Fly Pattern Book

When the publisher sent over our friend Al's new book, the "25 Best Most Versatile Flies, Their Histories, Stories & Step-by-Step Tying Photos", it was immediately apparent this book was meant for the fly tying desk. The book is spiral bound, great for laying on a flat surface or on a book easel to keep it open to a given pattern without having the book close on you. Plus the cover is a sturdy construction without being a hardback inflexible book that would be more difficult to adjust and accommodate at the desk.

Now for the content. Each pattern featured has a great summary write-up talking about its history, its uses and any other tidbits about the fly, especially focusing on its ability to be a versatile fly pattern. Plus, Al's selection of patterns is a great mix of old and newer patterns, so you get a good variety of flies from which to learn. I think, for me, the biggest draw for any fly tyer is the variety in this book and the angle Al took to choose the patterns. The patterns here, both individually and as a group, really cover a huge gamut of techniques and target fish, thus making them very "versatile".

Beyond the intro and getting into the nitty-gritty tying part for each pattern, the flies are expertly photographed in a concise and logical step-by-step fly tying breakdown, allowing you to clearly see how each part of the fly is constructed.  There is also a clear material list for each pattern.

One final thing to keep in mind: While this is definitely not a true beginner's "how do I tie flies?" level book, it does include such standard beginner level patterns, such as the Wooly Bugger, the Hare's Ear and the Adam's, that a beginner would still find greatly beneficial.

If you want to buy a copy, here's a quick link. We have no dog in the fight here and get no compensation from the sales, so buy it with a clean conscience!