'A Few Great Flies ... And How To Fish Them'
One of the last things I expected from an Aussie (Australian), especially a fisherman, was for them to be too serious about anything. On a recent trip to the Cook Islands, I had the pleasure of fishing with and spending a bit of time in a local pub with several professional fly anglers from Australia. We were on the atoll of Aitutaki to teach fly casting, tying and rigging to a group of local anglers who were hoping to become bonefishing guides.
That's where I met Peter Morse and learned that while you'll never find a more convivial mate to have a beer with, when it came to fly fishing, the Australians were serious with a capital S. Feeling totally unprepared by comparison, I even borrowed a fly Morse had tied the first day and hooked (and lost) a bonefish that approached Jurassic proportions. At a celebration at the conclusion of our stay Morse presented our hosts with a copy of his new book, "A Few Great Flies And How To Fish Them."
I leafed through the book while I was there and asked Morse if he had another copy that he would sell me. I always try to support other writers, but to be quite honest I seldom read fishing books. He had only brought one copy with him, but a week after I returned to the U.S., I received a signed copy from him by mail.
The book caught my eye instantly due to a spectacular shot on the cover of Morse with a barramundi, a fish like our snook. Leafing through the pages, I was instantly drawn to the beautifully photographed pictures of many great fish that I didn't recognize. As a photographer Morse had already drawn me into his book, when I started to read it I began to appreciate the professionalism that he had applied to his fly fishing pursuits and shared in the book.
Morse begins with a chapter aptly named Flies – An Overview. In it, he hooks the reader with his deceptively simple (and correct in my opinion) premise that anglers can approach all fish as being pretty much the same. He states that by adjusting just the fly, the depth and the retrieve, or FDR in his parlance, you should be able to find and catch any species of fish. He bases this on the assumption that the angler has his casting and rigging in order. He finishes the chapter with experiences from his fly fishing adventures to back up his claims.
Chapter two focuses on weed guards, how to tie them and why an angler should use them. Once again he backs up his argument with facts gleaned from fishing experiences. In chapter three he gives great advice and suggestions on why fly anglers should carry different density lines to reach fish at different depths and other suggestions on getting the fly to the fish.
Morse shares a lot of great advice with his readers in this book including retrieving the fly, line management and fly line selection before starting to discuss his favorite flies. While the chapter Fishing with Gusto, is about a fly called the Gusto, it begins with a description of some Australian fishing territory that is guaranteed to have adventurous fly anglers checking local flights from the U.S. to The Land Down Under.
The balance of the book covers Morse's favorite flies, their attributes, evolution, how to fish them and how to tie them. Tying sequences are described in clear terms and illustrated with more of Morse's excellent photography. That same excellence is displayed throughout the book in some stunning images that would have made the book a hit as a photo essay. In the final chapter entitled The Last Word, Morse uses an amusing anecdote to illustrate what every experienced angler has learned. On some days, you can have every base covered, try every trick in the book and still experience a completely bizarre outcome. That's what keeps fishing interesting!
I highly recommend this fine book to anyone who has ever thrown a fly and anyone who has considered doing so. There's a wealth of information here that will improve your fly fishing whether you're a seasoned professional or a beginner
To purchase your copy, contact Morse at firstname.lastname@example.org.