Stephen Simpson and George McGavin - The Right Fly

Aurum Press £12.95
ISBN 1 85410 398 9

Written by two professional biologists, The Right Fly could have been a wonderful book; instead it left me rather unsatisfied. The formula is well established: the book helps the angler study the water conditions, identify the food item, and match it with the correct artificial fly. The problem is that fitting all of fly fishing for trout (plus some basic instruction on fly-tying) into a compact 192 pages needs great discipline, and the authors don’t deliver. Despite the title, there is little attempt to match patterns to the naturals, a deficiency which particularly affects the section on the mayflies, one of the most confusing subjects any novice fisherman will ever face. The result is a book which is little more than a nicely illustrated list of patterns.

If you want a book which will help you match the natural and the artificial, you could try John Goddard’s classic Waterside Guide (which is getting a bit long in the tooth now), or Pat O’Reilly’s outstanding Matching the Hatch, or Peter Lapsley and Cyril Bennett's Pocket Guide to Matching the Hatch.

The Right Fly was reprinted as a paperback by David & Charles in 2002, but that edition appears to be out of print too.


Out of print