Tube Flies A Tying, Fishing, & Historical Guide, by Mark Mandell & Les Johnson

Tube Flies A Tying, Fishing, & Historical Guide, by Mark Mandell & Les Johnson

In England around 1945, Mrs. Winnie Morawski was cleaning off her fly tying desk at the firm of Charles Playfair & Co. Scattered among the feathers and threads on Mrs. Morawski's desk were some bare turkey quills. An idea came to her and she scraped the pith from the quills, strung them with treble hooks, and dressed them with feathers suited for trout and salmon fishing. The tube fly was born. Over the next decade it would transform the face of European salmon fishing. Mrs. Morawski's story and many others are told in Tube Flies: A Tying, Fishing, & Historical Guide, a collaborative work written by Mark Mandell and Les Johnson.

Although Mandell and Johnson recount the origins of various tube fly patterns, Tube Flies is as much a how-to book as it is a historical perspective. Mandell and Johnson cover the tools, materials, and techniques required to tie tube flies and provide stepwise tying instructions for all sorts of tube fly patterns. If you want to learn how to tie tube flies, this book certainly can teach you. Additionally, you can learn more about how tube flies are fished and why they are at times far more effective than conventionally-tied patterns.

According to Mandell and Johnson, one characteristic in particular has accounted for much of their success- they slide up the leader and out of harms way when a fish is hooked. This was an important feature to tweed-cloaked gentlemen casting their delicate patterns to salmon, and it has made tube flies uniquely suited to fly fishing for ruthless adrenaline species like bluefish, roosterfish, kingfish, and tuna. No doubt, Texas anglers who toss flies at heavyweight fly-destroying fish can appreciate the tube fly's ability to steer clear of sharp teeth.

When thumbing through the pages of Tube Flies, it is easy to be compelled to tie at least a few. Nearly any conventional fly can be tied on a slender tube rather than the shank of a hook, and in fact many patterns will perform better because of it. The creative spark that Tube Flies strikes is the type of thing that keeps fly tying so interesting. There is so much history, so many facets, and always something new to learn.

Tube Flies: A Tying, Fishing, and Historical Guide
By Mark Mandell & Les Johnson
95 pp. Frank Amato Publications, Inc. $29.95

ISBN: 1-57188-036-4