Fly Fishing Book Review by Bob Triggs - Little Stone Flyfisher : Guide
Handbook Of Hatches - Introductory guide to the foods trout eat & the most effective flies to match them.
By Dave Hughes
Second Edition 2005
ISBN 0-8117-3182-0 Paperback
"Trout don't speak Latin"...such a seemingly simple truth. Yet no serious fly fisherman, who has studied the bugs that trout prey upon, has not at some point encountered the great divide of Latin taxonomical references in aquatic entomology- right down to counting the filaments on a mayfly nymph's gills. For most of us it is a daunting moment. When Dave Hughes released the first edition of his Handbook of Hatches it was welcomed not only for the signature completeness in presentation, but for the author's simple approach to solving the flyfisherman's riddle of insects, hatches flyfishing and catching trout. Dave gave us permission to call a little brown bug... well; "A little Brown Bug". And we still learned something about the hatches that particular bug represented , and we caught more fish because of it, without having to learn a foreign ancient language to do it. (In the end we knew it's real name too.)
But this is not to dumb it all down- it merely makes serious study more possible and approachable. By working through this book, and learning Dave Hughes method of on-the-water trout forage identification, most anglers will undoubtedly come away with a few new latin names for bugs under their belt. You will just have more fun doing it and with a lot less formidable a teacher. For any thinker on trout this book will add a breadth of knowledge to their understanding and enjoyment of the game. This book is a bridge to the fascinating study of aquatic entomology for anyone who ever felt intimidated by that subject.
In this revisit of that same work it is refreshing to find so much of the first book still forming the structure of the new one, yet with some significant advances. Most subtly Dave includes a short list of "Axioms" at the beginning; nine rules to approach your best match-the-hatch trout flyfishing on. This sets the reader on a firm path toward a method of identification and understanding of trout prey in it's many stages of life and availability as forage in the water. I would suggest looking at that foundation list of "Axioms" often, as a guide along the route. Not to be missed are Dave's supportive commentaries on presentations and strategies for the different flies and fishing situations, including stillwater presentation. The new book features excellant full-color photography by the author, including some on-the-water scenes, and many very clear, helpful close up shots of the naturals right alongside their imitation fly patterns. Dave made sure to update the many listed fly patterns as well- with tying recipies. For those of us who tie our own this detail alone will be a Godsend. You will find Handbook of Hatches most helpful in your tackle bag all season.
|| Bob Triggs