This is yet another one of those books that I thought I was going to be disappointed with. List price is $40 and it seems awful thin. I've worked in the computer industry for a long time. A $40 computer book is usually about 4 inches thick and can be used to anchor a battleship. But I was wrong again.
The authors start off by describing why and how they developed these fly patterns. Many times a fly designer will put a hook in a vise and start adding materials until he has something that looks like a fish will eat it. Or that looks like some kind of bug or bait. Bob made and found videos of how baitfish swim and act and studied them so he could design flies that not only look like baitfish but act like them in water. A fly may look great, but if it doesn't act right in water it will not catch fish well. (Almost anything will catch fish, but to be a good performer it needs to act like a food item in water.)
The authors then discus the history of the development of Bob's flies. Some of the older patters worked well, but took a lot of time to tie and were torn up quickly by the fish's sharp teeth. Part of devloping these patterns was the desire to make something that would last and was relatively easy to tie. The fact that these patterns are so popular with Saltwater anglers shows just how successful Bob was.
I really liked this book. Not so much because of the patterns. I don't really fish saltwater. What I liked was the unique use of materials to build simple to tie patterns that last. After reading this book I was inspired to create some freshwater patterns. In the picture below you'll see a sunfish like "spread" fly, everyone's favorite, a black rubber worm
and my first surf candy. I have an idea for a baby rainbow using the siliclone technique to feed to the bass and pickle in the local rivers that the fish and game department feeds stocked rainbows too.
This one is a definite keeper.