Thought I would add a little to John's kind words.
Several things are new in the book. First off, I added 47 patterns in the new edition, beyond the 150 in the original. Most of the flies I added are new patterns or closely held secret patterns that have not been seen or fished by many anglers. Some were created by new flats anglers with fresh, inquisitive eyes—like Victor Trodella who developed the killer Ghost tailing fly and Omeko Glinton who gave birth to the Meko Special. Others like Mark Tomchin’s Lap Dancer, Eric Peterson’s Spawning Shrimp, Vic Gaspeny’s Threadhead, Rick Simonsen’s Simram, and Patrick Dorsy’s Kwan and Bone Slappa are creations of skilled flats veterans willing to pass along the exact recipes of go-to favorites they’ve relied on for taking big fish and/or winning tournaments for years.
The Threadhead is also an example of just how tightly guarded some patterns become. Vic Gaspeny first tied it and threw it in 1985, and he and tournament partner Richard Stanczyk (owner of Islamorada’s Bud N’ Mary’s) won or placed in many Keys tournaments for over two decades with it, as well as scoring Vic’s world record 14lb 6oz fish. We talked about it many times over that period but it took me 18 years to pry the exact recipe and details out of him!
A few of the new creations, like the Toad and the Slinky Toad, were developed in response to significant research findings in recent feeding studies that established the importance of newly discovered prey forms in the diet of Florida and Bahamian bonefish—especially the gulf toadfish. Four of them—the Bastard Crab, Big Ugly, Merkwan, and Bunny Crab—come from a true marine biology researcher, Aaron Adams, who is both a marine research scientist and an avid angler (and also director of the Bonefish & Tarpon Trust).
A couple of the additions were tried and true classics I left out of the first edition—like Pete Perinchief’s Horror and Nat Ragland’s venerable variant of his Puff permit killer, the Mini-Puff. I guess I felt like they were so common they didn’t need to be documented (and they were described in my original edition of my first book, Fly Fishing for Bonefish. But in retrospect, both flies are still very productive around the world, and I had to get them into this new edition of the book.
Finally, several new entries, like the Skok/Boyle collaboration, the Reverend Laing fly, Bevin’s Bully Special, and Trodella’s Ghost, were driven—at least in part—by new tying materials or novel uses of existing materials, which have enabled tiers to find novel solutions to old bonefish challenges like flash intensity, coloration, translucency, and splash impact.
But new patterns are only part of what I added to the book. I also heavily updated the sections suggesting flies for different destinations, the chapter on sources for fly patterns and materials, and the materials glossary. And I virtually rewrote the chapter on design alternatives and trends to capture the profusion of exciting new techniques and discoveries that today’s tiers are incorporating in flies to better induce that magic moment when a bonefish strikes. Here are a few examples:
• Development of soft-landing, reverse-splayed carapaces of wool and hair to enable crabs to land quietly and sink fast;
• Use of trailing-leg designs for better imitation of the paddling movements of swimming crabs;
• Realistic exploration of rear-facing postures in patterns to suggest the aggressive/defensive stances of attacked prey;
• Improved balancing of weight versus mass and density of materials to refine control of splashdown and sink rate;
• Creative use of new reflective materials to increase control of flash in patterns;
• Implementation of novel dubbing techniques to soften splash profiles and better display prey translucency;
• And—perhaps most exciting of all—the cascade of incredibly innovative methods for incorporating better triggering elements in fly patterns to improve hook-up rates on the water.
If anyone has questions about the book or bonefishing in general, I'd be happy to try to answer them.