Have I got the right fly on? That’s one of the questions I inevitably ask myself when I turn up to the edge of a trout lake or stream. Despite my insistence on the importance of presentation, an element of hypocrisy is unmasked when the likes of Craig Coltman or Christopher Bassano tell me they’ve been ‘getting ’em on nymphs.’ I don’t just want a description of the successful fly, I need to see one; preferably in the palm of my hand but of not, please send a picture. Maybe that exact nymph is essential to success, maybe it isn’t, but there are enough variables in flyfishing already that removing at least one of them does wonders for my confidence.
When Malcom Crosse and Rob Sloane collaborated to produce the book Australia’s Best Trout Flies 19 years ago, it was (not surprisingly) an immediate success. Ask thirty-odd highly rated Australian flyfishers to nominate their respective half-dozen favourite flies, put them all in one book, and you have a publication that no antipodean fly angler can really afford to be without. Add gift-quality production standards, first-class editing and excellent illustrations and pictures… the book sold itself.
Flicking through my copy today, it’s clearly as relevant now as it was back then. However two decades on, there are new anglers, new techniques and new flies to share and I think Malcolm has got the timing about right to produce Australia’s Best Trout Flies Revisited. For this new book, there could be no better editor than Rick Keam, and no better artist involved than Trevor Hawkins, so together with Malcolm’s oversight of the project, the production quality is once again assured. Meanwhile, the long list of contributors includes FlyStream regulars Jim Allen, Christopher Bassano, Craig Coltman, Peter Hayes and even me! One thing I really enjoyed about the original book was the insights it offered into the contributors themselves – not just their flies and tactics – and this promises to be a feature of the new book.
Although release of the book is a few months away, copies can be pre-ordered here. The publishers are seeking pre-orders to fine tune the size of the print run. The good news is, this gives readers the opportunity to guarantee themselves a copy. The bad news is, it means those who don’t pre-order risk the final run being over-subscribed and missing out. For the collectors out there, I noticed this morning that just a day after offering orders online, the publishers have already sold out of the premium box set.
At FlyStream, we’re supporting this project not only because we believe books like this are good for Australian flyfishing, but also because Fly Fish Australia and its members will again benefit from the sales of this book, which will assist local anglers wishing to represent Australia in national and international fly fishing championships.