Advanced Fly Tying: The Proven Methods of a Master Professional Fly Tyer (英語) ハードカバー – 2002/3/25
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Master fly tyer AK Best shows you how to bring your tying to a higher level
"Wonderfully constructed with excellent color photographs for added clarity."--"Salmon Trout Steelheader magazine"
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There is advanced material here like his chapter on dry fly collar shape. There is other material, like that on buying hackle, that is for professionals no doubt, but not useful unless you are buying hackle by the gross, and willing to dye it all. Though the approach he takes to the task is interesting, this is professional, not necessarily advanced content.
I found the chapters on vise maintenance and hand position baby. I have one of the earliest HMH vises too, and I haven't oiled it in 25 years, and I have tied heavily including professionally. I certainly wouldn't oil it with facial oil, which can be salty or acidic. On hand position, the fact is that if you can secure material to the hook properly, then you are probably already doing the stuff described here, though it might be useful to a beginner.
I loved the long sections on small flies, almost a book within a book. I also liked the other section on new or revised flies. It is, however, hard to know the validity of these patterns. I don't fish the same waters he does, and in general, his patterns aren't top sellers, nor are they likely to be correct as sold, given his sharp standards. But there is something about his flies that seems right, and I don't tire reading about them. Even his close friend Gierach makes the point, however, that some of these new innovations may only help 1 out of 10 times. So rather than the information in all cases being that useful, it is just fun to see what he has been up to with his flies, and where they have taken him since his last book.
AK has produced another classic.
The latest book starts with an obsessive rant about caring for your vise. Archie: don't you think that some of us read the manual?
Aside from the vise care clinic, the book is a continuation of the kind of observations about materials and techniques that made his Fly Box and Production Fly Tying so useful. In other words, buy the book.
I would not be without the latest A.K. Best book...but I hope that his next work continues to provide us with his tying insights rather than ranting about vise care or some other trivial issue.
I don't own an expensive vise: I own a Thompson A and a pair of Griffiths and they have suited me just fine for the past many years. If any of them were damaged due to my misuse I suspect that it would have been very obvious. I simply don't fathom the rant about vise care. . .and it is a rant (thou shalt anoint a piece of T-shirt with 3 & 1 oil and store same overnight in a plastic bag so that the oil may penetrate the fibers of the cloth...)on a par with the Old Testament.
Archie, before you set a hard and fast rule about some physical mechanism I would suggest that you try reviewing the rates of surface adsorption of hydrocarbons in cotton-poly blends.
And this brings me to one other little matter: A.K. uses Chlorine Bleach to remove feather fibers from quills. This is a fine way to accomplish that process. A.K. has stated that he uses a baking-soda rinse to stop the action of the bleach. Well, NaHCO3 (baking soda)forms, in solution, Na+ and HCO3- ions making an alkaline (pH >7)solution. Common household bleach is Sodium Hypochlorite (NaOCl)and it is an OXIDANT meaning that it gives up electrons in a reaction known as a REDOX reaction. Alkali solutions are Proton Acceptors and Oxidizers are Electron Donors.
At best, A.K.'s the use of baking soda is harmless as a rinsing agent and at worst it has no effect other than to dilute the bleach remaining on the quills.
If one is going to give definitive instructions, one ought to review the science first.
This little issue aside, all of A.K.'s books have a place in every serious fly tier's library.