Two quite recent books have really caught my eye. They are not repeats of the old classics, but they introduce dramatically different new patterns making tasteful and practical use of new synthetic materials and careful study of the natural insects.
1. Spinners & Cripples by Kelly Galloup
This 2001 book presents outstanding new imitations for -- you guessed it -- spinners and cripples. They address two major problems I dislike in other patterns.
The first problem is that the bodies are straight. Real mayfly bodies are very flexible and they are frequently bent as they float along the surface. The obvious solution is to simply bend the hook shank before tying, but this creates balance and line twist problems. Galloup presents patterns designed to cast well on bent hooks.
The second problem is the "triangular" profile of spinner wings tied from a single lump of fibers across the shank. They look unnatural and they tend to flop back with usage. Galloup presents a pattern (the "Ellis Triple Wing") which creates a sturdy, natural-looking profile.
I have been too busy with this site to tie many of the patterns in this books, but I have tied and used some of Galloup's dries. I like them so much that, with the exception of a couple compara-spinners, all my other spinner patterns are sitting in a tupperware container somewhere under some old laundry in a closet.
2. Fly-Fishing Pressured Water by Lloyd Gonzales.
This brand new title is a must-have book
for serious hatch-matching fly anglers. It's the first book I've seen which introduces several useful new techniques not found in the comprehensive Fly Tier's Benchside Reference
. It also introduces entirely new fly designs.
The flies require a fair amount of skill to tie, but they're not beyond most serious hobbyists. And they are beautifully realistic and
lifelike imitations of the naturals. He writes about realism on page 15:
Realistic imitation is often maligned in fly-fishing literature, with the detractors leveling the incomprehensible accusation that such flies are poor fish-catchers because they are too realistic. That is not possible, and what they really mean is that the materials used to achieve a realistic appearance are often stiff and life-less, producing a fly that does not move or drift in a convincing fashion--in practical terms, such flies are not realistic enough.
I completely agree with this philosophy. In your first flip through the book you'll fall in love with his fly patterns, many of which look to both human and aquatic eyes very much like the real thing, yet are constructed of lifelike and durable materials.