Orvis Guide to Essential Flies

Our fly tying guide book is the perfect gift for the angler in your life.


The definitive guide to tying the most successful and productive freshwater and saltwater flies of all time. While there are thousands of flies available to anglers, many of the most popular are those that, by virtue of their fish-catching ability and unique construction methods, have stood the test of time. This indispensable resource features twenty quintessential fly patterns, including the Parachute Adams, Clouser Minnow, and Woolly Bugger. With detailed chapters exploring the history of, and variations on each fly, interviews with fly originators, and step-by-step tying recipes and instructions, this is the perfect reference book for fly tiers of all abilities. 208 pages. Hard cover.
Shipped to contiguous 48 states only.
Express shipping/gift packaging not available.


Overall: Show Rating Distribution 4.5 / 5 based on 11 reviews


11 of 11 reviewers would recommend this product to a friend.

  • 4/5

    Great fly book - 5/13/2014
    By: from Texas

    Very good book with great detail but not very many streamer flies. Would of liked to have more bass flies also

  • 4/5

    Very informative - 5/12/2014

    Good pictures and description of how to tie the various flies

  • 4/5

    Fly Tying Book - 4/29/2014

    Great book at a great price. Would recommend this book to friends.

  • 5/5


  • 5/5

    Outstanding book - 3/3/2014
    By: from Atlanta GA

    If you want to get into tying your own flies, this book hands down the best. Detailed instructions with outstanding photos. You cannot go wrong with this book.

  • 5/5

    Dr Taymoorian - 3/1/2014
    By: from Columbia ,MD

    great book incredible pictures and Forward by Lefty is a Gift

  • 5/5

    A msut have for any fly-tier - 2/26/2014
    By: from Lynchburg, VA

    This a wonderful resource for the serious fly-tier and a beautiful publication for anyone who'd like to day dream on a cold winter day. It's just FUN.

  • 4/5

    the only ones needed. - 2/7/2014
    By: from biddeford, me.
    Top 1000 Contributor

    nice book it shows te artes and there fly.iam glade i got this book.

  • 5/5

    Really nice book, nicely done - 3/23/2013
    By: from Raleigh, NC

    Banner day! I had Essential American Flies on my Christmas list but it was a no-show; this year Santa apparently felt my books should all have plots. (Although my 23-year-old son told me that several booksellers smirked when he asked about another book on my list, Dynamic Nymphing. True story.) But I recently won a copy of Essential American Flies in the Trivia Challenge Phil Monahan runs on the OrvisNews.com site and am I excited to get it. It's a treat. The book focuses on American flies that are at least 20 years old and have built reputations as go-to flies. Each fly gets its own chapter, and each chapter includes a brief history of the pattern and often, recipes for early or later versions. I like knowing a pattern's bloodlines; they give me better insight into why a fly is put together the way it is. Tom's writing is clear--no surprise there if you've read him before--and his step-by-step for tying the patterns is easy to follow. The chapters also include a page focused one of the fly's materials--Antron, hare's ear fur; his section on Beads anticipated a question I'd had about the relative weights of beads and wire. The bonus, though, came from the tips that just seemed to slip into the text. It was as if one of my fishing buddies was tying flies across from me, chatting a bit, and throwing in an occasional, "By the way, here's something I've found that makes this pattern more durable/ buggier/ a better tie . . . ." And Essential American Flies is jaw-droppingly nice as a book, too. The design, layout, printing, and binding are first-rate, all the way down to the endpapers. If you've read his Small Stream Fishing, you've already gotten a taste. The pages with the tying steps have a subtle background color and the word "Tying" screened slightly darker at the top, setting them off from the rest of the chapter. Tom did nearly all the photography himself, and it's obvious he's serious about it. The images for the tying steps are crisp and detailed, as they should be in an instructional book. He really steps out, though, in the incidental photography introducing the sections and chapters. Those photos are rich with color and texture; there are several I'd hang on my wall. Each time I look through this book, I'm more impressed. In short, it's a book I'll keep nearby and read to read, as much as it is a book I'll take to my bench for tying flies.

  • 4/5

    great for new tyers - 2/27/2012

    simple explanations, pictures are very helpful, not just another tying book, instructions are clear, well done Tom (again).

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