A few months ago I wrote up a comparison of the two most popular guides for beginners:
Fly Tying Books for Beginners
Two very popular books for beginners are Charlie Craven's Basic Fly Tying and The Benchside Introduction to Fly Tying. Details on each of the books are outlined below:
Charlie Craven's Basic Fly Tying By Charlie Craven - 2008
Hardcover # of pages: 280
Amazon Price - $27.95:
# of fly patterns including variations: 89
A series of practical lessons, Charlie Craven's Basic Fly Tying is a modern course in fly-tying fundamentals covering the essential tools, materials, and techniques needed to tie a wide range of popular flies. With 1,000 photos, Craven covers cutting-edge techniques for the more tried-and-true classics, such as the Royal Wulff, Adams, and Hare's Ear, and shares innovative approaches to current patterns such as the Brassie, RS2, and Copper John. This book is built on Craven's successful fly-tying classes, which start out with simple flies and work toward more complex patterns, all the while teaching techniques and introducing materials by tying popular patterns that catch fish in Eastern and Western streams.
The Benchside Introduction to Fly Tying By Ted Leeson and Jim Schollneyer
Hardcover Spiral # of pages: 189
Amazon Price - $32.93
# of fly patterns including variations: 111
Publisher’s Description: The first 25 pages of this oversized, hardcover spiral-bound book are filled with fly-tying techniques and the last 164 pages are cut horizontally across the page. The top half of the page shows tying steps for each patterns and includes references to techniques that are explained step by step in the bottom half.
Based on an initial impression, the Benchside Introduction appears to be the better book. It could be classified as a beginner to intermediate guide but Craven’s book is more of a beginner’s guide. I don’t think one is better than the other.
I don’t know of any single Internet site that has the information contained in either of these two books but they are expensive for a beginner on a limited budget. Does anyone have any other comments on these two books or any other lesser expensive ones for a beginner?