This book illustrates 49 incredibly effective models created using new tying techniques, new materials and most importantly the Cul de Canard, which is employed in the most sophisticated way. The models reworked are 49 of the strongest classic models. For every fly, a series of high resolution photos illustrates each step of the tying process and accompanies the explanations. The Cul de Canard is introduced only where its characteristics are in harmony with the traditional model chosen. This is done to better the effectiveness of the model and its simplicity of use. Some models are exclusively in CDC. Hardcover; 8.5×12 inches; full color; 224 pages.
This is an ambitious book. It’s an English translation of an Italian production. Words, pictures and flies are by Mauro Raspini, with a couple of patterns from Roberto Messori. The book is a large hardback and is printed on quality paper. It’s very nicely produced (although it lacks a proper index and bibliography).
Raspini opens with a brief and passionate history of tying with CdC (sort of ‘The Ages of CdC’) then launches in to a fairly brilliant and extended series of modern CdC flies. In the first part of the main text, each pattern is given a use or a context, e.g. “Cripple”, “Large Surface Nymph”, later in the book flies seem to be less generic, either suggestive of specific insects, or named patterns including CdC versions of older patterns.
Those flies which come as a type, rather than a specific fly or pattern, seem to me to show how Raspini’s mind works, his patterns can easily be adapted to suggest this or that insect – because he knows this or that insect. Along the way Raspini includes excellent photographs of the insects he is suggesting, he actually knows what they look like, size, shape, proportions and colour. Yet his flies are, as far as I can see, all suggestive, he does not become trapped into trying to represent all the features, all the detail of an insect. His text explains why his tied images are simplified, they exaggerate a specific feature or characteristic, and, Raspini argues, that simplification causes an exaggerated response from hunting fish. He says it better than me, and I find his argument fairly compelling!
The photography in this book is worth a mention, as is the reproduction of the images. I believe Raspini is the photographer and these close-up and macro images are excellent. Top quality printing means those images are faithfully reproduced.