The subtitle, "A Study of Trout, Entomology and Tying", is very descriptive. Philip Rowley begins with a season by season analysis of the diet of trout found in stillwater in BC and the northwestern US. Taking each of the major categories (chironomids, scuds, damselflies, dragonflies, leeches, mayflies, caddisflies, water boatmen, and "hodgepodge") in turn, he describes its life cycle and gives his thoughts on pattern design. For each category, he illustrates five to twelve flies that he has found to be effective imitations, gives step by step tying instructions, and explains how best to fish each fly. The photographs of the natural insects are excellent. The tying instructions are clear and well illustrated. Many of the patterns are original with Mr. Rowley and all can be tied by tyers of any skill level. I have tied and fished many of these patterns and can vouch for their effectiveness. No matter whether this will be your first book about tying flies for stillwater or an addition to an extensive collection, it is a book you will refer to often.
This book was excellent in value and content. My number one manual for fly fishing lakes! Every serious fly fisher should own this book! However, I waited an extremely long time (6 months) for Amazon to finally find it and send it, so I was very disappointed in the turnaround time, but the price was right, and I really wasn't in a hurry to have it!
I'm not given much to writing reviews but to not give a glowing review to this author would be a disservice. Easily one of the top two books on lake fishing that I have read. Get it not only for the patterns but for the clarity the author brings to lake fishing for trout. His observations on what he has seen and his interpretation of it will take years of off the learning curve of aspiring fly fishermen, especially those that can't be at their favorite lake twice a week. He is a keen observer and a well thought out writer, can't recommend the book enough, not only for the fly tying enthusiast.