by Jay "Fishy" Fullum 68 pages; $9.95 softcover. Stackpole Books, 5067 Ritter Road, Mechanicsburg, PA 17055; www.stackpolebooks.com. Reviewed by Alan Mapes
The art of fly tying always involves materials like exotic feathers and furs, right? Not in the fun fly fishing world of Jay "Fishy" Fullum. Long known to New York State fly fishers as a great "glue and goo" fly tier, Jay has published his first book, and it's a dandy. For most of the book's 27 fly patterns, Jay uses odd items like fake fur, plastic doll's eyes, tooth picks, soda straws, epoxy and super glue. From these common materials found in craft and department stores, fabulous fishing flies are created.
Fullum is a frequent contributor to the Conservationist, and a former DEC graphic design artist. Far from a newcomer to outdoor writing, Fullum writes and illustrates the "Creative Tying" column for Fly Tyer magazine. His work is often seen in other national fly fishing publications.
Fullum showed me how to tie his shad fly several years ago, and I've been happily catching American shad on them in the Hudson River ever since. In the book, he walks you through the creation of these little babies, made from rabbit fur, five-minute epoxy and Crystal Flash (you will need to visit a fishing shop for this sparkiy material, but you will be able to make the flies for pennies a piece).
Each page of this book holds a real gem of Jay's creative talent, and each fly is a proven fish attractor. The steps for tying each one are richly illustrated by the author in his distinctive style. The patterns range in size from tiny to large, and will tempt a wide range of fish, from bluegills to bonefish, crappies to striped bass. With each creation, he also gives you a window into his creative "fishy" mind--how he worked out the fly pattern, failures and successes along the path to a new fly creation. Best of all, these unique flies really catch fish!
An avid fly tyer and fisherman, Alan Mapes is an environmental educator with DEC in Albany.