The Osprey Fly Box
Flies of the Pacific Northwest
I finally got the chance to sit down uninterrupted, something that doesn’t happen much lately, and read through the Osprey Fly Box’s latest publication: their 50th anniversary edition of Flies of the Pacific Northwest. I’ll get into more detail within the review but if I had to sum it up in one word it would have to be … comprehensive! A made in BC book about everything BC fly fishing. Perfect timing if you ask me! For anyone with an interest in fly fishing this book truly has it all. But for the local (BC) angler it has the added bonus of a local focus on the area we know, that we grew up fishing, and that we can personally connect with.
So many things I liked about this book. In no particular order …
History: I’m sure that most will find the brunt of it’s value within the fly pattern/tying pages but being local, and of the age where it all played out in front of my eyes, I really appreciated the history that was provided. How the Osprey Fly Box came to be. The founding members, many of them significant contributors to the fly fishing community who have/continue to share their knowledge. For anyone considering a read, rest assured that the information shared in ‘Flies of the Pacific Northwest’ is time tested intel worth much more than the sticker price!
Total BC Fly Fishing Coverage: Lakes, rivers, cutthroat, steelhead, freshwater salmon, saltwater salmon, and then a further break down into multiple subsections, and with a specific productive flies list and some “how to” commentary for each! There are six chapters for stillwaters alone: Chironomids & Bloodworms, Nymphs, Dry Flies & Emergers, Leeches & Buggers, Streamers & Attractors, Scuds, Boatmen & Backswimmers. I think I used the word “comprehensive” appropriately. 😉
Fly Patterns: Flies of the Pacific Northwest is, not surprisingly, a book full of fly patterns. But not just any fly patterns … time tested & proven fly patterns specific to particular areas/fisheries. Members of the Osprey Fly Fishing Club were surveyed to determine their “go-to” flies across various groups of flies with the goal of determining best producers. Consequently, the result is a publication with a mix of classic and modern patterns, all with the distinction of proving top in their class! These fly patterns alone make this book a must have for all BC fly anglers. If you’re just starting out you can eliminate the “fly selection” phase of the learning curve by simply working with the proven patterns detailed within. For the more advanced anglers, as I’m sure you know there is always something more to learn … and I’m quite confident there is something for everyone within the pages of this book.
As a side note to the review, we were extremely honored to see that one of our very own flies, the bloodworm clot, was selected by the members of the Osprey Fly Box as a top producing stillwater fly pattern! The Bloodworm Clot was developed by BCFlguys Northern Division founder Gord Eby, an out of the box thinker and long time BC fly fishing enthusiast that has contributed a ton of information on the BC Flyguys website and media platforms over the years. For those interested the Bloodworm Clot chironomid larvae pattern can be found on page 23 of the publication.
Commentary: Prior to each section, and sometimes preceding a specific fly, the Osprey Fly Box has selected an expert to offer a bit of commentary on the topic. Commentary might not be the right word to describe it. In my opinion it is much more than that. Some of the spokespersons layout their information vary specifically/linearly, while others take you on a trip down memory lane with an anecdote or two relating to the subject. Regardless of how it is delivered, pay attention to it! The stories are laced with valuable information, the data is gold, and all of it is provided by folks that learned it through putting in the time so that we might not have too … it will serve you well! As hard as it is for fly fishermen to not to be distracted by pretty flies (and Flies of the Pacific Northwest certainly contains a ton of gorgeous flies) the commentary provided is priceless.
Overall, I would rate the Osprey Fly Box’s 50th anniversary edition of Flies of the Pacific Northwest at 5/5. As mentioned at the beginning of the review, the book offers comprehensive detail to every area of fly fishing in British Columbia including not only proven productive flies but invaluable information on how to fly fish with them. The publication is currently offered in hard cover, soft cover, and electronic (kindle) versions as listed below. We highly recommend picking one up. 🙂
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