Reviews, Fly Fishing Outside the Box

Reviews of "Fly Fishing Outside the Box,Emerging Heresies" by Peter Hayes (excerpts).

ISBN 9781904784562 Book Code 30311 Pub Coch-y-Bonddu Books +44 (0) 1654 702837


Bob deMott, in the Bulletin of The Anglers Club of New York:-

(be patient, Bob gets on to the book on the fourth page—but it’s all good stuff: I’m bossy, cocksure and demonize Halford, all of which I admit to happily)

Mark  Owen, in “The Angler” the magazine of The Angling Trust:-

David Profumo, in Country Life February 2014:-

Going against the grain of much received wisdom and aimed at the experienced angler who likes to think laterally about trout and their behaviour, this refreshing study combines practical advice with modesty and humour. Can an artificial fly float too well? Would nymph patterns be better dressed backwards? Well versed in the sport's literature and with excellent colour illustrations, this impressive book is likely to prove quietly influential.

Paul Procter, in Trout and Salmon Magazine: –

"Fly Fishing Outside the Box" isn't a conventional title and neither is this book's content. This brave, exciting work by Peter Hayes challenges many fly-fishing beliefs. It's not a whimsical or throwaway commentary intended to provoke controversy; instead it provides information based on years of close observation and is carefully argued… Not everyone will agree with Peter's logic, but that is not his intention. However, what you will find is an outstanding publication crammed with useful information, set out in a way that will stimulate newcomers and seasoned rods alike. With its refreshing slant, Fly Fishing Outside the Box really does question convention and belongs on the shelf of every fly-fisher's library.”

Charles Jardine, review for the cover:-

“Hooray! A last a fly fishing book that challenges. Everything.

Peter Hayes does not suffer fools gladly (I hope I am the exception) or underestimate trout. Therefore, this book is breath of fresh air that will ruffle the odd tranquil surface and reveal a world on all river fly fishing levels and I promise you will change (for the better) because of it.

What I love about “…Outside the Box” is it’s breathtaking originality and breathing life into a fairly tired, threadbare subject. It seeks not to dumb down; the book challenges you, convention, and myths and widely held dogmatic opinion. Basically, the book tosses a fly-fishing gauntlet into your casting path. Pick up the gauntlet: accept the challenge and be a far better river fisher as a result.”

Paul Schullery ('Bookranger') Reviewing for Amazon:- we have Peter Hayes' beautifully produced "Fly Fishing Outside the Box," which picks up the energetic dialogues, debates, and outright disagreements offered by the authors listed above and moves the whole enterprise of fly-fishing theory along on many fronts. This wide-ranging, stimulating, and iconoclastic book, as entertaining as it is provocative, offers a respectful review of the best (and worst) thinking of Hayes' many predecessors. He takes on traditional (Both Halfordian and Catskill-style) dry-fly design, which at least since Marinaro's time a few people have taken to task for flaws of almost mythic proportions. He addresses some perplexing and almost universally ignored questions, such as "Which way do natural duns face as they float downstream?" and "Do our imitations face that way?" and "What do trout make of the leader that they can see clearly attached to every fly we cast to them?" He reconsiders tippets, leaders, nymphs, presentation issues, the tricky physics of the surface film, the surprisingly important heritage of Tenkara-type fishing, and many other matters of interest. Thinking fishermen, especially those with a fine eye for the longstanding theories behind modern fly design and trout natural history, will find much here to interest, surprise, and perhaps even annoy them; which is as it should be in a book about something as quirky and bewildering as fly-fishing.

Andrew Herd,author of “The Fly” in "Books":-

"Been there, caught it and wondering what's next? Fishing beginning to lack the appeal it once had? Up for a challenge? Well, here it is in the form of the immensely experienced Peter Hayes' take on new perspectives in fly fishing – and what a vista it most surely provides… a great book and one that you will almost certainly return to again and again. I'll be interested to see what Peter writes next."

Tim Jacklin, in Salmo Trutta the Wild Trout Trust magazine:-

Peter Hayes is an original thinker and someone who challenges convention; combine this with the fact he is a very experienced and successful angler and you have a book that is essential reading for the trout (and grayling) fly angler.”

Paul Arden,of

Bloody excellent book!...Fantastic, I don't agree with everything of course, and haven't quite finished it yet either (I know, I know!)”.(Full review to follow when he has...)

Chris Ogborne (personal endorsement with permission to publish).

'...all I can say is a very sincere 'congrats' 

It's absolutely brilliant and possibly the best angling book I've seen.'

Peter Lapsley, review for Fly Fishing and Fly Tying magazine:-

“Those who review game angling books receive a constant stream of new titles. Most are adequate, or better than ‘adequate’, ‘how to do it’ books or reminiscences; too many are far less good. Just a very few stop one in one’s tracks, are truly difficult to put down, explain compellingly the truth behind things we thought we knew but didn’t, and really make one think about one’s sport.

For me, Brian Clarke’s The Pursuit of Stillwater Trout (A&C Black, 1975) is an obvious example of the latter. It changed completely the way in which I thought of and approached stillwater fly fishing. The same went for Vincent Marinaro’s In the Ring of the Rise (Lyons & Burford, 1976). There are just a few others, including Peter Hayes’ new book, Fly Fishing Outside the Box. It is aptly named.”

Timothy Benn (Publisher, The Trout and the Fly):-

“‘Fly Fishing Outside The Box’ takes a hammer and chisel to many set-in-stone fly fishing and fly-tying perceptions and practices.The book will do for the ‘want to do better’ flyfisher what a spell at the Harvard Business School does for the aspiring business supremo – but speaking from personal experience, will be a lot more fun!

This brilliant book challenges assumptions, shows why many time worn practices need to be rethought, and provides parameters for new action, all based on logic and a raft of common sense.

I challenge any flyfisher –whatever their level of expertise – not to benefit from this, the most important book for trout and grayling anglers since John Goddard and Brian Clarke’s classic, The Trout and the Fly.”

Mike Shanks, editor, Irish Angler magazine: –

"Peter Hayes has done fly-fishing a great service by taking a deep breath and blowing the dust off a century or more of an accepted or imposed theory and dogma. By doing so we are able to take a fresh look at fly-fishing... I doubt if any angler who reads Fly Fishing Outside the Box will ever again be able to turn up at a river and just go through the motions."

Bob Male, Editor of "Grayling", Book Reviews autumn 2013:-

One of the many joys of angling is that it generates a great diversity of literature, some of it valuable, some less so. Fly Fishing Outside the Box belongs firmly in the “valuable” category, and will be seen, I think, as being one of the best books of its kind. The breadth is great, the language is plain and direct; anyone, regardless of experience, can profit from reading it and perhaps become a better, even a happier, angler.”

Pete Tyjas in “Eat Sleep Fish”:-

...a book full of hints, tips, and experience from an angler who has put in the hours, caught the fish, and wants to share his extensive knowledge...may make you think things a little differently...within the 263 pages there are some real gems of information would I recommend the book? The answer is a resounding yes. I think it would be difficult for an angler of any ability to read it and not take away something from it.”

Tom Sutcliffe in The Spirit of Fly Fishing (South Africa):-

It’s difficult to find the right adjective to describe Peter Hayes’ new book, Fly FishingOutside the Box - Emerging Heresies. Many come to mind – intriguing, enlightening, fascinating – but none really do this brilliant work full justice and the title delivers precisely what it promises... Hayes undertakes a major debunking of many long held rituals, beliefs and philosophies in fly fishing and fly tying and he does it convincingly – with surgical precision in some instances – and always with underlying modesty and an unassuming grace...I could go on, but I’d rather you discovered this book’s wisdoms and gems yourself.  Looking around my study right now and doing a quick count, I have a little over 550 fly fishing books on my shelves. I’d guess 60% of those are ‘How to’ books, say around 330. This book is now firmly among the top 10 best of all those.

Should you buy this book? Yes.

Will it help you catch more fish? Yes

Will it teach you a lot and make you think, no matter how good an angler you are? Yes

How much does it cost? It doesn’t matter.

Axel Wessolowski in “Fliegenfischer” magazine, under the title “This book should be burnt !” :-

“...Truly heretical...With a sense of humor Hayes wants to challenge the fly-fisher and eventually getting him to reconsider the official opinion of the church (after all fly-fishing is still a religion, isn`t it?). Finally you shall convert to his deviant teachings...A very exceptional book, which you will like to read, again and again; due to the many different subjects the book is rather hard to categorize, but one thing is certain: fly-fishing novices and also the more sophisticated fishers will have fun reading the 22 chapters. And there is a lot to debate.”

Paul Knight, Director of the Salmon & Trout Association, in “Gamefisher Magazine”:-

Peter Hayes, one of the deepest thinkers about fly fishing around today, has just published his masterpiece “Fly Fishing Outside the Box, Emerging Heresies”, which, as the cover says, takes a hammer and chisel to many set-in-stone fly fishing and fly tying perceptions and practices”.

Foger Fagan : for “Riffles & Runs”:-

Those who do not know Peter will be taken aback at the extent of his fishing credentials, those who do will not. This is a book by a fisherman who has not only walked the walk, but fished all the waters en route and during the process catching some of its largest and most cunning denizens. From start to finish I didn’t find anything that I’d previously read in any other fishing books, and quite a lot of fishing food for thought. Peter isn’t one to rehash other peoples thoughts, rather the reverse. Every subject and chapter has been carefully thought through, his thoughts and suppositions validated through many years of standing on or in a river proving, endeavouring to prove or disprove, and analysing his findings for himself. Then, and only then he lucidly details his reasoning under each chapter heading. Quite unafraid to challenge generally held perceptions and fishing dogma, from the books title through to its intriguing chapter headings, this book will engage and inform, but more essentially, it will empower you to go fishing with a different mindset, a different authority. There are probably a dozen fishing books on your shelves that you should throw in a skip, the space is more than adequately taken up with this one volume.

Tom Sutcliffe: The Spirit of Flyfishing:-

From an international perspective ‘Flyfishing Outside the Box — Emerging Heresies’ by the UK-based Peter Hayes was a narrow winner as my technical/instructional book of the year.... It is full of intriguing new insights on everything from mayfly behaviour to why you should grease your leader, and it never fails to delight and instruct. 

© Peter Hayes 2014