The Unsung Hero
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Producing Fly Tyer magazine is a team effort. After the authors submit their articles to our offices, an entire group of people swing into action to create what you now hold in your hands. Look to the right, and you'll see what is called a magazine masthead; it's a list of many of the people who have roles in producing this publication.

As good as we feel after each issue of Fly Tyer leaves the door on its way to your mailbox or local newsstand, our efforts pale in comparison to the upcoming publication of the new edition of Ernest Schwiebert's Nymphs. Scott Bowen, an editor at Lyons Press, the publisher of Nymphs, will be the unsung hero of this monumental work. Let me sing his praises.

Scott was a freelance editor at the time the rough manuscript of the new Nymphs landed on his desk. As a fly fisherman, he was well aware of Ernie's reputation and the influence his books have had on our sport. Scott knew this was going to be a very special book, and, as he was to learn, it was going to be very large project.

"Oh yes, it was big. The manuscript contained about a million words when I received it; that's about thirty-six hundred pages. Ernie expanded well beyond the original edition of Nymphs. He wanted to share what he had learned in the thirty years since he wrote the first edition; he was always researching the topic and had a lot to say. Ernie also added more illustrations and told even more of his great stories. I spent nine months just editing the text."

Every issue of Fly Tyer is 80 pages, but that also includes the ads. How do you tackle a 3,600-page manuscript?

"The problem was that we had to find some way to publish this massive book. First, we cut it to a slightly more manageable eight hundred thousand words. But that was still a lot, so we decided to create two separate volumes." How did you determine what to leave in and what to cut? How did Ernie react to your changes?

"My guiding principle was that if a story included something about nymphs—a pattern, a nymphing technique, a stream that Ernie loved, or anything else that would help someone catch a fish—we kept it in the book."

"I always had to present Ernie with a serious editorial rationale for making a change. It was a truly wonderful experience." We'd discuss any change, and he was always great to work with. Ernie read and approved the final manuscript before he passed away in 2005.

How did you divide the material into two volumes?

"The first book is Nymphs: Volume One—The Major Species. That will be available this June. Next, we'll release Nymphs: Volume Two—Stoneflies, Caddisflies, and the Lesser Mayflies. That's scheduled for August. We'll also offer a slipcased edition containing both volumes.

"In addition to enjoying all the new information about nymphs and fishing, readers will also see how Ernie evolved as an artist. Some of the new illustrations are very striking. And, the illustrations in the original edition were not color separated properly during the printing process; it will be done right this time, so the original art will look even better. All of the illustrations are going to look just the way Ernie wanted them to look."

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