i actually have the book and used it a lot while i was first learning (still learning...). The thing with "go to" flies is they are a starting point, a foundation. Now days it is hard to come by flies that are not considered "go to" flies for the area fished. I just use books and videos to get a solid pattern down and try to tie at least one fishable fly out of 10 haha
As Hank said, serious cred. One thing about flies from guys like this is that they have had years of experience testing them. I like using patterns from guys that already know that they work. Some modern tyers come out with "cool" looking flies, and call them killers after they go out and catch a few fish. But they never really put them to a test in many conditions. It's fun to create, but it often takes several seasons to perfect a pattern. I would tie a few exact copies and see how they fish (for a foundation) and then adjust them to your liking. Pretty much the same advice Tight Lines gives us above.
honestly i tie crappy flies that catch little fish, but i just try to be creative and make things my own. im no drew chicone, but being in the military and working two other jobs limits the time i have to dedicate to fly tying as opposed to fly fishing. i am a firm believer in presentation over looks, but i do take pride in what i tie.
I have it and it is a great book. I still like books and they are good to get ideas. I learned to tie from books when younger before all the digital info became common. With youtube and the internet tying books are probably not as necessary as they once were. But for people who were learning and without a mentor they were once necessary. Did you have a mentor or learn from the internet to tie?
Ed is one of the original members of a saltwater fly fishing club founded in NJ by Bobby Popovics and it has honorary members from the northeast like Bob Clouser, Lou Tabory, Lefty Kreh, Jack Gartside, Nick Curcione and a few others. Our monthly meetings were a fly tyers dream with lots of guest tyers and one-on-one instruction from some the worlds best.
Ed's biggest interest was in casting instruction and he kinda positioned himself to take over whenever Lefty decided to retire.