Grant Alvis is a Virginia angler who is as much at home on a native Brookie stream as he is in the salt chasing Reds, Tarpon or Bonefish. His forte is the Northern Snakehead. Grant is an ambassador for the great gamefish, educating people on their misrepresentation as an invasive species and getting people to realize these are not the "Frankenfish" some people would have you believe. Grant is a fantastic fly tyer, tying patterns for just about everything. If you would like to learn more, read on...
My evolution as a fly fisherman is similar to many others. I started out catching trout with a can of corn, mepps spinner, or the old faithful rooster tail. I purchased a float tube and started floating down the Toccoa river which has become my favorite local stream. As I would pass fly fishermen, at first I stereotyped them as being snobby, stuck up, and having more money than they knew what to do with. One day on my float I had stopped near a fly fisherman and he struck up a conversation with me. To my shock, he was actually extremely nice and friendly. I asked many questions as far as equipment, flies, casting, etc and he was very generous in sharing his knowledge. That day changed my life. I made up my mind that I wanted to get into fly fishing so I went straight down to the local Academy sports. $100 later I had me a complete set…….fly rod, fly reel, fly line, backing, leader and even a few flies included. After hitting the river and catching my first trout on a flyrod, I was hooked. The next step for me was trying to tie my own flies. I decided it would be amazing to catch a trout on something I created with my own hands. I started with a $60 fly tying kit that I got from Bass Pro Shops. I remember the first fly I attempted was a flying ant. I thought it looked perfect at the time. 😊 I then joined a trout club and decided to post in the forum mentioning that I was learning fly tying and to see if anyone had any tips. I got several replies that I should look up this well known tyer, Chuck Morris, who lived just down the road from me. He had been tying flies 46 years at the time. I messaged him and he told me to feel free to come by his house anytime. I was there that same night. Chuck took me under his wing and taught me the fundamentals of tying and then got more and more advanced as we went along. Chuck had been taught to tie flies by the one and only George Harvey. He was a student in George’s first fly fishing class at Penn State. Learning the correct proportions and fundamentals from the beginning has served me well over the years. Chuck gave me countless bags of materials when I would go see him. He would give me a pattern to go home and practice and then the following week, I would bring in several flies I tied and he would critique them. I tried over and over again to pay Chuck for his time and materials and he would never take a dime from me. He always said, “Fly tying is an artform. Just pay it forward and that is all the payment I want from you.” That is what I have always tried to do from tying at Atlanta Fly Fishing Show, Spring flings, Fall Flings, Trout Unlimited meetings, etc. I finally realized why Chuck had made that request of me when I was tying at an annual Spring Fling and a young boy came up to me with his dad. His dad said that his son wanted to come over and thank me. I was taken off guard a bit and asked “Thank me for what?”. Apparently a few years earlier I was a guest tyer at an outdoor expo in Atlanta area and the little boy came over to me and was very interested in the art of fly tying. His dad said that I took the time to actually help him tie his first fly and on the way home he begged his dad to get him a fly tying kit which he did. He said fly fishing and fly tying has become their favorite hobby to do together and it all started with the “First fly”. That let me know exactly what Chuck meant by “Paying it Forward”. Later, I lucked into a fly tying lot full of materials, hooks, beads, etc and part of the lot was a Renzetti traveler vise. I was, and still am tying on a Norvise so I just showed up at Chuck’s door one day and when he opened the door, I handed him the Renzetti as a thank you and he is still tying on it today, 13 years later. I have learned since then that the fly tying/fly fishing community is full of some of the best people I have ever had the fortune of meeting. Most of them would give you the shirt off their back and are always paying it forward. With that being said, thank you Chuck for everything. Sharing your time and knowledge has been a true blessing to me and developed in me a passion that I hold dear to this day. Till next time...
Fresh from his Facebook Live event last night, we decided to feature Don Corey on this week's "Meet the Crew Monday" Don is an avid Fly fisher living up in the great state of Maine. He owns Annika Rod and Fly in Brewer, right on the banks of the Penobscot river. Check them out at www.annikarodandfly.com Don has been tying on a Norvise for close to 25 years and is a great supporter of our products. To learn more about Don, check out his data sheet below.
This week our "Meet the Crew Monday" Segment takes a look at Norvise Ambassador Terry Landry. Terry is the reigning March Madness Champion (he finished second the first year). He, along with his wife Julie, own the North Shore Fly Shop Terry loves everything outdoors, he really excels at Atlantic Salmon fishing. To get a better look at Terry check out his Data sheet below.
I was fortunate to meet Shawn many years ago when I was managing the fly shop in Delaware. We have since become the best of friends. Shawn is an accomplished fly fisher with a life list of 60+ species landed on fly gear. He as also an IGFA record holder (should be 2 IGFA records, but that is a story for another time) and is an exceptional fly tier. For a deeper look take a look at his Norvise Data Sheet.
By Norvise ambassador Marc Williamson.
Through the years of fishing spring creeks, I have learned many lessons on fishing them.
Some great tips for fishing some smaller water. Good stuff Marc, thank you for sharing these with us. Till next time...
Tight lines - Tim
Spend 5 minutes with "Big Mess" and you will quickly learn he is one of the kindest most genuine people on the planet. Spend some time with him at his Norvise and you will quickly learn he is expert fly tier. I have been fortunate enough to fish with Shannon and it was one of the most enjoyable times I have spent on the water in recent memory. When not chasing Trout in his native North Carolina, you can fins Shannon guiding or helping a customer at one of the Tuckaseegee fly shop locations. Shannon is also the host of the fantastic podcast "The Tuck Cast with a Splash of Bourbon" Truly the type of person we want affiliated with Norvise, we are proud to have Shannon on our staff.
One of the most important things with any fly tying vise is stability. In any tying we must make sure the hook stays where we put it and does not move throughout the tying sequence. Aside from the jaws needing to hold the hook firmly, the vise itself should be "rock" solid and not move on the table. Our Norvise Granite Base is a great way to accomplish this and look fantastic while doing it. These milled and polished granite slabs weigh in at around 22 pounds. They come with our Norvise Waste Basket and are a great addition to any tying bench. Don't take our word for it, see what the boys at Fish Alaska Magazine have to say abut our Granite bases.
Available in many colors, we are sure to have a base to fit your needs. Check them out HERE. Till next time...
Tight Lines - Tim
This week we look at our friend from Alabama, Cory Kendrick. Cory is a Norvise Team member specializing in Kwan and Toad style flies for redfish. An avid outdoorsman, Cory is as much at home in a spring Turkey blind as he is at the vise or on the bow of a skiff. We are proud to have Cory affiliated with Norvise. For a bit more of an in-depth look at Cory check out his Norvise Data sheet below.
By Norvise Team Member Ben Cleveland
It all started in Newfoundland Canada, my love and passion for Atlantic salmon fishing begun. One morning my father in law wanted me to go with him to try fly fishing, so we got up early and trucked in the woods. He was showing me how to cast and when he hooked into a fish and handed me the rod. That’s the point I fell in love with the sport of fly fishing. My father in law ties and showed me his flies, one of which was the blue charm which was his most productive fly. As the years went on I purchased my own rod and got into the art of fly tying. I had the help of my father in law and a guy at work to show me the basics. I joined many fly tying groups which gave me constructive criticism to grow myself as a tyer. I learned more about flies in the way of Atlantic salmon flies and stumbled on a variation of the blue charm that is one of the most well known Atlantic salmon flies. This variation used a crystal flash under wing and white main wing, and ultimately became one of most productive flies. On a yearly trip to Newfoundland, I brought with me this fly that I found. We got up to go fishing early one morning and my father in law had told me to tie on a blue charm as he had luck the previous day. I decided to tie on my crystal white winged blue charm and within 10 minutes I had a fish on, we released the fish and went back to fish. Another few minutes I had on another fish and my father in law was like are you using the blue charm, I said no I’m using a variation. He asked for one and decided to try it, after 30 minutes he was like this is not working and as he said that he hooked into a fish. He ended up hooking 6 using my fly and I ended up with 10 for the week long trip. This has become my favorite fly to tie as well to use when targeting Atlantic salmon. Also is one of the most requested fly from people interested in obtaining flies. This one fly has most of my success stories while targeting Atlantic salmon. Till Next time.