For this weeks post we have a real treat for you. Dave Allison is one of our ambassadors from Utah. Dave is a fantastic fly tyer and has shot an entire series of these videos for us. As I was watching this video (I have actually watched it several times) a few things jump out at me. The first thing you may notice is that the hook is stationary for much of the sequence. Typically with the Norvise you are accustomed to seeing the vise spinning and material flying onto the hook. While we can certainly do that, this video shows a great example of a fact that we sometimes forget. If you choose, the Norvise can be locked into position and tied on like a more "traditional" type of vise. Remember, you always have the option to go back to the full rotary tying techniques or as Dave shows here blend the two. Honestly, that is what is so great about the Norvise system. We can do everything any other vise out there can do, but when you add the "spin" function to the mix, the sky is the limit and we can do SOOOO much more! Second, this video does a great job at showing the original function of the Fine Point Conversion. The Fine Point or "midge jaw" as many refer to them was originally designed to open up the bend of the hook so you can tie tales and the like on and around the backside of the hook. This video shows a perfect example of that. The way Dave splits and posts the wings is pretty cool, as is the way he uses the tail fibers to fill in the gap left by the back of the Calf Tail wings...ingenious! Perhaps the coolest technique in the video, and one that can be easily missed, is how he preps the hackle feather by stripping one side of the stem to prevent the hackle from rolling until you get a wrap or 2 on the body. I will admit, I have never seen this technique before and will add this into my tying for sure.
Check out the Video Below
After watching this video and seeing the finished fly I have a lot of thoughts where this can fit into my personal fishing. A great searching pattern or attractor dry, a great imitation of some of the darker staged Mayflies in a size #12 or #14 we get later in the season or a point fly in a Dry and dropper set up this pattern has multiple uses. Gotta love flies that fill multiple voids on the water and with all that hackle it will float like a cork even in the most turbid water.
You can find Dave on Instagram @westtexasbugs He is a good follow and a great ambassador for Norvise. Thanks for sharing this video with us Dave. Till Next time...
Tight Lines - Tim
Over the Memorial day weekend myself and a few members of the Norvise crew headed west to chase what was to be a new species for me, The Northern Pike. You may know Norvise has a strong relationship with Steelhead Alley Outfitters, the premiere outfitter on the Alley. What you may not know or realize is Steelhead Alley is a geographical area, hence the name SAO outfitters. Anyone who has fished this area knows there is PLENTY more to catch in the Alley other than Steelhead. Intrigued???? Read on.
While Steelhead are in fact a large portion of SAO's guide service (Norvise runs a hosted trip out to the Alley once a year) the warm water program can be just as prolific. The 2 guides spearheading the cultivation of the Pike program are Dan Bennett and Josh Trammell. At 22 and 19 years old respectively, these young men are mature beyond their years. We at Norvise have been fortunate to fish with a lot of different people over the years, let me tell you, ether of these young men can guide me any time, they are that good!
Going into this trip we really didn't know what to expect, this is a new fishery and we were the very first clients that had been guided for Pike by Steelhead Alley Outfitters. Having fished with these guys before I knew they would work hard and do everything they could do to get us fish. I must admit, on the ride out I was having trouble shaking the thought "this is a new fishery for them and we are the first ever clients on it.' I figured this was going to be epic one way or the other. An epic weekend on the water or an epic failure. I was hoping for the former not the latter.
In prep for the trip we contacted our buddy and TFO vise president Nick Conklin and picked up a few new Axiom 2 nine weights, and a few BVK reels.
We talked to Norvise Ambassadors Nome Buckman-Stark owner of "Predators on the Fly" and Thomas Williams, owner of "Stoney's Custom" Flies and fortified our fly selection.
We were rigged up and ready to go with some new gear, new lines, fresh tied leaders and a selection of flies that would make Blane Chocklett smile, still I couldn't shake the feeling that I was not sure if we were "ready" yet.
While we were driving out on Friday, Tyler and I got into some deep conversation about the trip, our 2 businesses, our hopes and expectations for the coming year and about life in general. I do enjoy these times with my son as we talk and I can see him start to mature. Some times he will come up with these profound thoughts that make me step back and think to myself, "he is going to be alright in life" other times he says something and I look at him and think "who the hell are your parents" one thing for sure, it is never dull. He could see I was stressing a little about the trip (I tend to do that about a lot of things) and he says "lets just go and have fun, what do we have to loose"? At that point I said to myself if I boat 1 Pike during the trip I will be happy. Well, I accomplished that in the first 10 minutes.
We were throwing 8 and 9 weight rods. I had one rigged with an intermediate and one with a floater. Leaders were simple affairs with a butt section of 30 pound Maxima Chameleon and a section of 30# bite wire tippet For the sinkers, the floaters got an extra section of 25# between the butt and the bite wire. As mentioned we had a variety of big, nasty meat flies, all of which would be perfect for Northern's. Most of the trip we wound up fishing a fly Dan and Josh have been working on developing specifically for this fishery, a Frankenstein combination of a Deceiver, Hollow Fly, and a T Bone. A large profile for sure, but light and easy to cast. Did I mention the action, oh yeah the action, it is plain ole SICK!
Well, 10 minutes into the float I had a fish swipe at the fly and miss. Dan says, very emphatically, "get it back in there, now, now now"! So I cast back in where he swiped at it and sure enough a 25" green freight train absolutely crushed Thomas' Sucker Game Changer, I mean CRUSHED it!
Shortly after this Tyler came tight to his first fish. I am in the front of the boat and I feel him strip set. He says "that is a fish, that is a fish, THAT IS A BIG FISH"
We continued floating and casting, A lot of casting. The really cool thing is this fishery is so visual. You can see the fly, the take and the fight. it is something every fisherman or woman should experience at least once in a lifetime.
By the end of the second day we had moved 70+ fish and landed around 20 between the 2 boats. Sizes ranged between Hammer Handles to 2 fish in the 40" class, one was even landed on a on a popper! We also boated some really nice Smallmouth too.
I think you could say we had a pretty good trip! Northern Pike quickly ascended to the top of my "Most favorite fish to fish for" list. They are such a blast on fly gear! The picture below is my favorite picture from the trip. Dan was as excited as me when we landed this fish (pretty evident we were happy) This will eventually be framed and put on the wall in my tying studio as a reminder of a fantastic weekend.
Till next time
Norvise Team member Ethan Rakes was recently presented with the "Lefty Kreh award and Scolarship. This award, presented by the White Clay Fly Fishers is given to a youth who demonstrate interest in fly fishing and who are active in the White Clay Fly Fishers club. It is named in honor of Bernard V. "Lefty" Kreh, a man from nearby Maryland. Lefty was a noted author, teacher, speaker and ambassador for the sport of fly fishing. Lefty was particularly passionate about the introduction of young people to the sport.
Ethan is a fine young man, mature beyond his years, and passionate about Fly Fishing and tying. We are proud to have him on the Team Norvise Staff. Ethan will be tying in the Norvise booth at several of the Fly Fishing Shows this year. Please stop by and meet this extraordinary young man, you will be glad you did.
Congratulations Ethan, All of us here at Norvise are very proud of you!
Our buddy and Team Norvise member Braden Miller attended ICAST a few weeks ago in Orlando, Florida. We kept seeing posts on Facebook and the pictures He and his mom Casey were texting us. I asked him to write a Blog post for Norvise about his experience. He just sent it to me today, so here id "ICAST / IFTD through the eyse of a 12 year old" By Braden Miller.
Hi, my name is Braden Miller and I was lucky to attend my very first ICAST/IFTD in Orlando, Florida this July with Temple Fork Outfitters (TFO). In this post I want to talk about my three days at the show, my Facebook live interviews with TFO, what booths I visited and some of the famous fisherman and youtubers I meet.
My mom and I arrived in Orlando Tuesday, July 10th and we stayed at the Hilton Orlando with everyone from TFO. There were many people/companies that stayed here too. As soon we walked in the doors the first people we ran into in the lobby was Mr. Duke Davis and Mr. David Folkerts with Project Healing Waters Fly Fishing (for those of you who are not familiar with PHWFF, they are a non-profit organization that has volunteers and partners that work with veterans to teach them classes in fly tying, rod building, casting and they have fishing trips/tournaments, with over 200 programs throughout the country). You can check out all the exciting things PHWFF has going on by visiting their site at http://projecthealingwaters.org/ Tuesday was a very relaxed day, we checked in, mom unpacked, while I tied a Blake Chocklett feather game changer with a spawn fly head, and then we spent the rest of the day at the pool.
So, there are certain patterns that are timeless, The Adams, The Elk Hair Caddis, The Clouser Minnow, the Deceiver Etc. Certain patterns or designs just always seem to catch fish. In today's world of new and improved this, or bigger and better that, it is nice to see the old classics getting some love. Why is it that so often the simplest patterns are so effective?
I was first introduced to this fly (or a version of this fly) while I was managing the fly shop a few years ago. We have a blue ribbon Smallmouth river 5 minutes from the shop and this pattern, through the summer was a go-to for big Smallies. I have used this for Smallmouth, Trout, Largemouth, Bluegill, Carp, the list goes on and on. Names and variations include the Girdle Bug, M's Rubber Legs, Turd Stone, and Legs for days. I saw this Step-By Step on Instagram posted by our friend Travis Toller @toller _208. Travis is affiliated with @jimmysflyshop as well as @clackacraftdriftboats. This is what I call an American Express pattern "Don't leave home without it" (if you are under 40 you won't understand that last reference). Great picture of a great pattern. Thanks Travis, appreciate allowing me to share.
Our buddy and Norvise Team Member Ethan Rakes and his friend Christian have been tearing up Stripers at night under the lights the past few nights. Here is the recap in his words.
Another night under the lights tonight.I caught 27 Striped Bass and 8 Hickory Shad! That’s a total of 35 Fish, 7 more than the previous night. Overall I caught 63 Fish a combination of 11 Shad and 52 Striped Bass over two nights, around a total of 4 hours. Between Christian and I for the two combined days we caught 98 Fish, 24 Shad and 74 Striped Bass. Our Biggest Striped Bass was 19 inches, and Christian ended up with a huge Shad for his second to last fish of the night.
I asked Ethan what flies were working for him, his response...Clousers and Deceivers, Tied on my Norvise of course.
Check out these pictures!
A number of Norvise owners have commented recently about how they use the new Fine Point Jaws. What these tiers are finding and we already knew, is that the Norvise with the Fine Point Jaw configuration is very versatile. You can tie the smallest of flies and really large ones also. Norvise owner and fly tier Pete Gray of West Yarmouth, MA sent us some of his handiwork for a little “show and tell”.
As we approach Christmas and year-end, there are a few things I want to draw to your attention to in regards to Norvise. Be sure to check out the new Norvise website, nor-vise.com We’ve made some significant changes to make it easier to navigate, the addition of a blog, and created a new ordering system that not only is easier but allows purchasing with the major credit cards as well as PayPal. We hope you get a chance to try it out.
Norm has been working off and on this past summer and fall on his new still water fly fishing boat. After completing the “half-scale” model, Norm has now moved on to cutting out parts for the full size “Mark IV”. Made from Okoume marine plywood and Alaska Yellow Cedar, this latest boat should weigh in under 100 lbs. and will fit nicely in the back of his real pickup truck.
Plans (sketches) will be made available after the full size boat is finished, as they tend to be a lot more accurate if drawn up after the project its done!