Line of Sight – Part 2 of 3

Guest Blogger: Michael Vorhis, author of ARCHANGEL suspense thriller, OPEN DISTANCE adventure thriller & more to come

In the first part of this article I whined like a baby, maligning an honorable and effective method of fly fishing — that being the use of visual strike indicators attached to the leader. I did my level best to deliver a big bag of excuses about why I couldn’t cut the mustard with that approach. And then I tried to take credit for an alternative method that’s as old as fly fishing itself — maybe from back about when hedgehog gut was used for leaders. I arrogantly called it “my way,” and worse yet, I had the nerve to name it.

Well, what is “my way”?  I just watch the line. Again, for want of a better word for it, I’m calling it the “Line of Sight” technique, to have something to refer to here.

We want to detect a strike no matter how subtle, and no matter what kind of drift we’ve got going. A drift may come at us from upstream, extend away from us downstream, or both…and a strike can be very different depending on what kind of drift it interrupts. When fishing wet flies or nymphs across and down or mostly down, I generally keep the line direct enough to the fly that I’ll feel a take through my rod and fingers. It needn’t be a completely straight path, but it must be able to transmit shock or vibration back to my hands. This means either a straight line or at least a smooth arc. Admittedly it may work better for wet flies than for dead-drifted nymphs because with the line’s path fairly direct to the fly I’m likely to affect the fly’s drift to some degree — that is, if my fingers can detect something happening at the fly, whatever is at the fly might possibly be able to detect my presence too…if its brain can fathom the concept of invisible leaders tracing a path back to a human in the water. But I’m careful, and willing to take that chance.

Figure 2-1.  Smooth Upstream Glide

It’s when fishing upstream or up-and-across that a visual detection scheme is of more importance…because the current is every second increasing the slack in the line. When the visual detection device is the floating line itself, the goal is to see line movement that can’t be explained easily unless something is messing with the fly. I look for the line to:

—  Dart cross-current or upstream

—  Softly ease upstream — maybe only an inch, or even less

—  Sink at its tip faster than a weighted fly might pull it

—  Go suddenly more slack (as if the sinking fly stopped its gentle pull downward on the line)

—  Twitch oddly but not go anywhere at all

—  Do anything else an inanimate piece of string won’t do by itself, given known laws of physics

—  Do nothing more than give me a creepy feeling that something fishy is going on

Continue reading → Line of Sight – Part 2 of 3

Meet Thomas Lamphere of Nature’s Spirit

Recently Julie Weiner co-owner of Nature’s Spirit sent this email about the happenings at Nature’s Spirit.

“As all of you know, Thomas Lamphere has been running the show for the most part here at Nature’s Spirit. That has been by design because we have been grooming him to take over our life. Joel and I are retiring so we can go fishing and Thomas is taking on the huge job of running and owning Nature’s Spirit. Joel and I have greatly enjoyed working with all of you, some of which we feel have become “friends” although we have never seen you face-to-face, which makes turning this page a bit bitter sweet.

But Thomas is a very talented fly tyer and is active on social media, the latter of which Joel and I have no clue about. He is very knowledgeable and eager to answer questions and help dealers build their tying departments. Thomas is young, energetic, sociable and fun to work with.

We want to thank you all for making Nature’s Spirit as successful as it is and making our lives quite fun and adventurous over the last decade.”
How did you get into fly fishing and fly tying?
I got into fly fishing and fly tying at the age of 6 by my father Rueben. He gave me a Cortland GRF 1000 rod reel combo, and a tying kit for my birthday. I still have the rod, thought I do not use it any more. He still has the first dozen flies I tied.

Continue reading → Meet Thomas Lamphere of Nature’s Spirit

Looking Forward To The 2020 Tying Season

Our 2020 Catalog is mailing today! So, if you are one of our subscribers, it should be arriving just in time for the 2020 tying season. We’ve been busy adding lots on products. Here’s a preview of some of the exciting new offerings you’ll find in the catalog –

New Hooks from three brands – Like you, we love trying new brands and styles of fly hooks. We are now selling barbless competition hooks from Hanak and a new line of hooks from Umpqua called X-Series, mostly heavy wire, for saltwater big game flies. We also expanded with new styles from Firehole Outdoors which has been very popular since its introduction two years ago.

Fly Tying Materials from Semperfli – This innovative British maker of synthetic materials has developed major improvements in existing products and new concepts in fly tying materials. We’ve been selling their thread for some time and have now added several of their other popular tying materials.

Fly Tying ToolsLoon Outdoors continues to expand its Ergo line of tools, filling out the range they started two years ago. Still in their brand-true yellow and comfortable in the hand, these tools are offered singly or in three convenient kit configurations. Not to be outdone, Umpqua just introduced a range called Dreamstream+ with tyer-pleasing features and smart appearance. And last but not least, our Just Simply line of value-priced tools has had a significant quality upgrade and expansion!

If you just can’t wait to see our 202o Catalog, you can view it right now online!

The crew here at J Stockard hope you all have a wonderful holiday. And, we’re looking forward to serving you all in 2020!