Night Moves: What I learned Fishing at Night

Night Moves: What I Learned Casting into the Dark

By Jim DuFresne

For an evening float on the Upper Manistee River Spence Vanderhoof and I met Ed McCoy at an access site around 5 p.m. where a party of canoers, who had too much to drink that day, didn’t have enough patience with each other that night so someone had to call the police. Four police cars arrived and blocked us in the parking lot for 20 minutes before they allowed Ed to pull out in his pick-up with a driftboat in tow.

By the time we drove upriver to our put-in site and slide the driftboat down the wooden ramp into the current, it was almost 7 p.m. Just as well. This day had been brutally muggy and hot even for a week that was unseasonably warm. Ed, a guide with Mangled Fly Outfitters, knew we were still an hour away from rigging up our rods.

So we just floated for a while, eating sandwiches while drifting around one river bend after another. Soon the Manistee was ours, the paddlers and inner tubers were long gone. So were most other anglers. Wildlife slowly began to appear with Spence happily naming the ones with wings.

Then we saw the first rings of a feeding trout.

“When you take the time to listen to nature,” Ed said, “she tells you things.”

Continue reading → Night Moves: What I learned Fishing at Night

Meet Our New Pro Tyer – Nathan Wight, Durham, ME

Nathan Wight grew up in the western mountains of Maine surrounded by some of the best native Brook Trout and Landlocked Salmon in New England. Taught by his father, Nathan quickly developed a passion for fly fishing and when the opportunity came around, he became the fourth generation to be a Maine Guide.

With 30 plus years of experience of tying he opened North Woods Fly Co. in 2015 to provide high quality custom flies to fellow guides and anglers alike. Although he loves to tie classic Maine streamer flies, there is no pattern that he won’t tie or replicate for his clients.

Nathan has been a guide for 20 years. He continues to guide for trout and salmon, but in the last 15 years developed more of passion for smallmouth bass on the fly. Nathan has had the opportunity to fish in all of New England, parts of the western United States, northern Canada and the Canadian Maritime’s.

He is part of a program that brings casting, fishing and fly tying to Veterans in Maine. He also teaches tying classes and one on one lessons both in person and on-line. You can find him at public events like the Fly Fishing Show in Marlboro MA and Edison NJ most often in the HMH vises booth.

Find Nathan:

Instagram @n.w.flyco

Nathan’s favorite flies:
Although he ties a lot of Euro nymph flies, his real passion is in large predator streamers and top water flies.

Rotary vs. Stationary: Tips for Choosing a Fly-Tying Vise

As many fly-tyers know, when choosing your equipment, there are multiple viable options from which to choose. For instance, when buying a vise, considering the difference between rotary and stationary options is important. If you’re new to the subject, don’t worry; we’ll detail exactly how each of these options function. Our rotary vs. stationary tips for choosing a fly-tying vise will help you determine the best tool for meeting your personal preference.

As the name suggests, a rotary vise’s jaws rotate 360 degrees. In fact, certain rotary devices ensure your hook’s axis of rotation aligns with the vise. So, if you hear the term “true rotary,” then you’re dealing with a vise that can deliver that consistent axis alignment. Not only does the rotation offer you ample viewpoints of the hook, but it also provides more accuracy when preparing and applying materials such as hackle or ribbing. Because of the impressive rotation abilities of rotary vises, they are vise of choice for most advanced tyers and those who tie regularly.

Once again, the name isn’t deceptive; stationary vises earn that moniker because they don’t have the same vise head mobility of their rotary counterpart. Although that might sound like a small difference, it makes a big difference in your tying experience. For instance, because the device doesn’t rotate, more labor goes into physically wrapping the materials onto your fly. And, there is less accuracy in the placement of materials like hackle and chenille. Whether you’re willing to take on that labor is a key deciding factor for your purchase.

Making Your Choice
As you can see, when it comes to choosing rotary vs. stationary options, one of the top tips for choosing a fly-tying vise is seeking one that suits your personal preference. Of course, not every fly-fisher takes the same approach, but those who want impeccable accuracy, and are willing to pay the price, should look toward rotary options.
For this reason, rotary vises are typically the preferred choice among fly-tying enthusiasts and experts. However, if you prefer putting in a bit more extra work into fly-tying with a stationary model, that’s absolutely a viable route to take. That said, always be sure you’re buying from reputable brands and vendors. For instance, at JS Fly Fishing, we carry fly-fishing vise options from top brands such as Peak Fishing, Regal, and more.
Once you settle on a vise type and find a reliable brand that provides them, you can begin seeing its performance in action. Remember, at the end of the day, if one vise type doesn’t offer the performance you were looking for, trying another option can open your eyes to surprisingly different techniques. MANY of our customers own multiple vises for different fly types!