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.

How did you begin working for Nature’s Spirit?
Before working at Nature’s Spirit my father and I worked for a company called Fish Hunter Enterprises. We both worked there for a little over 5 years. In January of 2018 Joel and Julie Wiemer came over to look at the business, and they also came with job offers for both my father and I. When we learned of where the business was, it took us all of an hour to make the decision to move to Idaho. Nature’s Spirit is located in Kooskia, Idaho where the South Fork of the Clearwater river dumps into the Middle Fork of the Clearwater. I personally had been fishing the Clearwater for steelhead several times and knew exactly where the town of Kooskia was.
Starting March 5th, 2018 we were under the employment of Nature’s Spirit and started moving everything from the Fish Hunter located in Kent, WA over to Idaho.

Did you know when you were hired that you would be taking the reins of the business from Joel and Julie so they could retire?
At the start, no I did not know. After about 6 months of employment the let us know what their plans where. It turned out my first 6 months was an addition to take over. Joel and Julie wanted to make sure that the business was going to be taken care of and going to something that knew the fly tying industry. I was extremely honored when they let me know their plans.

Can you tell us about Nature’s Spirit in general for people who are not aware? What is the main focus of the business and how are things going right now?
Nature’s Spirit is a company that is driven by the idea of top quality products. We specialize in hand selected natural products and we are known for our feathers and hairs. Every package of hand selected feathers is gone through and sorted out before being packaged. There are very few of us that are allowed to sort feathers, and a fly tying mind is required before that person is allowed to sort feathers. You need to know the uses of the feather before you can judge the feather. As for Hair, this is the one product we are known for the most. Every year during hunting season we collect hides and go through the process of grading every single one before purchasing it. We then clean and salt the hides before taking them to the tannery. It is a lot of work, but it is worth it. Our strung product line under the NS Fish Hunter brand are very well known as well for their quality and color selection.

I have noticed that Nature’s Spirit has added more and more products in the last couple of years. Do you plan to add even more?
What a lot of tiers do not know is the distribution side of Nature’s Spirit. We now distribute for 36 different companies such as Hanak, FNF, Fasna, Swiss CDC, Hends, Sybai, Wapsi, Solarez, Daiichi, Larva lace, Hemingway’s, and so many more including Whiting Farms. Over the last 3 years we have grown into a one stop shop for any fly shop. We plan to continue growing and providing more products. We have several in the works right now that will be coming out in late January – early February. We have a couple of new dubbings and feather products in the works that may peak the interest of tiers across all spectrums of tying.

Do you have any future plans for the business right now?
As for future plans for the business, it’s business as usual. Nature’s Spirit has been a great company to work for and with the explosion in popularity that we have seen, we do not want to change it. We do plan on opening up a bit more on social media. Giving a personal perspective of Nature’s Spirit that everyone can relate too. We are a group of people who love fishing and tying, and we what to share that love with everyone. Showing some of the day to day stuff, some of the people here, flies we’ve tied, and of course a fish picture here and there AKA “product and development”.
You can follow us on Facebook at Nature’s Spirit Fly Tying, Instagram at @naturesspiritflytying, and on Youtube at Nature’s Spirit Fly Tying.

On a side note to all of those that do come to our area, feel free to stop by and we will point you in the right direction for fishing, and give you the $0.50 tour. We cannot sell you anything and will not undercut our dealers, but always love good conversation and letting tiers see what we are about. We also have a bi-weekly tying session at our local taproom called Beer:30 Taproom in Kamiah, ID. It is a 21 and older location, and our tying session are open to anyone that wants to join. Being that you are over 21.

2 thoughts on “Meet Thomas Lamphere of Nature’s Spirit

  1. Freddy Block

    All the best to you Thomas and to Joel and Julie in their retirement! Tight lines! Nature’s Spirit is predictable which to me is a major plus if I need to orders something “online” without seeing it first when it comes to natural materials. I’m always happy…

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  2. Michael Vorhis

    I agree with Freddy; Nature’s Spirit materials are always a pleasure to use and never a surprise when they come out of the package. Especially when trying to envision a certain look to a fly without adhering a canned recipe, that repeatability of quality is a big plus. Thank you Julie and Joel for all that goodness, and good to meet you Thomas.

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