Saturday morning I arrived at Lewes Harbor Marina around 9 a.m. Joe and Rick were set up at the front counter. Today’s featured tie was shrimp flies. This is one of Joe’s favorite flies to produce. He made some very cool ones last year, I still have a few. Rick tied up a yellow “glowing” shrimp. It was incredibly bright, and will definitely stand out in the water. Rick tied all kinds of interesting shrimp flies. One was even made from the bag breakfast cereal is packed in, so we dubbed it the cereal fly, hopefully it will be a fish killer. There was a monstrous fly on the counter that Stan brought in to show the club. I said that has to be impossible to cast with a fly rod, but apparently these flies can be tossed on the fly. Someone asked how hard is it to fly fish the beaches. Rick and Stan both chimed in … “The beaches in Delaware are hard to read, you have to look for subtle changes in nondescript features and check water flow, compared to what are you are seeing. There are old cuts that have been filled in over the years from sand and storms. The inlet’s original location is a good example. The water always tries to go through that area, it has naturally in the past. There are many ways to fly fish saltwater. The firs thing you need to do is figure out the wind and where you can cast.” The boys are always full of all kinds of information, when answering questions, or just shooting the breeze. It is like being in a room full of Cliff Clavins on fishing.
Donuts were piling up, and disappearing just as fast, the coffee was hot, which was a welcome friend on that chilly morning. I was eagerly awaiting Chris Fortner’s arrival, he had peacock feathers for the club, and when he showed up he had a huge handful of them. Frank already had a pile he purchased for the flies he was tying today. The boys eagerly accepted his contribution to the club. Another gentlemen had a deer hide, and some things he wanted to donate as well. If anyone reading this has birds that shed feathers, I am sure the club would love to have some, just a thought. The first thing I saw when arriving was a contraption set up at the front counter. Joe had a Nor Vise Fly Tying System on display. He could wind material around a hook with lightening speed, and the automatic bobbins were a neat touch. Spools can be changed out much faster decreasing down time. I took some video of him using this system, and of the club’s meeting, it is on our DSF YouTube channel. He had the Nor Vise mounted on a board so it could be used at the meeting, otherwise it is designed for a bench or table. This is a set up people would use commercially, and at the price of roughly $350, I can see why. The vise heads are interchangeable allowing the operator diversity of fly types. If I was setting up a fly tying business, I would definitely get a system like the Nor Vise, or something similar. The amount of time saved would be unreal for a commercial venture. I know Jason is just drooling thinking about this system, dude you should have been there. For an avid fly tyer like Neil Parry, this too would be a great addition to the fly cave.
I wandered past the donuts, who am I kidding, I was eating those things all morning, I love the munchkins with jelly. Every time you looked around the room someone was licking their fingers or eating donuts I couldn’t film without getting donuts on camera. I have days I get nothing but donuts fishing, and now I am in a room full of them, surrounded by fishing gear … life is good! The sugar and coffee were kicking in, it was time to stand completely still, and hold a camera while John tied a loop fly. This was an interesting process, and I have a video online. He tied the material to the hook he selected, and proceeded to “comb-it-out” after he cut the looped material, off center. He pulled a few pieces off, blamed the monofilament line in the material, and he proceeded to tie the fly. Once combed out, the material can be colored with a permanent marker. John did several versions of color. Roy was sitting next to John, and tying small mouth bass flies. They will mimic crayfish in the small ponds and streams, and looked deadly for catching. Roy … “A simple tie that has a lot of action.” He also had the first squid fly he has ever tied with him, and it was wild looking. Everyone was impressed, especially Roy, and he should have been, that is one killer fly he tied. These boys have serious skill and ingenuity. Nothing that you could tie a fly with is safe around these folks. Last year Roy used hair extensions from his grand daughters Barbie doll to tie a barracuda fly. He saw them on the way to the meeting, and figured he could do something with them. For some reason I still think that is a funny story, some of these are just for me.
Frank was in the back tying up swimming pheasant flies. This is a sinking fly with a bead head weight and wire weight wrapped on the body of the fly. Bob was tying up teasers for flounder fishing. Bud had a Chartreuse Woolly Bully fly for saltwater he tied. I think it would work anywhere, it was tasty looking. Paul and Ed were sitting at a new table in the back. Having a discussion on the fly Ed was working on, I asked what they were tying and was told … “It is an interpretive fly.” They were trying to figure out how the feathers were tied on the hook shaft, in a perfect pattern all the way around. Apparently, this was a hard fly to copy, hence the “interpretive” part. I did learn that experienced fly tyers will use 2 hands to cut with scissors. Just like using a handgun, you have more control. The cuts Ed was trying to make were very precise, I could see what they meant. Eventually the day hit the noon hour, and it was time to go home. Chris Fortner and I headed to Roosevelt Inlet to check the rock pile for fish. He was there most of the day, I had to leave almost immediately after arriving, such is the job at times. I am looking forward to this Saturday’s session with the Saltwater fly Anglers of Delaware. If you want to learn about fly fishing in Delaware this is definitely one of the clubs to join. I know a few folks that joined just to learn, even though some are not fly anglers, they just love the club.