Tying instructions for the Bi-Visible are provided in this great video, which was previously featured on Orvis News, and instructions on how to tie and fish the Spider are best described in this article by Ed Shenk, a legendary fly tier in his own right. Unfortunately, the Neversink River has seen a lot of change throughout the years; the spot where the “Big Bend Club” stood and Hewitt and other Catskills legends fished now sits at the bottom of a reservoir that sources the New York City drinking supply.
Reels & More:
Edwart Ringwood Hewitt also used his vast engineering knowledge to make a limited amount of reels like the one below, which are some of the most sought-after by collectors today.
Along with reels, Hewitt was also credited with pioneering the use of a small, one-handed rod for salmon fishing, which was an improvement on the oversize two-handed rods used in Britain. Much like Thaddeus Norris, who was previously featured on Museum Pieces, he realized that the chalk-stream tactics that worked in Britain were not as useful on the tight Northeastern rivers and streams. He is also the original patent holder of the felt-sole wading shoe and other innovations.
In addition to his commercial interests, Edward Ringwood Hewitt was also a pioneer in stream reconstruction and habitat improvement for trout. In a brilliant article about Hewitt published in a 1981 issue of our journal, The American Fly Fisher, Maxine Atherton writes:
When Mr. Hewitt was not fishing he could be found in his hatchery, working on experiments or improving his formula for a trout diet rich in protein, vitamins, amino acids, and everything nature had invented to make fish, and subsequently man, strong and healthy, as part of her program for the survival of the species. The hatchery was located near the old farmhouse at the bottom of a slope, and Mr. Hewitt had piped water from a lively spring brook, running down the hillside behind the camp, into the hatchery building, through two long table troughs, and then outside to small rearing ponds. Inside, the troughs were filled with trout fry and fingerlings which had been hatched from eggs fertilized by the largest and healthiest of the trout in the rearing ponds.
When he was not tinkering with metal, fish food, or feathers, Mr. Hewitt wrote about it, passing his fly-fishing views and knowledge down to future generations. He authored many books on fishing and, in a very ahead-of-his-time move, incorporated underwater photography of fish nibbling at various types of bait. His works include: Secrets of the Salmon (1922), Telling on the Trout (1926), Better Trout Streams (1931), Hewitt’s Handbook of Fly Fishing (1933), Hewitt’s Handbook of Stream Improvement (1934), Hewitt’s Nymph Fly Fishing (1934), Hewitt’s Handbook of Trout Raising and Stocking (1935), and A Trout and Salmon Fisherman for 75 Years (1948).