The Grass Roots – a PNW Steelhead and Bamboo Gathering

Discussion in 'Spey Clave' started by CaneCaster, Jan 2, 2013.

  1. Alright... here's the story. Around this time last winter I had planned to meet up with a few Washington anglers who were interested in trying out some of bamboo spey rods I make, plans were made and dates/location were chosen. Then by a combination of word of mouth and internet forum postings news spread a bit. Long story short about 20-25 guys turned up on the banks of the Skagit river from all over the PNW, in shitty weather to try out some bamboo rods, socialize, b/s, drink beer and talk steelhead fishing. The event was very informal with no schedule or anything really organized. It was a lot of fun and everyone had a great time. Well... we are going to do it again this year (albeit slightly more organized) and hopefully this year will be even more fun!

    "The Grass Roots" is a very informal gathering of anglers interested in steelhead fishing and/or bamboo fly rods. A chance for guys/gals to get together and shake of the mid-winter nasties, have a beverage, do some quality b/s'ing, talk fishing, test out/demo a rack of handmade tackle, on the water to see what it is all about or share some of their special/unique tackle with others. If you have wondered what it is like to cast and fish bamboo this is a great way to check out why others choose to fish these rods.

    If you own or make bamboo, fiberglass or greenheart rods bring them along to share with others or if you have other interesting classic reels, tackle, etc.

    There will be lots of tackle to demo by:
    Confluence Rod and Reel Company (Mark Shamburg)
    J.M. Reid Bamboo Fly Rods
    Cadno Silk Lines (modern shooting head tapers made in traditional materials)
    Tim Anderson Bamboo Rods
    as well as others (I will update this thread as makers are confirmed, please contact me if you wish to be added to the list!)

    The gathering will start at 10:30 am on Saturday, January 26, 2013 and once again be hosted by Howard Miller Steelhead Park located on the banks of the Skagit River in Rockport, WA just upstream of the fabled "mixer" pool where the Saulk meets the Skagit. The Skagit river is open to fishing till the end of January with good/reasonable numbers of Steelhead and Bull Trout in the system (Wa. fishing licences are required).

    There will be some hot soup and bread available to warm up with in the afternoon. Bring your own beverages. Camp overnight or hang around for "social time" by the campfire after dark. There is a Pub in town (5 min on foot) that has a basic menu (unconfirmed), beverages, a pool table and an authentic rural Washington atmosphere. If you are staying the night I suggest you bring all the food/drink items you will require.

    Howard Miller Steelhead Park is located at near the junction of state route 20 and state route 530 in Rockport. There are tent and RV sites available as well as roofed, 3 walled, 8 bunked "Adirondacks" available at the park for very reasonable costs with power outlets as well as a few cabins and a boat launch. For details/reservations please contact:

    Howard Miller Steelhead Park
    Park Manager: Rusty Regan

    52804 Rockport Park Rd.
    P.O. Box 127
    Rockport, WA 98283
    email -

    Approx. drive times to the H.M.S. Park
    Seattle, WA - 1.7-2 hours
    Vancouver, BC - 2-2.5 hours (plus border wait times)
    Portland, OR - 4.5-5 hours

    We are really looking forward to seeing all the faces from last year as well as the new faces this year!

    Post in this thread if you have are planning on coming to The Grass Roots or if you have any questions at all.

    Cheers and tight lines,
    Nooksack Mac, flybill and Bob Triggs like this.
  2. I plan to be on the Skagit that weekend James. I'll see about bringing up a pot of road-kill chili again this year. If we don't have a foot of snow this year I plan to drag my boat along as well.

  3. this really interests me. my brother in law has a tent trailer i might be able to get him out there with me
  4. Sg. Great! I was hoping you would be coming out again this year..... with any luck we will get a better showing from mother nature!

    Turds. right on.
  5. Trying to get the day off to go. If I get it off, I will know next week. Would anyone like to car pool, I live in Bellevue. I would only be going for the day.
  6. Going to see if I can get this weekend off! Wanted to go up there last year, but wasn't in the cards...
  7. John and Bill. Hope to see you both there.
  8. I'll be there James. Looking forward to meeting Shamburg and the rest of the crew. I'll bring some home brew again and some eats to pass around.
  9. Awesome Eric!
  10. James, so glad to hear you'll be doing this again. It was great to meet folks last year, and this year I may be mildly component enough to cast one of your rods.

    I'll definitely try to come up on Saturday, and maybe stay the night. If anyone is interested in carpooling from Seattle and/or fishing Sat morning, shoot me a PM.
  11. FlyinFish. Right on man..... we all get closer to being the complete angler with every season that passes, be that season no.1 or no.25 Look forward to seeing you again.

  12. OK.... small change. The planned Soup for an afternoon warmer has been changed to Chili! Can't argue how good it was to be chowin down on Sg's chili last year!

  13. James, I enjoyed the casting and camaderie last year. I'm planning to be back on the 26th.


  14. Looks like I will be able to make it. I don't have a bamboo but I will bring a fiberglass switch rod that's a 11' 6/7wt. Can't wait to me you all. James thank so much for setting this all up.
  15. John. No worries! Looking forward to casting your glass rod!
  16. So with less than a week to go I just wanted to update this thread with a few more details about the GrassRoots gathering.

    Some rods , reels and lines:
    There will be examples of both the St. Mark as well as the Classic S handle reels by Mark Shamburg/Confluence rod Co. As well as hollowbuilt and splice jointed Bamboo Spey rods from Confluence rod Co.

    Demo models of all J.M. Reid hollowbuilt, spliced bamboo spey rod tapers
    (TroutSpey, Summer Run, Winter Run, Classic Spey and Scandinavian) also an experimantal tri-hex bamboo spey rod (line wts ranging from 4/5 thru 8/9)

    Singlehand bamboo fly rods from both Tim Anderson as well as myself in both steelhead and trout weights (lines 4 thru 8 wt)

    Demo lines of the new Cadno Silk Scandi Spey lines in line wts 8/9, 7/8 and 5/6. 2 greased for floating line presentations and 1 left ungreased to fish as an intermediate sink line. (Available to demo on some cane, or bring your fav. stick to test 'em on)
    Hopefully, like last year guys will show up with some cool sticks and interesting tackle to share with one another.

    Silk Spey line giveaway.
    There will also be a draw for a one of a kind Cadno silk Spey line (longer belly than the final production lines) for you short rod, light line guys and gals. The line is a 370 grain @ 40' head length with a long, delicate front taper. The line would make an excellent traditional greased liner or skater line for some of the modern short light line switch style rods for summer run fish in smaller to med sized waters.

    And for a blast from the past I will have a 15' Sharpes "Aberdeen" split bamboo double built salmon rod on hand, lined with a Salmon DT11 for anyone who wants to satisfy their curiousity and feel some of the heritage of 2 handed fly casting for sea run game fish first hand.
    Looking forward to seeing everyone out and crossing our fingers for the rain to have let up by Sat morning and for the river to get the bump she needs for all those planning on wetting a line on Sunday. Looks like temps in the low 40's.

    Cheers and tight lines.
  17. Hoping for just enough rain to sweeten the river but keep it fishable.

    Gassed up the boat, will be charging up the battery and checking trailer tire pressures. Got a pot of road kill chili in the freezer that I'm bringing. I'll have a bamboo rod or two to sample.

    If the weather is on the unpleasant side, we could see about using the enclosed kitchen. I think the cost is low, as we have used it for club outings for years.

    I plan to be there Fri. thru Mon.

  18. Salmo.

    Right on! Looking at the weather I am hopeful that it will be good for all of us. Yeah the covered kitchen is a good idea and I am confident that they will be available as well.
    You and are are planning a similar schedule and i'm gonna really try to put a few drinks in ya and convince you it's a "good idea" to gimme a seat in your boat to fish together on monday :)
  19. Hope to see you all at HMSP on Sat.
  20. Well the kitchen was taken by another group, so we ate chili - very good btw - in the off and on drizzle that characterized the weekend.

    Excellent examples of artisanship achieved with split cane. Beautiful rods, and they can cast a line purty good to boot! A great get together, and I'd hope to see an even larger turn out next time. Maybe the January weather has some influence on this?


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