The Grass Roots – a PNW Steelhead and Bamboo Gathering

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 - [email protected]

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,


Well-Known Member
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.


Evan Virnoche

this really interests me. my brother in law has a tent trailer i might be able to get him out there with me
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.
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.


Purveyor of fine hackle, wine & cigars!
Going to see if I can get this weekend off! Wanted to go up there last year, but wasn't in the cards...
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.


Active Member
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.
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.

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!

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.