Only when I go into a fly shop and ask about something related to bamboo and the guy behind the counter tries to sell be the latest $900 graphite fly rod because he can't understand why anyone would want to fish with an old limp piece of grass.
The new kids on the block think it's expensive, glossy, and fast action to be any good that's why I sold off all of my factory rods and fasts action rods. Actually fishing bamboo has made me a better caster thanks to my friend Steve who got me more into it.
Oh, Hi Tim! Nice to see you here.
Yes, it would be great to catch up on what you've been up to. Building any rods?
I presently have four rods in the works, all Paynes: 101, 102, 201 and 202. With any luck I will have them finished to bring them to the gathering. I understand that they may push the Calapooia Rod Maker's gathering into the fall.
Here's my book report on the Calapooia Bamboo Rod Maker’s Gathering, May 12th thru 14th, 2017
I have to confess that I am relatively new to fly fishing though dabbled in it back in the early 70’s while stationed on the East coast. Fishing the Catskills was an epiphany that would remain latent for several decades. As far back as I can remember it was a dream of mine to own and fish with bamboo, and thus, shortly before I retired, I began a serious investigation of the art and science of making bamboo rods.
Along the way I met with a number of amazing artisan-rod makers who patiently and graciously offered their support, guidance, and encouragement that enabled me to finish my first rod, a Paul Young Perfectionist. As with any other art form, you learn quickly that it cannot be perfected, only more seriously studied and appreciated.
It was likely through my association with Chet Croco from Bellinger – from whom I purchase reel seats and ferrules – that I was included on the mailing list to the Calapooia Bamboo Rod Maker’s Gathering, in Brownsville, OR. There were about 40 makers in attendance, mostly from Oregon plus a few from California, Idaho, and Washington, (including Tim Cottage), as well as a couple from Sweden.
If my recollection serves me, and without the historical context of previous events, this was an inaugural gathering held over a weekend to freely share the art, history, and technology associated with bamboo rod making. There was an astonishing presentation on the history of the Kosmic Rod Co, (by Dan Brock), and of F.E.Thomas rods (by Bob Stewart), which included a display of a number of quite rare rods. There were several demonstrations including unique methods for decorative wraps and wrapping guides (Dave Dozer), a review of rod making machines (Chet Croco), and a relatively in-depth review of ferrule fabrication (Ray Taylor).
It seems, as with other self-actualized artisans, there was a free exchange of information and plenty of elegantly crafted rods to cast – in between the rain squalls. It was a promising start which I hope becomes established as an annual west coast enclave of bamboo rod makers and friends of the craft.
Steve here....it'd be great if you could join us. I'm not a builder yet...but have redone 60+ blue collar bamboo rods. I lost count of the folks I've turned into bamboo enthusiasts! Pretty cool! Guess I'm best known for my bamboo Hotrodz.....come and see.
Our gatherings are mostly locals who enjoy either making, remaking, casting and fishing bamboo. Some of us are bringing prams or tubes to fish our bamboo after BS'n. Hope you can make it.---Steve
Thanks for the invite! With luck there won't be any conflicts. Looking forward to attending the gathering and meeting folks with a similar passion.
Would love to see your work.
I'll have a pontoon with me to test the waters. and will bring a few rods to cast.
Does the real seat hardware come from Ray Lee and does he sell to others? I have bought some agate guides and nickel silver ferrules from Ye Olde English Fly Shop. I enjoy talking the fellow that owns the shop, such a pleasant accent. I get my cork, guides and real seats from Utmost/Fisherman's Outlet in Sequim.
We can hold the Bamboo Fling at two different places at Island Lake. We can hold it out in the open on the grass with no cover (we can bring our own canopies) or I can try to reserve an area that has a shelter. In mid May the weather can go either way. What are your desires?