The Grass Roots – a PNW Steelhead and Bamboo Gathering

I thought that I would post this in this forum as well as the Speyclave as there may be some here who might be interested.

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,
Trying to get the day off to come up. Sounds like a great time. I do live in Bellevue and if I can go. Does anyone want to car pool up for the day. P.M. me. Won't know till next week if I can go.

Tim Cottage

Formerly tbc1415
I plan on attending. Although I don't spey or steelhead anymore I am interested in giving the big rods a wiggle. I knew I should have never gotten rid of that Grant Vibration rod I had!

Also interested in Cadno lines, Mark Shamburg's reels and Tim Anderson's rods.

Oh yes, and that JM Reid fellow too.

Tim. Good on ya, look forward to meeting you. I will have a sampling of my personal singlehand rods as well with me in lines from 4-7wt. I know that Tim will be bringing some really nice singlehanders and I would bet that Mark will have one or 2 as well.... So even tho you don't swing the long rod anymore, there should be a few toys for everyone to play with.

I cannot believe that you sold that Vibration rod either!!! and not even to me!

OK... Made an executive decision today and the Soup that was planned for the day has now changed to Chili..... and it smells good!


Tim Cottage

Formerly tbc1415
A very big thank you to James and Mark for organizing this outing. A few of the highlights were:
A great selection of weights and tapers to try in both single and double handed by James and Mark.
Mark's beatiful reels.
Really nice Cadno silk lines. I'll be saving my pennies and contacting Stuart about a custom taper.
Tim Anderson's convex taper, four piece rods with his wonderfully unique, simple and effective ferrules.
Pots of belly warming Chili and Curry.
Lots of friendly and knowledgable new faces and names.

the other Tim
I'd also like to thank James and Mark for a most enjoyable day of BS'n and mess'n with bamboo.

I had read an article about Tim Anderson's ferrule work, but to see them in person and cast three of his 4 piece rods really showed how nice they work. Tim was more than happy to share the details of how his ferrules are made, Thanks!

Mark's reel work was another treat for the eyes. Up until today I had only seen his work on the web, you really need to see his reels in person to get a full appreciation of his talents.

James had a sweet quiver of rods for testing that he brought along, from an 4wt trout with a wood grip, to Spey rods that could really lay out the line in the right hands.

Would also like to third the thanks to James, Mark and all who showed. I had a great time and got to cast some awesome rods and got to see how bad my cast really is. Got some great pointers from Mark to improve. And with in a couple of minutes what a improvement. Still need a lot of practice, but I am on my way. Thanks so much to all and I can't wait till next time!


Adding my "THANKS" to James, Mark, Tim and the rest involved in putting this on! James continues to amaze me with the tapers he's incorporated in his bamboo spey rods. His latest 11'9" has casting capabilities that rival the better modern graphite speys. I was amazed I could punch a cast into the wind with it just like I would with a faster action "Scandi" rod. The Chili was outstanding too. :)



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