The best concise description of a split bamboo fly rod.

"a useful thing, beautifully made"
-Hiram Hawes

lørdag 9. mai 2015

Busy last month.

The same thing happens every year, April month surprises me with it's arrival, and it's time to make this winters bamboo rods ready for the upcoming season. And with three coats of varnish applied, the first rod is ready for the stream. So here are some pictures of the first rod out, a sweet little 7' 4wt based on a Payne 98 taper. I've used cork as the material for reel seat's on several rods and think it works great, cork is light, durable and will, when combined with a butt cap and sliding band, hold any trout reel firmly in place. Wrapping the guides I'm using primrose Gossamer silk, with one turn of Gossamer brown silk for the trim wraps.

torsdag 19. mars 2015

Some soft hackle midge patterns.

A friend asked me if I could tie a selection of north country flies for him for the upcoming season, and since that's just another good excuse to tie some spider's...I'm happy to do that. And since midges are the first thing we're probably will see, I selected some patterns that I think will do well when the midges arrive .

The first fly out is one of several 
versions of the Little Black....

Nice "greenish" glow on that magpie rump feather....this is the first time I'm using this feather.

Hook: Partridge L3A # 18
Thread: Gossamer purple silk
Body: Magpie rump feather
Rib: Purple silk
Hackle: Starling neck feather

The next one is the Black Magic, had some really nice evenings last summer with this fly when the trout were steady on midges.

Hook: Partridge L3A # 18
Thread: Gossamer black silk
Body: Black silk
Thorax: Peacock herl
Hackle: Shold probably use black hen feather, I don't have that feather so I'm using starling neck on this one.


The third one is Sylvester Nemes
midge pattern.....Syl's Spider.

Hook: Partridge L3A # 18
Thread: Gossamer black silk
Body: Peacock herl
Hackle: Partridge

mandag 16. mars 2015

A new book.

Received my signed copy of Robert L Smith's book "The North Country Fly" a couple of weeks ago, and I must say it's a great book. I am completely surprised by all the information  that's in this new book. I tough that the books I have on North Country Flies were pretty complete. In this book you will find old list's of north country fly patterns from fly fishers living and fishing several hundred years ago in the many different dales of Yorkshire. Really got inspired reading this book and made me even more want to take a trip to the dales of north Yorkshire.         

The Little Black, one of the many patterns you can find in this great book about North Country Flies.                                                                                                                                                                     

onsdag 14. januar 2015

Fresh start to the new season

First fish of the new year was a sea run brown, caught on a grizzly soft hackle pattern. The fish was one of those nice fat ones that probably did not bother to swim up in the the river this fall to fool around, much better to be out in the sea were the food is. The other fish I caught looked like it have had some fun in the river this fall, but the silver color was back and the fish was very strong although it was thin after this fall spawning.

fredag 12. desember 2014

Dressing Nodes

Freshly splitt bamboo strips.
No need to get the bamboo strip perfectly straight before the planing process, but there is one thing that's very important and that's the job you do with the nodal areas before you start planing the strips. Warm up the nodes with the heat gun, straighten them in the wise, and sand down rest of the hump that remains. Many use a belt sander for this task,  but I like to do it by hand using a 350-grit  sandpaper, feel that I have good control using this method, cutting as few of the power fibers as possible. This is a part of the building process that means a lot for the final result later on. If I don't do a good job here, I can end up with glue lines, and that's one thing I don't want. The goal is to get the nodes flat, straight and I think they should be as short as possible after the sanding is done. 
And it's always interesting to check out the node-work on other rods done by other makers, I try to get a sneak peek if possible, many have put some effort into this and done a great  job dressing the nodes, smooth and short, the sign of good craftsmanship.

Take your time when sanding the nodes.

Some heat and patience and the nodes are ready.

søndag 16. november 2014

Another Garrison on it's way.

Mid november and the days are getting shorter, its dark at 4 o'clock in the afternoon and quite chilly. Still possible to go fishing but it's time to start making some new bamboo fly rods for the next season. After building the lovely 209 and 202E models based on Garrison's many tapers, I felt the need to try another one from his book " A Masters Guide to Building a Bamboo fly Rod " a book he wrote together with Hoagy B. Carmichael.

After asking which rod Carmichael had as his favorite, I got a very friendly reply were he told me that his favorite for trout fishing  is the mod 204E. A beautiful  7' 3" long rod, casting a 4 and 5 weight line like a dream, so I just had to build this rod for the next summer. 

Splitting the bamboo into strips with that special cracking sound, and stagger the nodes using the 3x3 method. Cutting the strips to the right length. And ones again have a nice odor spreading around in the workshop just like freshly made popcorn while I use the heat gun to warm up the nodes so they are pliable and ready to be straighten using the wise. 

fredag 24. oktober 2014

Secret spots.

One of the guys in the small group of fly fishers sitting a couple of hundred yards upstream,  has taken his binoculars out and are staring straight at me, and its like I could hear him say " hey... what's that guy doing, wading out now when there is no activity". And he has sort of right about that, but.. I'm about to sneak out on one of my "secret" spots, and I was hoping no one would discover me.
Its one of those periods in the late summer when there is "almost" no hatch going on. You can see fly fishers sit alone or in small groups along the river waiting for some kind of hatch to start, drinking coffee and eventually beer, as frustration takes over.
And.. "I'm been there, done that" and still do, but after some hours drinking coffee and wondering why there is no hatch, its time to check out some of those secret spots.
Secret spots which are all located under a tree along the riverbank on quite shallow water, places I've found after I wandered restlessly along the river looking for rising fish. This particular place is one of the really nice spots, there is always a fish under the tree. What's interesting about this place is that this is often the only place the fish are rising, although the river around are holding a lot of fish. The hatch are quite local since it just appear a couple of yards above the fish. And since you cant see the fish rise before you are quite close, not many people have discovered it....yet.

This day the fish were really going, rising every fifteen seconds. And it locked like the fish were feeding on something small that were popping up just a couple of yards above the fish. It was a perfect moment to try out the 7' 4wt taper fresh out from the workshop, accompanied with the the old Pflueger Medalist charged with silk line and silk leader from mr Zandri in Italy, perfect for short distance casting under the trees.                                                                                                

And I realized after a while that the fish were feeding on small midge pupa's laying deep in the surface of the water. And after the second cast with the #20 midge pupa, there was a brown and yellow head sticking up above the surface right where the midge pupa should have been. After a few minutes there was a lovely trout around 3 pound laying in the landing net. I turned around checking if the guys at the bench were still there, but no one were there, they probably left long before the fish went for the midge pupa.