The best concise description of a split bamboo fly rod.

"a useful thing, beautifully made"
-Hiram Hawes

mandag 14. oktober 2013

Same procedure as last year.

It's October and the forests are turning shades of orange and cranberry and gold. This year's trout season will soon be over. The temperature has already been well below zero several it's time for a glass of single malt and pick up the book I'm now reading for the fourth time .... a book that put me in the proper mood every fall before I start building this seasons bamboo flyrods. 

I think George Black's book Casting A Spell realy are doing the job telling the story about the men that started this wonderful thing of building bamboo flyrods. As a self-proclaimed "cane head"......I think this book gives me more each time i read it. Black takes us all the way from the early beginning, starting with Hiram Leonard who is the central figure in the history of american bamboo flyrod.
But for personal reasons the 
author  focuses a great deal of attention on Eusties W. Edwards another key figure in the story.

Black also brings attension to contemporary bamboo flyrod makers who can trace their roots to Leonard and Edwards, and shows how truly passionate these individuals are about their craft. A great book about the american history of bamboo flyrod.

mandag 8. juli 2013

Everett Edmund Garrison – (1893-1976):

 The Garrison rod was indeed more powerful than it looked. Its moderately tapered grip, light straw color, transparent windings, and visible glue lines between strips all conveyed an image of functional austerity. Nothing went into the rod that did not enhance its performance. It was what you would expect from an engineering genius bent on creating the ultimate casting instrument.                           
Land of Little Rivers, 'Austin Francis
Another aspect of the pleasure which the building of bamboo fly rod brings, is the story behind the person that created the rod and the taper, like Everett Garrison. Garrison was one of the first I heard of that had something to do with the art of making bamboo fly rods, and that created my curiosity about bamboo fly rods and building of them. 
Everett Garrison was born in Yonkers in the state of New York, grew up there and fished as a young boy in the the Esopus River and its tributaries situated in the legendary Catskill mountains  . As a result of the  stock market crash of 1929, and the subsequent depression that dragged on for almost a decade, Everett Edmund Garrison lost his job as an electrical engineer with the New York Central Railroad.
Several years earlier he had taken the suggestion from Anglers’ Club member Dr. George Parker Holden (The Idyll of the Split Bamboo - 1920), also living in Yonkers, that glued bamboo sections might be a satisfactory way to replace the hickory shafts in Garrison’s golf clubs.
Working with bamboo left a mark on the young engineer from Union College (1916) who ambitiously decided in 1932 to meld his childhood love of fly-fishing with the craft of bamboo rod making on a full-time basis.
Working full time at an engineering firm, building bamboo fly rods was limited to several hours after dinner and on weekends.
In 1933, ACNY president, Otto von Kienbusch, invited Garrison to give a talk in their  clubrooms about bamboo rod building. He took  twenty of his 8’0” two-piece models with him, and before the lights were turned out that evening, every rod was sold save for one. And after that his bamboo rods grew in popularity and many wanted one of his rods.
Before his death Everett Garrison made well past 600 rods.
(Thanks to Hoagy B. Carmichael for sharing the picture and info.)

The book - A Master's Guide To Building A Bamboo Fly Rod, by Everett Garrison & Hoagy B. Carmichael was the first book I bought about building bamboo fly rods. I read the book from start to finish, to learn how to start my adventure to build my first bamboo flyrod. However it would go five winters before I built my first Garrison. There were several reasons for that but one of them was that I had heard that the tapers Garrison used was not so exciting as others.....
Well, there they were wrong. Having built my first Garrison a mod 209 - 7'6 "5 wt, threw a lot with it and got several nice trout, it is the rod that has become one of the favourites when I'm out fishing. 

When I'm building copies of the rods to the old masters, it's fun to make the same cork handle and use similar stripping guides and silk that they used.  A Garrison rod has the bamboo's natural colour. Rod windings are white silk that becomes transparent when varnishing. Ferrules has chocolate brown windings, the handle has a shape  which is almost straight and ends with Garrison's standard cork skeleton reel seat.  No detail was to distract attention from the golden yellow colour of the bamboo and the nodes, a typical proof of the expression-less is more

Garrison mod 209 with its wonderful action was a dream to cast and catch trout with. Here is two of several trout's from the last trip.                                                                       

I'm curious about several of the rods that Garrison made​​, so I will probably build a new one the upcoming winter.

Some pictures for dark winter nights.

mandag 27. mai 2013

Dressing the Ferrules.

Before mounting the ferrules to the rodshaft the serrations that will slide onto the rod shaft has to be tapered. There are two reasons for this. First when the ferrule is wrapped, the thread will make a smooth transition from metal to the cane. Second, the thinner ferrule walls at the serration allow for a smoother transition of energy from the butt to tip when you are casting your bamboo flyrod

Ferrules ready to be glued to the rodshaft.

Since the male ferrule is slightly oversized, you want to uniformly remove just enough metal from the male ferrule slide so that it fits firmly into the female ferrule. ..... a cup of coffee and out into the sunshine, do not need to be working in the basement for this job

søndag 12. mai 2013

Turning cork grips.

After a long winter and a late cold spring its nice too finaly reach the final stages of the three rods i'm bulding this winter. So last night it was time too try out some new styles on the corkgrips for the rods.

A simple rig consisting of a hand drill and a bit support that the rod can lie in.
A rig that works really well if you do not have a lathe

The nearest rod is a Garrison 209 7'5" 5wt with a slightly different shape of the corkgrip that Garrison used to make on his single-handed rods. The rod in the middle is a Eusties Edward's 7' 4wt, and the last one is a Leonard 40 "Letort" 8' 4wt.

lørdag 16. februar 2013

Soft Hackled flies for baetis hatch.

The beginning of June, the magic month in the southern parts of  Norway. The upwing fly baetis is here....magic time for a dryfly fanatic. This year I can't wait to try out some of the soft hackled patterns for this fly. Inspired by the books of Sylvester Nemes, I'm looking forward to trying out some of the less fished parts of the beautiful mountain river that I like to visit every year at this time of summer, stretches that have some nice riffle parts for the soft hackled fly.

Starling and Olive one of the pattern's in Syl's book "Soft-Hackled Fly Imitations" from 1991.
Hook: Partridge Classic Spider # 16
Body: Pearsall's olive silk
Ribbing: Pearsall's Yellow silk
Hackle: Starling
Sylvester using Danville olive thread in his body.

Starling and Phesant another fly from the book. This one designed to imitate the baetis  nymph/dun hatch on the Henry's Fork. Designed by Nemes and Paul Brown around 1983.
Hook: Partridge Classic Spider #16.
Body: Phesant together with thin copper wire.
Hackle: Starling.

Waterhen-Bloa......just love the name on this fly.
Saying it....mmm just like sipping singel malt...!?
This fly, a true old North Country Spider pattern. 
Hook: Partridge Classic Spider #16.
Body: Paersall's yellow silk with a light dusting of fur from Otter.
Hackle: Starling.
The original pattern should have fur from Muskrat...I believe. And the hackle should be feather from Moorehen...I'm trying to find a skin from this bird on the web... but no luck yet.

torsdag 17. januar 2013

New flies for the upcoming season.

Well these fly patterns are not exactly new, but for a person who has been a dryfly only fanatic for many years now, it's exciting with these "newly" discovered soft hackled flies. At first glance they may not look as appealing like the more modern patterns, but the more I look at these flies the more interesting they become with their soft hackel from birds like Starling, Patridge and Waterhen and with a body made ​​of Pearsall silk and different type of fur.

Take for example the fly Patridge and Orange with its body of orange silk and partridge hackle.  The fly is a well known fly with its roots set firmly in English angling history. It is an impressionistic pattern fished successfully during caddis hatches and spinner falls. The Partridge and Orange is traditionally a trout and grayling pattern.

Dreaming of the upcoming summer .... just a few months away now.

Meanwhile its time for tying some soft hackled flies  and building some new bamboo flyrods.