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Author Topic: Bamboo Flyrods

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Bamboo Flyrods
OP: October 09, 2017, 09:39:30 PM
As the old adage read:  Necessity is the mother of invention.
With that in mind I began my journey into fly fishing and eventually making Bamboo Fly Rods.
It began many years ago at an Annual Fishing Show, I attended with my wife China.
I have always read the magazine stories of using a bamboo flyrod, and the feeling it gives as the fisherman as he battles that elusive trout to the net.

Well, I seem to be getting ahead of myself here.
Lets back up and paint a brief picture of the places I have available close to me to fish.
The local lakes and ponds available to me are what I have fished most of my life, and I know of no other ways or places.
This part of Southern New Jersey where I live, and fish, have very strict warnings, warning of eating any of the fish from these wonderful places where I wet my line.
The water color is usually a lovely pea soup green, which turns into a beautiful medium brown color in the Summer.
Only sunfish, catfish, and carp are available year round.

There are Some fancy parks nearby that actually "Stock" Trout into these pristine colorful pea green waters in the Spring when the water temperatures are cool.
Fishing for these elusive stocked spring trout is affectionately known as combat fishing.
Literally hundreds of... I will use this term politely.... "Fishermen", are lined up elbow to elbow.
Some of these sportsmen bring their salt water surf casting rods, miscellaneous styles of boat rods, and any other style of rod you can imagine.
In a small pond of less than 5 acres, there were actual Chris-Craft bay boats with massive dual gas engines attached.
Mind you the water in its deepest is approximately 5 - 6 feet deep.
There are so many boats of all shapes and sizes, canoes, rubber rafts, little row boats, and again "Fishermen" in their inner tubes with feet flippers, that a man can literally walk across the lake from one side to the other without getting wet.

Now these semi pro fishermen arrive with their equipment geared to do battle with the elusive stocked trout.
The salt water surf rods are weighted on the end of the 50 lb mono line, by old heavy rusted spark plugs and stainless steel hooks of massive sizes.
Other trout fishermen arrive carrying up to and including 7, 8, or 9 different rods in their hands. These rods are hastily cast into the water, and neatly lined up to help then catch their limit.
Trout bait carried by the sport fishermen around here consisted of:
Canned Corn, canned peas, dough balls of secret family mixtures, worms of all types and sizes, marshmallows, hotdogs, shrimp, squid, shiner minnows, the list goes on...

Some sportsmen fill their boats with large groups of small children, for the reason to legally be able to keep 6 fish limit per person.
Only problem here is the kids never, ever catch a fish. The Adult "Fishermen" do that. Six times the number of kids on the boat equals..... you get the idea.

Lots of these sportsmen standing around waiting for that elusive trout to pull down their bobber, like to take a nip or two from the bottle.
It Never fails, that one or sometimes two of these upstanding gentlemen/sportsmen always seen to get cold.
They jump into their car/truck to start it up and put the heater on to keep warm.
Well, you guessed it, the car/truck is knocked into gear and spins off into the lake. People yell, the crowd parts allowing the vehicle to pass by......
It is amazing how long a fully loaded vehicle actually floats on the water, slowly twisting and turning in the wind, before it actually sinks. 
Usually when this incident happens, the bets are on from the onlooking sportsmen standing around, waiting for their bobber to dip into the Abis.
You pick a time, in the "Car Pool", for when the car actually sinks and only the radio antenna is seen sticking above the water. You can win a couple of dollars.

When the police, county Sheriff's department, Environmental agencies, tow truck operator, police in scuba gear eventually show up, all fishing is ended until water samples are taken and it is OK to fish in that little lake again.

Wow, I have so many wonderful memories of opening day trout fishing with my son, and friends.

Well, you got a gist of my exposure to trout fishing, and fishing in Southern New Jersey, near Philadelphia.

I read all of the fishing magazines growing up. Catching trout using the fly rod is like the golden ring and pinnacle of fishing.
I have read many stories of famous people fly fishing and the stories they could tell.

Well, I have caught sunny's by the ton on the fly rod, catfish also.
I read about the British overseas catching Carp in their pristine clear waters on the fly rod.
I have caught many large carp on my 7 weight and 8 weight fly rods, and my specially made mulberry fly.
This carp catching thing is pretty darn fun in its own right. You need to try it.

Using small size 2, and 3 fly rods on sunny's is a load of fun.
Devoted to using a fly rod only and no spinning rod. I put away all spinning rods, but on occasion used spinners on my fly rods, as well as spoons, and lots of live bait on a hook.
I began collecting glass fly rods like a golfer collects his golf clubs.

I began getting an itch for more excitement and began looking towards Bamboo Fly Rods again.

Now getting back to the original story of going to the Annual Fishing Show in New Jersey.
I began casting and handling the Bamboo fly Rods at the Fishing show. Some were literal magic in my hands.
I could make the fly line float like a butterfly...

The little problem here was that a few of these well known names in the Fly Fishing industry have a waiting list of three years or so.
Not being known for my patience. I began looking around at other name brand Bamboo Fishing Rods.

Some of these rods were made of wood, I know they were real wood, because I can see the grain as I hold the rod in my hands.
But, the "Wood" in these rods was actual Bamboo. The price of those Rods was listed, I believe for a solid 24 ct Gold rod.
I was in shock at the amount of money these Bamboo rods cost.
Eventually, I found a lonely Bamboo Rod in a rack from a well known man I liked and respected.

After the initial sticker shock wore off, I began catching fish in my old familiar waters around my home.
Yes, I felt stupid using a bamboo fly in the filthy waters I knew so well.

Eventually I found a few friends on another web site in NJ, and discovered that there is other places in New Jersey that have.... are you sitting down?
Water that actually moves.
Water that is gin clear.
Water that has natural spawning fish.
Holy crap, I entered into another world.

My fever for Bamboo Fly Rods had grown.
I cannot afford to by $3000. dollar rods, I do not want to wait three years with my name on some old dusty list.
So, I got the goofy idea of going to school, and learn how to make my own bamboo fly rods.

After a few dollars in equipment/tools. And my ingenuity of making things and Jerry Rigging design...

I have made a dozen or so Bamboo Fly Rods.
I find a trout water with a special need, and I make a rod up for that particular fish/water.
When I want to catch a small trout. I use one of my ultra lite fly rods.... and it feels like I have a tiger by the tail.
Fun is not the only word for fishing with a Bamboo Fly Rod, its really neat.

I like to make my own Bamboo Fly Rods, Flies, and equipment.

It is fun being independent, and not relying on others.
I know what I want and then make it happen.

Try it it's fun stuff.

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« Last Edit: October 09, 2017, 09:55:28 PM by Bill from NJ »

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