Fly Fishing Pursuits

Pursuing the passion of fly fishing!

December 1, 2016
by Mary Ann Dozer
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Building my own Bamboo Fly Rod – Day 3

Today, I continued with the process of building my bamboo rod. My start point today was with the 16 pieces that I had done the initial beveling to get to a triangular shape.  The first step was to send the pieces through the beveler to get closer to the final dimensions. We took off about .03 of an inch with each pass.

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Another run or two through the beveler shaving .03 inch of each pass.

 

At this point I picked the final 12 split pieces of bamboo from my initial 18 . I choose 6 from each culm – my choice selection was a mix of the look of each split and how straight it was.  3 pieces from each culm will make up the butt and tip sections. I set the other four to the side – just in case!

Next step  up – bevel in a rough taper into the final 12 pieces.

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The start of the rod taper – that determines the action of the rod.

 

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Another angler on the rough tapering step.

 

The next step was to straighten each strip of bamboo. Straightening the bamboo at this point will enable the hand planing process to be smoother and more precise.  To get the bend out of the bamboo you bend the rod in the opposite direction over a heat – until the bend has been removed.

 

 

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A bend that needs to be straightened.

 

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Apply pressure  in the opposite direction over heat to straighten

 

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A straightened piece of bamboo.

 

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All twelve pieces ready for the hand planing process. You can see the difference is the size for the butt versus the tip section

 

Next step – setting the depth on the planing form to create the desired taper for my 8′ 6 wt rod. Accuracy is key with this step – so I did double check my settings and then Dave checked me. We set the specific taper depth at every 5″ mark – the depth for the tip section started at .104″ and ended at .028″

 

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Setting the depth on the planing form with my taper sheet as a guide.

 

Today – I just got started on the hand planing process. I anticipate it will take me about 4 to 6 hours to plane all the strips.

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Planing my first strip – 1/2 way done with one strip and then 11 more.

November 26, 2016
by Mary Ann Dozer
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Building my own bamboo fly rod – Day 2

Today I continued my pursuit of hand building my first bamboo fly rod!  My husband, Dave, has been building for years, so I am fortunate to have an excellent mentor. If your’re curious about building a bamboo rod check out his website.  My goal is to post a blog every day I work on the rod. My goal is to have the rod complete by Christmas – we will see how that goes.  I hope you join in to follow my progress and learnings.

Today – I spent about 6 hours in the shop taking my bamboo rod from the initial rough splits to rough triangle splits – ready to start planing!

My first step was to heat treat the rough splits about 9 per bamboo culm. This takes much of the moisture out of the rod and stiffens the bamboo. The heat treated bamboo made it easier for me to split the bamboo into sections small enough to rough plane.  There were 2 steps to split  each culm into  18 pieces.

 

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Step one – Start the split with a box cutter.

 

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Step two – finish the split on the vise, making sure the split stayed in the middle of the split culm.

 

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A close – up of the split culm – check out the power fibers that give bamboo it’s strength and feel.

 

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All  ready for the next step

 

At this point I selected 8 pieces of each culm that had an even heat treat and good width for the beveling step. You may wonder why eight pieces. Eventually I will use 6 pieces to form each section of the bamboo (tip and butt section) – choosing 8 pieces allows me to 1) pick the best six  split pieces for the final rod and 2) yes, allow a mis-step in subsequent steps:).

 

With my selected 8 strips from each culm,

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I belt sanded each split to remove the enamel layer on the outside of each strip.

 

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16 strips waiting for their next action!

 

With the rough sanding done – I moved to the beveller. I fed each strip through the beveller to get the rough tri-angler shape. I have to say running the beveller step was a hoot!

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Feeding a strip through the beveler

 

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A closer look of the rough beveling step – check out the triangular shape of the strip

 

A good stopping point for the day. The rough beveled strips patiently waiting for the next step!

 

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Whew! A good point to stop and

 

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Savor today’s efforts with a class of wine.

 

November 23, 2016
by Mary Ann Dozer
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Building my own bamboo fly rod – Day 1

Today I started my pursuit of hand building my first bamboo fly rod!  My husband, Dave, has been building for years, so I am fortunate to have an excellent mentor. If your’re curious about build a bamboo rod check out his website.  My goal is to post a blog every day I work on the rod. My goal is to have the rod complete by Christmas – we will see how that goes.  I hope you join in to follow my progress and learnings.

The first step of course is to sort out the length, weight, and action of my rod. I have been mulling that over for the last few weeks, yes a difficult decision for me. I landed on building a 8 foot 6 weight rod that is modeled after a Classic Payne Fly Rod.  I already have  a medium-progressive action 8 foot 6 wt bamboo rod built on a Garrison taper. I love the progressive taper for its smoothness in casting, but I wanted my new rod to be a faster action rod to cast heavier flies in windy conditions. Can’t wait to test it out this May during the Salmon Fly Hatch on the Lower Deschutes. Trust me, I will be chasing bull trout on the Metolius in January!

Below is a graph that shows the rod diameter (y-axis) at 5 inch inch intervals (x-axis) with the tip-top on the left progressing to the butt of the rod on the right. I compared two Payne tapers to my Garrison 6 wt. I chose the Payne Choice A as the butt section on this rod is a bit thicker than my Garrison – allowing for bigger flies. It should also be better in the wind with the stronger butt section, allowing me to fight the fish a bit more aggressively in heavier current.

 

taper-comparisons

Now that I had chosen a rod length, weight, and taper –  I was ready to move to the shop to pick out the specific pieces of bamboo I would use. Such a tough decision – as this determines the look of the rod and degree of consistency in alternating the nodes on the final rod – more on that later.  My new rod will be made from two different pieces (culms) of bamboo.  The key decision criteria in choosing which two pieces of bamboo was the consistency in color of the two pieces and matching up the distances between the nodes.

 

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My final selection on the two pieces of bamboo to start with!

Next up was cutting the bamboo on a chop saw to 55 inches. I had never used a chop saw  before – too fun!

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Cutting to 55 inches on a chop saw.

Next was to mark the bamboo for splitting. I used a compass to measure the width of the splits.

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Marking the splits

Now to the fun part! Splitting the bamboo!  The first step was to split each bamboo section in half!  I was a bit tentative on the splitting process – but soon learned it was a fairly straight forward step. Just need to make sure I kept the pieces straight as I split the bamboo on my markings.

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My first “bonk” for splitting the bamboo

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Splitting the bamboo in half!

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Splitting into smaller pieces

 

The next step was to remove the interior node residue. That was done with a chisel and mallet!

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Removing the interior node material

Tomorrow – I will heat treat the bamboo and split the pieces one more time.

 

October 13, 2016
by Mary Ann Dozer
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Any fish is fun – regardless of how long you have fished.

I remember my first fish I caught, over 20 years ago!  I was so clueless of what to do and clueless on what I actually did to land it! I never had it to my hand as I set the hook to hard throwing it over my head and then  repeating that motion forward. Needless to my dismay, I don’t think that fish made it!  I never  got the fish to the net,  so technically it wasn’t my first landed fish – but it was the fish fish I set the hook on!   As they say even a blind squirrel can sometimes find a nut!

After that experience I was totally hooked into fly fishing! Yes we have heard that before. From there I recall my goals were to land as many fish as I could, then I wanted to just land a big fish and then I started to chase certain species – the steelhead is always the most elusive – but I can say I have had the joy of losing a landing my fair share of steelhead. I also have the experience of chasing bone fish – too much fun – when one of those take your fly – as it a few seconds they can run 100 yards! So where am I going with this ramble!

Last week I snuck out to the Metolious for a few hours! I was reminded how renewing it is to have a fly rod in hand and to get on the water. I chose to Czech Nymph!  I didn’t catch any lunkers – but I did catch enough small guys to add up to a big fish! Does that count!

This leads me to the point of   rambling post – at some point fishing gets way beyond the numbers and the size. Fishing is about that connecting with nature and placing 100% of your attention to the present moment!

I hope you see the beauty I see in the small fish I enticed to my fly!

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My first catch!

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A Bull Trout!  – hope to connect with him again in the future!

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Another fish – to catch another day!

 

 

September 6, 2016
by Mary Ann Dozer
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Bugs Bugs Bugs

When I first started fly fishing I never gave enough credence to the importance of bugs. Now, I think you can’t know too much about bugs. I’m a firm believer that it’s a good idea to “check out the bugs” in the river nearly every time you fish, especially if you’re doing a lot of nymph fishing.  Dave and I were on the Crooked River last week fishing a spot we fish often and started with a bug sampling.  We have a small net that is about 15″ x 15″ that one of us holds in the water while the other turns over rocks upstream.  We then transfer the bugs in the net to a white bowl that aids in viewing and identifying.  For the particular spot we sampled, there were very nigh numbers of olive/tan scuds in sizes ranging from about #18 to #10, as well as black mayfly nymphs that were about #18 and #16 in size.  We both used euro-nymphing techniques for our fishing for the day.  Using #14 and #16 gold or tan scuds, #18 Psycho Mayfly nymphs, and #16 Black Beauties produced a lot of rainbows in the 6″ to 14″ range.  So, knowing the bugs in the water and matching those bugs certainly helped us.  Here are a few photos of the day.

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Look at the diversity in bugs on the Crooked River.

 

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A closer look at the PMD (Black) Mayflies, a scud, and then a small BOW.

 

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The flies that enticed a good number of fish

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A nice 14 inch rainbow – I was able to convince my fly was the real bug!

June 12, 2016
by Mary Ann Dozer
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Deschutes River June 2016

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A great way to end a great day!

The summer’s always get busy for me. So I  relish a day where Dave and I can enjoy the water together. Yes we call it our equivalent of a date night. This Friday we had our date on the Deschutes and the Deschutes showed us her better side. Or should I say the Deschutes Rainbows showed us some of her better red sides. Always a great Day on the Deschutes River – but extra nice when we can bring a good number of rainbows to the net.  The flies that worked the classic black rubber legs, sparkle caddis pupas,  and a BWO nymph! Enjoy the photos.

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The day is made with just the essence of the massive Deschutes water & views

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A selfie of Dave & I – Check out the view upstream

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A beauty of a red side – check out the colors

 

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My best catch of the day – on a black jimmy legs

 

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Same Fish – just the full fish shot

 

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Dave’s Catch of the day

 

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Dave’s first of the day – a prelude to a awesome day

 

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Took time to collect some bugs – is this an albino stonefly?

 

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A green drake – just one of the many diverse bugs on the Deschutes

 

 

June 6, 2016
by Mary Ann Dozer
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North Santiam –

Wow – early June and temperatures in the mid-90’s. Where to fish – someplace where waders aren’t required. The North Santiam  River was my destination on Sunday!  The balance between the cold water and warm air temperature – kept my comfortable  when I was fishing. More importantly – what a fun small stream to fish. Perfect for a small weight rod and dry flies.  I caught a good number of fish int he 8 to 12 inch range – but on my 7 foot 4 wt bamboo was a perfect match.  Even a 8 inch fish bends the rod deeply.

The North Santiam River is situated on the east slope of the Cascades. As you can see from the photos it is a heavily forested area with splendid water with riffles, runs, and pools all holding fish. Little fishing pressure makes this a great 1/2 to 3/4 day destination.

 

NS Up stream

Looking Upstream

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Classic view of the numerous riffles, runs & pools to fish. Plenty of structure for fish everywhere.

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Keeping one of the many fish wet!

NS - Second Rainbow

Just a quick out of the water shot to show off the beautiful colors of the rainbow. Check out the dots, the red band, & red cheek.

NS - Looking Downstream

One last view – perfect water for your small 3 to 4 wt bamboo rod

June 4, 2016
by Mary Ann Dozer
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Fishing Northern California

I just returned from a 3 day fishing trip to Northern California at Clear Water Lodge. I joined 16 other women anglers from the International Women Fly Fishers. Always a treat to hang out with women who have a passion for fly fishing. The service and accomodations at ClearWater were excellent. I recommend a visit if you’re looking to get off the beaten path and to be pampered.

It was a great get away for me. I caught up with old friends and met new friends. Lots of laughter I  explored new waters for myself Hat Creek and the Fall River – very fun and challenging water – both are spring creeks – each with it’s own beauty and challenges.

On Wednesday it was float on the Fall River not much was happening on the surface so it was long long downstream drifts – up to 50 to 6o feet with stealth pheasants and two bit hookers. With that long lenght of line I missed my share of fish – but did hook up on a hand ful and able to bring a few to the net.

 

Nothing better than a nice sized rainbow on my 5 wt 8 foot Leonard taper bamboo.

Nothing better than a nice sized rainbow on my 5 wt 8 foot Leonard taper bamboo.

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First fish to the boat!

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My second fish to the boat – moments after I lost a bigger one – famous last words!

 

On Thursday- it was a day of explored Hat Creek – with no success but a commitment to head back on Friday. Friday paid off – the morning was slow but in the afternoon I landed a good dozen fish and lost half as many – all with my Echo Czech Nymph set-up. All the fish were in the 6 to 12 inch range – but so fun to have a lot of action.

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One of the many little guys

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My trust little Purple Deschutes Fly – this fly has produced on every river I fish

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First time I had success with the Stealth Pheasant Tail – sure to be part of my go to selection

 

 

May 29, 2016
by Mary Ann Dozer
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May Fishing in Central Oregon

Wow – my last post was at the April 28. My goal is to post weekly!  Today is May 29th!  What happened to May. I know what happened to May – I was busy scouting waters, teaching fly fishing classes , a few private casting lessons, and yes a good number of days guiding!  I feel as I have been behind the 8 ball all month. A few days at home this week – and my to do list is getting reasonable.  Key word reasonable – not necessarily done. But you don’t want to read about my scrambling to get my to do you done – you want to read about my fishing.

I will start with a great evening Dave and I had with the Wild Women of the Water. They came over for an overview of building bamboo rods and socializing, of course. You can check out Dave’s Blog to see all the photos – but Kari running a strip through the beveler is my favorite.

Kari Splitting

Getting a short hands on experience with building a bamboo rod. TOO FUN

 

Now back to fishing! I have spent a majority of my time on the Deschutes River – plenty of stone flies out and about! Love the aggressive takes of the big rainbows as they take them. Amazing experience – if you get a chance in the next week get on the water. The hatch will be winding down in a few weeks.  A few photos of the fish, flies, and amazing shots of the real bugs.

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Salmon Flies love grass! So of course they gravitate to bamboo!

 

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Check out the egg sack on the Salmon Fly

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The best part of the Salmon Fly Hatch – aggressive takes!

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And fish in the 16 plus range are common

 

I have also been on the Crooked River imitating the Mother Day’s Caddis hatch with success!

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Stream side on the Crooked. I will never tire of this view

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A tattered but effective fly – a tie of my own

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This rainbow was fooled by my tattered fly – A fly I have been successful with on lots of waters.

 

April 28, 2016
by Mary Ann Dozer
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Central Oregon Spring Fishing

Last week I took advantage of some great weather ,  I placed a priority on fishing and got on the water 3 days in a row. It felt splendid to be on the water! Life has been too busy!

Like any day fishing each day takes a life on it’s own. Friday on the Deschutes was a bit overcast – and minimal wind. Saturday was a new day – sunny and windy on the Deschutes. Sunday – a new river was called for, so I headed to the Crooked. I got two weather days in one; before noon it was a light drizzle and then after noon the sun came out.  Each day brought a few fish to the net. On the Deschutes – it a lot of small steelhead & salmon smolt and a good handful of classic Deschutes Redsides. I was rewarded with a couple of very nice rainbow for my couple of hours on the Crooked.

Enjoy the photos –

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Flies that brought fish to my net

Deschutes Fish on

Deschutes River – Redside on!

Deschutes Red Side # 1

Deschutes Trout!

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Deschutes Riffle Fishing & sharing the river

 

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Always fun for both anglers to play and land a fish at the same time

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First Fish of the day on the Deschutes

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Contemplating – what’s next

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The Crooked blessed us with a few nice rainbows this trip