In 2010 I took a Euro Nymphing class from Brett Bishop, a member of the US Fly Fishing Team. I recall catching a 16 inch fish in 6 inches of water on a nymph. That would not have happened with our American Indicator Techniques. I continued to play with and explore this technique. Gradually, I turned to  Euro Nymphing techniques more and more. Today I Euro Nymphing for 95% of my subsurface fishing and I have three Euro-Nymphing rod. Yes the rod count alone, shows my commitment to Euro Nymphing.  If you are interested I urge to watch my two videos. And if you are motivated – invest into a guided day of Euro Nymphing – you won’t regret the investment.


This video shows a few minutes of productive fishing.


This video demonstrates the core techniques of Euro Nymphing




Spring Time – Time to tone up that casting

It’s springtime – while the base ball teams are all at Training Camps – maybe us anglers should take the lead from them. Spend some time tuning up your cast for the upcoming trout season.  As you know I have a crazy obsession with fly fishing education, not sure, where it come from, maybe from my personal pursuit and how lucky I was to have a mentor and realize others don’t. I think it comes more from the realization that fly fishing is  an absolutely rewarding hobby – but it takes commitment and time to become efficient. And, I  may sound sharp  but I feel like the fly fishing industry really doesn’t have a effective  education model. It’s either a free two hour class or a guided day. There has got to be a better solution for all of us anglers.

That being said – I pulled this short casting video together.  I hope it’s short and simple and gives you motivation to go out and practice the cast.







2017 FFI Women’s Fly Fishing Workshop

A few weeks ago at the Federation Fly Fishers International I had the pleasure of leading the Women’s Fly Fishing Workshop.  I had an awesome crew of partner instructors and an tremendous group of students anxious to take their skills to the next level.  All of us had a blast and regardless of being an instructor or a student we all learned something.  I am not quite sure what it is— but I love the events when women anglers get together. Below are a few pictures from the event! Enjoy

Thanks to the instructors Trish,  Mary Ann, Cheryl, Kathy, Kristy,, Molly, Donna, Patty, Whitney and Heather

All students and participants after our casting instruction! Casting is just to much fun.

Hey everyone look at the photographer not Willa!

We started the day in the classroom – but within two hours – we were outdoors casting or headed to fishing.

We would break into two groups of 8 to allow for more conversation during each topic. Here Mary Ann is kicking off casting.

Our last topic during casting – was what to do when you fish takes your fly…Aka how to get that fish into the net.

On day 1 PM our fishing local was to the Yellowstone. Kudo’s to Susan for enticing a cuttie to your fly

On the water we broke into a teams of a fishing pro,instructor, and two students – lots of individual instruction for our anglers.

A photo capturing the friendships that develops during the two day of the fly fishing workshop

On day 2 we headed to Depuys’ by 11:00. And of course we had to stop and check out all the fish you can see in the crystal clear water.

Lunch and socializing before we head to the water.

Lunch and socializing before we head to the water.

Connie playing a nice brown that took her PMD emerger. Mary Ann getting ready to net – and then the fish took off….

A perfect example of the 1-1 coaching on the water

And you can’t learn to fly fish without learning about the aquatic insects. Thanks to Molly and Heater for collecting. 


Molly discussing the process of matching flies to the bug sampling. Too fun. You can never know too much about bugs.

A new addition this year. A place for women to gather , socialize and meet other cool women anglers

Thanks to Sandy for all her leaders in making the Women Connect Happen! And to Marlene for supporting her.


Patty doing what she loves – tying flies



Last week, Dave and  got out  on the Deschutes River to see how the Salmon Flies were doing. I chose to swing soft hackles – with a few grabs but not much action.  Dave chose his 7′  6″  5 wt Freestone Series bamboo rod for the day.  While there were lots of Salmon Flies and Golden Stoneflies on the bushes, and a few flying around, the fish seemed pretty disinterested in them during the sunny afternoon.  Instead, he again caught several nice rainbows on a #18 Tan Lafontaine Caddis drifted towards the bottom.  Dave may have been the only angler on the river during the day who was not throwing big ugly bugs.  But, once the sun went down, the fish turned on to a #8 Clarks Stonefly on the surface.  This pattern has proved to be the most effective adult stonefly for me lately.  Even when the giant Salmon Flies are out, the trout have always seemed to prefer the smaller Golden Stonefly imitation.  Here are a few photos of our day.

I have been guiding the last two days on the Salmon River. The Salmon and Golden Stones are abundant. Fish are starting to sporadically come up for either a Clarks Stonefly or a Chubby Chernobyl. I started to see a few bugs with eggs sacks – with the warm weather coming hoping we’ll get some better surface action. It’s odd but the best bet for subsurface is still small flies.

Golden Stonefly

Giant Salmonfly

#16 Tan Lafontaine Caddis

#16 Tan Lafontaine Caddis

A nice rainbow putting a big bend in Dav’es 5 wt bamboo.

One that came to the net.

Fishing the Lower Deschutes Early May 2017

Wow what a winter we had in Central Oregon! At one point 28 inches of snow on the ground for multiple weeks. Turns out we didn’t have deer prints in the snow but belly prints  from the dear drudging through the snow.

Spring is late to come and waters are high – but this last week I have been able to get out multiple days on multiple pieces of water . It was been splendid to be on the water.  Water has been high on the Lower D, one day 6200 CFS but dropping,  yesterday it was 5300 CFS. Both days we have good fish action -No big Deschutes Redsides – but some nice fish in the 12 to 14 inch. Amazingly nothing on the big stone fly patterns. For me everything was on a green rockworm pattern and Dave a Cadis Pupa.

Enjoy my photo essay!

First time on the oars in 2017

Dave’s Rainbow – Euro Nymphing

For our  two days on the water, Dave’s  most productive fly – a La Fontaine Pupa Caddis

Love my Winston  Super 10  so sensitive to the subtle takes. 

My most productive fly – a Green Rock Worm. Yes that is my tie! 

Checking out the loops on my 8 foot 6wt rod. Loved how it cast the big dry stone flies. However  the fish weren’t interested. 

It’s been a while since I swung flies with my 10’5″ 300 grain micro spey. So fun – a few grabs but I was snoozing. 




First fish on my Bamboo Rod – Yeah Rah!

Dave and I headed out to the Fall River today. As you can see from the pictures – we have had just a tad bit of snow. Since I finished the rod in mid- January today was the first day we were able to get on the water. And at approximately 11:30, Friday, February 10th – I hooked and land my first fish a 12 inch rainbow on my personal crafted bamboo rod! It was a joy to build this rod and a hoot to get that first fish. Dave offers Bamboo Rod Building classes – you won’t be disappointed in building your own and then fishing it.

The hike to my favorite spot on the fall river!

The hook-up

In the net – whew!  This was a fish I didn’t want to lose!

Had to have a classic grip and grin shot of my first fish – and it was a rainbow!

Pure Beauty

Thanks Dave for all you guidance in building my rod – nothing like having my own built bamboo fly rod.


Building A Bamboo Fly Rod – Day 7

Wow – my bamboo rod is finished.  Last time I posted I had just completed getting my bamboo rod to a “blank” state. What remained was the finishing and wrapping.

For the finishing  I used rub-on coats of Tru Oil, often used to finish gunstocks.  Each application took 10 to 15 minutes. It pays to do multiple coats and have a good 4 hours of dry time between coats. For me this was completed in a period of 4 days.


OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERABefore applying the finish – one more sanding of the blank.


Before applying the finishing, I did make sure to get my signature and rod size onto the rod blank.


An application of the finish.



A  polish on the rod – before wrapping.

With the finish as sharp as I could get it – it was now time to wrap. Rather than just do a one color wrap, I opted to do a two-color tipping. The main wrap is functional as it holds the guide in place – but the two smaller wraps really are accent colors. This was my second wrapping of a rod and I had never done the two tippings. Although tedious and many re-wraps I did get the wrapping done. I am very happy I took the extra time for the two color tipping. Each 5th wrap I would then stack the thread – to get a very clean look on the wraps. When a wrap was complete I applied one coat of varnish – to ensure it didn’t unravel. When all the wraps were complete I applied 10 coats of varnish – with two “sanding of the wraps” – again to get the cleanest look I could.  Needless to say the wrapping did a good bit of time, about 20 hours. The varnish again, was a quick 10 to 15 minute task, but like the finishing, the dry time between applications meant it took multiple days.


Wrapping the final tipping to the agate stripping guide.


Packing the wraps


Applying the first coat of varnish.


I have to say – there was a time and duration investment in applying the finish, wrapping, and varnishing the wrap – but it paid off in a extremely clean looking rod. Yes I am proud of myself and would love to jump into building another rod. Thank you for following my rod building project.



A close up of the reel and ferrule


Voila – my custom crafted bamboo rod.


Yes a bit of snow of the ground – but that didn’t deter me from casting. Love the action – has the guts to cast big flies in windy conditions.

Building A Bamboo Fly Rod – Day 6

As you will see by the end of this post – my rod is really looking like a bamboo fly rod. Reminds me a bit of like tying – starting with raw materials and uncertain of what the outcome will be – and with each build step it looks more& more  like a fly rod! It definitely does now.  After the gluing process – I had a bamboo rod blank! Next up the a series of steps to 1) fit the ferrules, 2) make the grip, and 3) prep the rod for the reel set.

Fitting the Ferrules

The first step was working through some numbers – One making sure I had the proper ferrule size and Two, determine the appropriate cut length for the tip and butt sections. There were lots of short steps to get the ferrules mounting all requiring precision work. The first was the first cut on the bamboo – scary. But really minimal risk if you “measure twice and cut once” I took a photo of the cross section of the rod at this point – I just love the cluster of power fibers you can see – these power fibers are what give bamboo it’s strength and sensitivity. Next, started the hexagonal shape needed to be “rounded” for the round ferrule. Additionally, there was flaring on the ferrule and bamboo to ensure a tight fight – thus  distributing the pressure points so as to reduce the chance of breaking at the ferrule. Oh – it hurts to think about a break at the ferrule – but it can happen.


Doing the math – so sort out the points to cut the bamboo blank


Cutting the rod blank


Check out the power fibres – I will always be in awe of strength yet sensitivity of the power fibers.


Sanding down the ferrule.


Fitting the male ferrule to the rod


Making the Grip

The first step was to pick the 12 cork rings that would be glued together and sanded down to make the grip.  Lots of sanding with the lathe to go from the cork rings to the final grip. And of course it fits my hand perfectly.  Before the final sanding of the grip, I turned down the hexagonal shape to a round shape that the real seat fits over.




Turning the bamboo rod for the real seat placement.


Only the best cork for my rod!


Gluing the cork pieces to the rod butt.


The final sanding to on the grip.


Gluing and Bluing the Ferrules

No elaborate magic here – but a bit unnerving to light the glue to burn off the solvent.



Prepping the female ferrule for glue – cleaning out any dirt and grease.


Applying the glue


Lighting the glue on fire – just for a second – don’t want to light the rod on fire.


The Ferrules all glued on!

It looks like a Bamboo Fly Rod


What remains? Multiple coats of a rub-on finish and wrapping the guides.

Building my own Bamboo Rod – Day 5

Wow – As I continue building my bamboo fly rod, I am developing a deeper appreciation for the “The art of craftsmanship”.  Like many things in life – “doing it” –  brings so much more meaning to “it”. I am experiencing just that in building my bamboo fly rod. I always heard many people from woodworkers to quilters call their craft an art. I now get it at a much deeper level – If your a craftsman your are an artisan.

Many anglers talk about the joy of catching a fish on their own flies! As I my progress on crafting my bamboo rod – I am beginning to anticipate the feeling of catching a fish on my bamboo rod. However, as you see, I may be getting ahead of myself – as I have many steps remaining on my bamboo rod before I can literally head to the river.

With the last few days I have taken my bamboo from planed split pieces to a rod blank!


The split pieces prior to gluing!


My bamboo rod blank – is now two solid pieces!


To get from the split pieces to the rod blank – was simply a matter of gluing up as they say! I say. It was a bit more than that! My first steps was to mix up the mixture to create the glue and then apply the glue.  Reminded me  more of  a home economics class  than a wood shop class. The mystery process is rolling up the laid out glued-up pieces of bamboo  into its hexagonal shape! Pictures can’s capture that. From there it’s the sticky mess of hand tying a few strings to hold the pieces together and then manual wrapping  string up the entire piece, prepping for the binder.



Mixing up the glue! Precise measurements!


Yes that’s a toothbrush I used to apply the glue! Sometime it isn’t all high Tech!




Stringing it up to create the blank!


Hand-wrapping a string the entire blank – in prep for the binder


After a clean-up of the hands – yes the glue is gooey! I stepped over to the binding machine to wrap the blank multiple times. The value of the binder is the tight wraps you get on the rod blank to maintain your taper and minimize any chance of glues lines between the  6 pieces.


The binder – yes an interesting gizmo


A close-up as I get ready the run the blank through the binder another time.


From there it was place the two rod pieces, butt and tip, into a warm dust free place to dry for a couple of days. So now to the fun of undoing the binding string and dried glue from the outside of the rod. Yes put the process in reverse – first take off of the binding strings and then another “zen” process of filing and sanding the glue residue off.


Manually – unwrapping the binding strings


Gently & carefully filing off the glue residue. All of the residue has to be removed.


My rod building mentor, Dave, doing one of his many quality control checks. This time is all the glue residue gone?

Next up just a few more steps to prep the rod for adding the ferrules.  One step is to check you rod thickness to make sure your finished product is as your rod taper design sheet prescribes. And then the removing any curvature out of your blank pieces.


Right to spec with .067″ at the tip.


Eyeing it up – is it straight?!