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!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
It looks like a Bamboo Fly Rod
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.
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.
I have also been on the Crooked River imitating the Mother Day’s Caddis hatch with success!
In the last week I have had a blast crafting my own fishing net. When I saw that my Central Oregon Fly Fishing Club was conducting a net building class, I jumped on board immediately. Our instructors Cliff, Steve, and Dave (not my husband) did the work of constructing the net frame and then coached all of us on the remaining steps. While working on it in our workshop I received additional coaching from my husband, Dave! Would you expect less from the bamboo rod builder. The pictures & captions below capture the process from start to end. I have very happy with how the finished net looks. I can’t wait to net my first landed fish. Doing this project reminds me of how much I enjoy and how rewarding it is to work with your own hands – versus buying. While finishing the net Dave and I chatted about building another – this time utilizing bamboo as the main wood. However, my first goal next winter is be to build my very own custom crafted bamboo rod.
What Fun!!!!Christmas day….27 degrees….beautiful sunny day….8 inches of snow….and Dave and I went fly fishing on the Metolius River. I used my 10′ 6″ 5 wt bamboo switch rod to swing streamers, and Dave used his 8′ 3″ 5 wt bamboo rod to Euronymph small nymphs. We tempted a few trout to our flies, and got one nice rainbow to the net. Here are a few photos.
I love the fall in Central Oregon! You can always count on an Indian Summer – warm days and there are always a few nights that are warm enough to camp. Fishing usually picks up from August as the water cools with the cooler temperatures. As we progress into the fall – all the brilliance of changing colors can be seen against some crystal clear blue skies. My favorites to fish are the Crooked River and the Deschutes River. The Crooked is smaller than the Deschutes – but unless it is a freaky day you can count on getting into some fish. The Deschutes is a challenging fishery – however when you do find a fish you have a chance at some nice sized rainbows and in a the 4000 plus CFS t give you a good play. You also have the chance at those elusive steelhead – they eluded me this year. Well at least to the net – I hooked into a couple that took off like freight trains! Still wondering what I could have done differently to keep them on! The following are photos from a couple of trips that Dave and I took in October. Enjoy
Wow I have been negligent on posting to my web site. My excuse too busy fishing, teaching, and tieing flies. Actually lots of teaching for me this spring – which I enjoy as much if not more than fishing. Nothing more rewarding than the opportunity to teach someone to the sport that I love, live & breath.
I am loving my new home in Central Oregon! Lots of sunny days in the winter and plenty of water to fish. Almost too much. This winter I focused my days on the water on the Crooked River – a little gem to fish all year round and the winter provides some of the best fishing! I love to fish the Crooked as it has so much structure to analyze and it holds a fair number of fish. Some days the fish are very willing to take your fly and other days the fish just don’t seem to be around, but you know they are there. The structure and the fish make this an excellent river to learn to fly fish. If you’re looking to learn and you’re in Oregon – you can’t beat the Crooked as a learning paradise!
Lake In the Dunes
I can honestly say that the last time I was at Lake in the Dunes was before the millennium. Yes remember that – big event. We were all concerned that computers would go down because of the ’00 in programs. Well the world didn’t crash that year, but a lot has changed since then. Cell phones, Facebook, and Instragram immediately came to mind! With all the change surrounding us every day – it is nice to know we can go back in time and experience a great fishery – even if is 16 years later.
Being at Lake of the Dune on Sunday, sure brought back memories. Yes last time I was at Lake of the Dunes it was in 1999 and the first time was probably in the 1996 vintage time. I started fishing in ’95 so way back then I can now say I was truly a rookie. On my first trip to Lake in the Dunes I hooked my first fish that could truly pull line off the reel. Not that I knew what that was back then. I remember being clueless on what to do and yelling “What do I do?” Dave returned in the same tone, “Fight it on the reel”. My reply back – ” I don’t know what that is”. Needless to say I clearly remember losing that fish. I was pretty disappointed. Now if I lose a big fish I say “Oh well, there will be another opportunity – no worries”
This spring Dave and I made two return visits to Lake in the Dunes! Both times I was reminded that how much I enjoy lake fishing and it certainly helps with surrounding scenery, and yes the big fish are nothing to complain about!