Those who have faithfully followed my monthly column are aware of my undying reverence and love of fine handmade Bamboo fly rods. In my sporting life I have the supreme privilege of owning and using Bamboo made by the legendary godfather of modern Bamboo, Walt Powell. I have fished with Mr. Powell and had the honor of carrying his near perfect 4-5-6 weight Bamboo from Alaska to California.
My past adventures with Bamboo include trips to Alaska after King Salmon carrying Winston Bamboo fashioned by the master rod maker Glenn Brackett. Glenn has been making many of the finest Bamboo rods I have ever seen. In this rarefied master craftsmen realm another solid Bamboo artist comes to mind from the town of Fall River Mills. James Reams is known to have magic hands that can build from scratch or repair Bamboo as well as anyone alive.
These fellows are at the top of the Bamboo making hierarchy. Last year I got the bright idea to FAX ten of the leading Bamboo Rod makers and see if any of them might like to lend me several of their very expensive Bamboo Rods to go after King Salmon light tippet records in Lake Marie Alaska. Glenn Brackett of Winston Rods was he only guy to say "Sounds great Dan, how many Bamboo rods do you require?" Those rods all seven of them were put to the toughest tests imaginable. In a weeks time I had hooked and played many Kings in the 28-45 pound class and those Winston Bamboo Fly Rods never failed. Within the mysterious confines of world class fly fishing Bamboo made well and fished hard is still the weapon of choice for every fly fishing maniac I know.
The 27 time Vogue Magazine Cover Girl and Estee Lauder spokesperson Karen Graham. Whom I wrote about last year has revered Bamboo and became a featured fly fisher in the prestigious Bamboo Fly Rod Magazine run by a good friend Mark Metcalf.
Mark is a Bamboo warrior of sorts in as much as his excellent magazine raised the bar when it comes to all things relating to fine Bamboo. Mark and I have worked on several projects around Bamboo and I hold him in high esteem. Famous sportsmen from Bing Crosby to Clint Eastwood have used Bamboo. The Hollywood sports set and many world leaders, ex American presidents have all used and cherished this almost mythical fly rod. Why exactly is that you may be thinking ? Bamboo a natural grass like plant grows in or near good water.
The ability to translate the slightest movement straight to your heart & soul has captivated many who have fly fished with fine Bamboo. In my world the finest equipment has always played a role in the excitement of the sport. When I uncork any of my Bamboo Fly Rods and catch that first hint of old world varnish and feel the perfect balance. Its the best way to begin a day on the water. Those of you who wish to sample the very finest in graphite, take a look at my signature custom fly rod series created by famed rod maker Ira Stutzman up next in this update. I have asked our new President George Bush to accept the first rod in the series. I would love to fly fish with him and discuss my feelings on our great open spaces.
It gives me great pleasure to announce the honor bestowed upon me by the world renown fly rod maker Ira Stutzman owner of Hells Canyon Custom Rods" out of Oregon. Ira has been making special exotic wood handled fly rods for many years. Ira has made custom rods for President Jimmy Carter and his wife Rosalyn. The company has never offered this signed limited edition rod series to any other fly fisher, I'm truly humbled and urge all interested sportsmen to read my field test review of these artistic, yet fully functional works of art in last months column.
Only 100 rods will be built and are offered as follows: Each rod is serial numbered and will include customers name with inlaid Chucker Feathers. Each rod comes complete with a balanced J. Austin Forbes Reel and Airflow Fly line. The rods will come with a special custom high grade leather case with brass cap. The cap will be engraved with customers name and serial number of rod. The rod is offered as a 7 foot 3 inch 3-4 weight- 3 piece graphite, with special Nickel Silver ferrules and hardware.
A perfect traveling small stream rod that can become a hand me down treasured heirloom. This rod casts as well or better then any rod I have ever used and its quite special. If a customer would like another weight or length or any other special consideration? Ira will build to suit on request. The price is $2250,00, for more info contact Ira Stutzman at (541) 742-4828 or click on his web sight at www.hellscanyoncustomrods.com .