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Discussion in 'Ride Reports - Day Trippin'' started by doorman, Jun 8, 2013.
Did my first motoflyfishing trip today on my new Africa Twin. The fishing sucked, but the views were nice.
Fish live in some of the best places.
I learned so many things today that are different from fishing out of the van.
Forgot my wading boots or running shoes, but I can now wholeheartedly recommend the Forma Adventure boots as substitute wading boots.
The fishing NEVER sucks! The catching however, that can be a whole different story!
True, that's a better way of looking at it!
Twin Tunnels. Used to stop there on my way to Los Alamos.
Yep, it's the closest place to me for fishing up in the Jemez.
Great place to ride.
I relocated from Albuq to SW Missouri a few years back. Now I'm stuck riding the africa twin to whatever fishing holes I can find in the ozarks.
I've been to Missouri, you have my condolences
Ah, but only 40 miles from AR-Kansas.... twisty roads and lots o fishes....
I've been wanting a bamboo rod for my moto/fly fishing adventures since I came back from Afghan in '12 and did my first big moto/flying fishing ride up the CDT.
Well last year it was time to consumate that lust and I'd signed on to build a bamboo rod under the tutelege of Bill Oyster (he's posted a super awesome TR here on when he took his Super Ten down to Mexico). Most of my moto/fly fishing is done up in mountains of N Georgia around the Mountain Ranger Camp in Dahlonega, GA i have such fond memories of from US Army Ranger School (NOT!) Well, I do have fond memories of the blue berry pancakes in the Mountain Phase but the rest of Ranger School is mostly a painful haze. So I was wanting to build a 'small stream' bamboo rod and settled on a 7'6" 4wt rod.. As I've got to get the rod on my moto with my fat ass and all my camping and fly fishing gear it was going to be a four piece rod--three piece would have been ideal but there are good reasons why Bill has the class set up the way he does and you just can't do a three piece rod during the week class.
Started on a MON with two culms of tonkin bamboo
i flamed my two culms as i was looking for a dark honey color with the final rod color
After much splitting of bamboo each rod builder ends up with 12 selected sections (you keep backup sections at the end of your work bench in case you F something up with one of your 12 selected sections). Six are colored red for the rod tip section and six colored black for the butt section. I do most of my fly fishing off my BMW moto (aka the Bavarian camping tractor) so i wanted to build a travel rod. In this case that equals a four piece rod. As i fish *mostly* small streams in N GA, TN, NC i wanted a small stream rod so my goal was a classic small stream rod. A 7'6" 4wt travel rod. 'Most' bamboo rod makers plane or cut the rod sections to get the initial shape--but that literally cuts/planes out the 'power fibers' on the exterior of the bamboo culm. Under Bill's process we sought to preserve as much of the power fibers as possible so instead of cutting them to initial shape we ended up heating each node section and then crushing it into shape in a vice. Time consuming and yet another "don't fuck this up" step in the overall process.
I'm really truncating the process here but by WED you're setting up your planing form and doing a metric butt load of planing each of the 12 rod sections. You first set the planing form up for the rod but sections--plain them down to shape (+/- .002") and then you reset the plaining form for the rod tip sections and do they same for those six sections. i'm telling you in building a 4 wt rod when you start planing those rod tips sections they get pretty freaking small!
Roughly speaking the next step in the process is to get your butt sections lined up to where the nodes are opposite each other in each 6 section portion of the rod. The tip section and the butt section. Then you glue them up and bind them and let them dry over night.
The next morning when you cut the rod to length you can see the power fibers on the exterior--the dark fibers. These are what gives a bamboo rod its power--the soft white fibers in the middle do nothing for u in terms of casting power.
What ensues is much scraping and sanding of the rod sections. Since i was building a travel rod for moto fly fishing i cut my upper and lower sections into two: so then i had a tip, a mid-tip, a butt and a mid-butt section. once we had our rod sections scrapped sanded and steel wooled clean we afixed hard ware and mounted the cork grip. As my goal was a classic small stream rod i went with a rattan covered grip. So we glued on cork sections to the rod butts and then machined them down smooth on a lathe and then sanded the grip to shape on the lathe as well.
Yes the break room includes a beer tap. Some started in around 0900 but i generally held off on drinking beer until 1400hrs figuring the sun was over the yardarm somewhere at that point? It was good beer too--we're not talking bass fishin swill now.
Last couple days were spend on afixing hardware--rod farrells and line guides. i chose to use the 'white' silk thread when binding on my line guides and reinforcing farrells as the thread virtually disappears once u apply epoxy and varnish. The guys that chose to use bright colored thread had a real problem and lots of stress as any gaps in their thread bindings were glaringly obvious--whereas any mistake my dumbass made virtually disappeared once the epoxy and varnish went on. Plus, IMO the look of the white thread that goes translucent under varnish/epoxy is less garish and more classic looking in a fly rod. but rid your own ride right?
and into the varnish. In all we put on three coats of varnish with much sanding and steel wooling between each varnish application
the only embellishment i put on my rod (other than the rattan grip) was a thin red marker line at 12" from the butt.
SAT night our rods were drying from the final (third) coat of varnish and we had a big spagetti meatball dinner and at the end of the meal Bill (and his able body assistant Riley) brought in our rod's fresh from drying the final coat of varnish. Mr Tom, a oral surgeon with flying fishing 'cabins' in MT and WY, even brought in a special libation to celebrate the presentation of the rods. From a demographic standpoint, as a simple Soldier, i was at the far left end of the bell curve economically speaking during this class. But everyone was such gentlemen and just so welcoming. Especially Bill and his lovely bride Shannen.
THAT'S AWESOME! I been wanting to do that, but I don't have the patience. Ended up just buying one.
Thanks for sharing the pics and story!
Here is my little 4wt bamboo rod all done up. Shortly after this class I went back to Asscrackistan for another tour trying to help out with things over there. I've since come back and hauled the wife and the little rod on a fly fishing and touristing trip out West. I will post a summary of my little rod's first excursion into the big waters of the Frying Pan in CO. MTF.
take good care and tight lines
I'm sure someone here has a suggestion for me.
With my impending move to Arizona, what would be a good book to learn about the better flyfishing places in the state? I've seen a few on amazon and the state itself publishes one, but sometimes there's one thats just hands down better than the rest.
This is Buster. Just got back from a trip to the PA and NY to wet a line.
Thanks for sharing the rod building experience with us.
Got to give it to you, not many of us have the patience or talent to attempt to build a rod like you have.
Appreciate the kind remarks As i'd indicated, right after building this rod i headed back to Asscrackistan and have subsequently come back. Hauled Mrs H out west (not on my BMW sadly). Combo visit so first part was for her B-day i got her in a nice day spa in Durango. The next day we rode the Durango-Silverton steam railroad.
Here honey--Pull that level and see what happens, hehehe
This is neither hear nor there in terms of motorcycling or fly fishing but I paid a few extra ducats to ride on "the historical car" up to Silverton and back down to Durango. Worth. Every. Penny. We had a retired sheriff who was amateur historian/docent/lecturer on our car who was portraying a US Civil War general who went on to found the Silverton rail line. He spoke to life in the era, mining, ranching, rail roading, American Indians, etc. It made a great trip every greater!
So i've read a few of Gierach's books on fly fishing and always have had in back of my head to fish the Frying Pan someday. So after Mrs Birthday Girl had her spa b-day and we got the train ride behind us we headed up to Basalt, CO and rented a cabin there courtesy of Frying Pan Anglers (they have shops in Durango and Basalt, CO) Great folks. Can't recommend then enough. I spent first day on the Pan with a guide from FP Anglers and then fished the Pan on second day on my own in the private waters staying in cabin gave me rights to. What a Blast!
The little 4wt bamboo rod casts so smoooth its like butter. Total different action than what you get out of more aggressive faster action rods like my TFO carbon rod.
nice fish! I'd never before heard the term docent - interesting, thanks
We need to plan a trip to Warwoman Gap or the Chatuge! Nice work on the bamboo.