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An Unabashed Commercial!

The Makers Rod Raffle 2002
A Unique Stream Conservation Fund-raising Project

By Steve Southard
Click for Larger Image
The Makers Rod 2002 is an extraordinary bamboo fly-rod presentation package that is being raffled for a special cause - a stream conservation project on the fabled AuSable River of north central Michigan. For the rodmakers participating in construction of the Makers Rod 2002, the project is an opportunity to demonstrate love of their craft and concern for our fisheries resources. For one lucky individual, it will be an opportunity to own one of the most unique bamboo fly rods ever made. The Makers Rod Raffle 2002 is sponsored by the George Mason Chapter of Trout Unlimited and is also supported by the Great Lakes Council of the Federation of Fly Fishers and the Trout Bum Bar-B-Q.

The Makers Rod Raffle 2002 project is a most unique undertaking in several respects. The centerpiece of the grand prize presentation package is a 6' 3" 4-weight, 2-piece, 2-tipped bamboo fly rod; this rod has been built according to the taper specifications of Paul Young's "Midge" rod. Twenty cane rod makers from the U.S., Canada, Denmark, Japan and Australia are taking part in its construction [editor's note: a complete list of the rod makers follows, below]. Eighteen rodmakers each hand planed one of the triangular strips, six of which are glued together to form the familiar hexagonal shape of a bamboo fly rod; two other makers assembled and completed the final finish of the rod.

  • Don Andersen - Rocky Mountain House, Alberta, Canada
  • Ron Barch - The Planing Form, Hastings, Michigan
  • Larry Blan - Westland, Michigan
  • Jim Bureau - Escanaba, Michigan
  • Lou Burhart - Brack Hill Tackle, Monroe, Michigan
  • Wayne Cattanach - Casnovia, Michigan
  • David J Dapprich - Elgin, Illinois
  • R.A. Fick - R.A. Fick Bamboo, Decatur, Indiana
  • Russ Gooding - Golden Witch, Hopeland, Pennsylvania
  • Tom Hargrove - T. Hargrove Flyfishing Inc., St. Louis, Missouri
  • Ed Hartzell - Hartzell Rods, Portland, Oregon
  • Jack Howell - Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
  • Carsten Jorgensen - Dania Flyrods, Glostrup, Denmark
  • David LeClair - The Fly and Rod Room, Elbridge, New York
  • Bob Milward - North Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada
  • John J. Sabina - Troy, Michigan
  • Max Satoh - MRC, Limited, Nagareyama, Chiba, Japan
  • Robert Summers - R.W. Summers Co., Traverse City, Michigan
  • Miles Tiernan - Kalamazoo, Michigan
  • Tony Young - AV Young Split Bamboo Flyrods, Perth, Western Australia, Australia

In addition to this very special cane rod, the Makers Rod 2002 prize package includes:

    A hand-tooled leather rod case by James Acord
    A special Makers Rod Reel by J. Austin Forbes LTD
    A custom designed fly line by Bruce Richards - Scientific Anglers / 3M
    A custom balanced silk fly line from Phoenix Fly Lines / Olaf Borge
    A custom rod sack by Dorothy Schramm of FFF and Flygirls
    The Makers Rod Book 2002 by Charles Curro Graphics

Not only is each component of the grand prize presentation package a uniquely handcrafted work, but also the raffle tickets are themselves limited edition pieces of art! Noted Michigan artist Larry Cory has contributed a stunning lit-scene image of a rainbow trout heading back to heavy cover after taking a dryfly; a traditional AuSable Riverboat and anglers are highlighted in the background. The original artwork has been reproduced as an art quality 4-color image on each the 8" x 10" raffle tickets which have been signed and numbered by artist Larry Cory. Each ticket is, in fact, a signed and numbered limited edition print suitable for framing.

The proceeds of the 2002 Makers Rod Raffle have been earmarked for the Grayling Stormwater Management Project. This $1million plus project is an unprecedented pro-active effort by the City of Grayling, working together with a number of conservation and other concerned groups, to significantly reduce the negative impact of stormwater entering the upper mainstream of the AuSable River from the City of Grayling's stormwater system. If the recommended treatments are fully implemented, it is estimated that for a "First Flush" event (1/2" rainfall in 1 hour), 85% of stormwater flows will be discharged to ground rather than directly to the river and that nearly 100% of the stormwater flows will be subjected to treatment for removal of solids and oils. More information about the Grayling stormwater project is available at:

The concept for The Makers Rod Raffle project came about at the third annual [1997] "Trout Bum Bar-B-Q" [TBBBQ], held every June on the banks of the AuSable River at The Fly Factory in Grayling, Michigan. TBBBQ brings together a diverse group of fly-fishers and cane rodmakers for what has been described as "intensive camaraderie" and also, in the words of the organizers, "To raise a few dollars for our fisheries resources." For information about past Makers Rod Raffle projects, go to:

A bamboo rodmakers gathering, Rodmakers At Grayrock, is held in conjunction with TBBBQ. Many of the rodmakers who have contributed their efforts to the Makers Rod project also attend the Rodmakers At Grayrock gathering which is organized by RODMAKERS, an online cane rod builders discussion group coordinated by Mike Biondo of St. Louis, MO. For more information about the Rodmakers At Grayrock gathering June 20-22, 2002, visit: ; or, contact Mike Biondo at or Dennis Higham at Visit the RODMAKERS online listserve group support web site at

During the past four years, $84,000 [eighty-four thousand dollars] in proceeds from TBBBQ and the Makers Rod Raffle have been directed to Michigan stream conservation efforts. The actual Trout Bum Bar-B-Q -- complete with tent, BBQ roast, a good natured on-stream fly casting competition known as The Open Fly and a spirited conservation auction -- caps the several day gathering of fly fishers and bamboo rod builders who come from throughout the U.S. and as far away as England, Scotland, Austria, Australia and Japan. TBBBQ is co-hosted by The Fly Factory, the AuSable River's original fly shop & guide service, and Spike's Keg O'Nails tavern, known as "the meeting place of the north." For more information about the Trout Bum Bar-B-Q and the associated stream conservation fundraising efforts, visit

The winning ticket for the Makers Rod Raffle 2002 will be drawn June 22, 2002, at the Trout Bum Bar-B-Q, to be held alongside the AuSable River on the grounds of The Fly Factory, in Grayling, Michigan. Artist Larry Cory's original Makers Rod Raffle 2002 ticket artwork will also be auctioned at TBBBQ. More information about the Makers Rod Raffle 2002 and the art image by artist Cory can be viewed at: . Providing special support to the Makers Rod Raffle project are Friends of Rodmakers: the Charles H. Demarest Company and also Spike's Keg O'Nails.

Tickets for the Makers Rod Raffle, which include the signed and numbered limited edition image by artist Larry Cory, are $50 each and are available at The Fly Factory in Grayling, Michigan, and other locations.

  • The Makers Rod ticket/print may be ordered by fax, by downloading, completing and faxing the order form available at

  • The Makers Rod ticket/print is also available by sending a check [$50, plus $5 s/h] to the Makers Rod Raffle, P.O. Box 312, Grayling, MI 49738.

  • Tickets may also be ordered by phone with a Visa or MasterCard; contact rodmaker and George Mason TU Member Victor Edwards (989) 348-8956 to order.

  • A limited number of matching numbered sets of the 2000 Makers Rod Print and 2002 Makers Rod ticket/print are available at $90, plus $5 s/h.

  • The prints are also being offered with deluxe double-mat framing and inset mounting of a featured fly. For the Makers Rod 2000 print, the fly is a Peterson Special, the streamer featured on the print. For the Makers Rod 2002 print, the fly is a Roberts Drake, the dry fly featured on the print. The featured flies are tied by noted fly-tier Jerry Regan, who specializes in traditional Michigan fly patterns.

More information about the Makers Rod Raffle, framing options and pricing is available at: You do not need to be present to win. The raffle is sponsored by the George Mason Chapter of Trout Unlimited, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization, and is licensed by the State of Michigan, license # R65601. ~ Steve Southard

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