Rodmakers at Gray Rock
July 6th, 1998
Here is a nice brown caught and
released by Chris Bogart, a noted bamboo fly rod builder from
Virgnia's Shenandoah River valley. This nice brown was caught on
the upper Manistee River last week during a Hex emergence.
Chris was in Grayling Michigan to take part "Rodmakers at Grayrock, '98" - a
gathering of bamboo fly rod makers at the WorkShopp and grounds
at The Fly Factory.
Chris built the cane rod that he caught this fish on, having adapted
the rod taper design from one provided to him by his fly-tying friend
John Jackson, known to his many friends as "JJ", who was taken from us
this spring at much too young an age. Chris has dubbed this rod taper
"JJ Lives", and will be sharing this powerful 4-weight line cane-rod
taper with other rod builders.
The week's activities were capped on Saturday
night, June 27th, with the fourth annual Trout Bum Bar-B-Q [TBBBQ IV]
where the winning ticket was drawn for the "Makers Rod '98" special
stream conservation raffle. The winner of the rod was Dave S. Hamhart of
From an observors view, watching the planing of bamboo,
sorting of culms, bamboo sections being placed in the cooker, seeing notes and
diagrams scattered on work tables and tacked on the walls, the comradity of the
rod makers was truely the tradition of craftsman. A re-establishment of the finest
traditions in fly fishing as well as rod building. Pure joy to watch.
It was not all hard work however, as evidenced by Fly Anglers
OnLine Bamboo Rodmaker Wayne Cattanach testing one of the "rods" used in the
Sporting Flies competition, part of the fun and games of the TBBBQ IV. Wayne could
probably cast a tree, but he admitted he much prefered bamboo to the broom shown
in the photo below. (You can chat with Wayne in the FAOL chat room on Thursday
Rodmakers from everywhere were in attendance, including two
young gentlemen from Austria, and one from England. Rods were compared, information
shared, and even non-bamboo folks were invited to cast the fine rods. What a lovely experience.
For the topper, about $40,000 was raised between the rodmakers raffle,
the sale of the orginal art for the tickets, the bar-b-que and some matching funds. All funds
were earmarked prior to the fund raiser, and go into stream restoration of the Au Sable and
Manistee Rivers, a study of storm water and snowmelt runoff from the town of Grayling
into the Au Sable River, and a school fly fishing program for kids in Flint Michigan.
Our sincere thanks to the Rodmakers for their hard work, vision and
dedication to produce a fine work of art - The Makers Rod '98. Rumor has it that a Makers
Rod '99 will be produced for Gray Rock, and TBBBQ V, scheduled for the weekend
of June 26th 1999. As soon as more information is available we will have it here.
A final "thanks" to Wayne Cattanach, and Steve Southard, who extended
the invitation to FAOL to be part of Gray Rock and TBBBQ IV, as well as to Kathy, Victor and Nancy
Edwards owners of Spikes Keg of Nails in Grayling who were co-sponsors of the BBQ, for their
kind personal hospitality. We had a great time, see ya next year!~DB