bamboo fly rods,    brook trout,    fly rod

The Friday "Getting Out of Town To Chase Brook Trout With a Fly Rod" Post

Posted by Tom Chandler 8/19/2011

This morning I stepped into my manly-man-of-action fuzzy slippers, and got stung by a bee.

On my foot.

Bees hiding in my slippers? Really?

I told the L&&T this was scientifically valid proof that my feet smell like honey, but in keeping with the TU's PG-13 rating, I'm not going to print her reply.

Instead, I'm going to clean a little house, shoveling a few links your way before they overrun my desk, especially as I'm packing goodies for my Weekend Brookie Trip.

Jamming a few flies and some tippet in the new backpack is easy; deciding which rod to fish is the tough bit. The 8.5' 4wt Diamondglass? The 8' 4wt Superfine? The 8' 5wt Phillipson bamboo fly rod?

Phillipson bamboo fly rod

Sometimes life just feels so heavy, you know?

Starting Another Rod Test


I recently dug out the wallet to finance a new fly rod, though (remain calm), it's a relatively cheap one -- an 8' 5wt fiberglass rod from South Fork Rods (built by Margot and Dave Redington, whose last name might sound familiar).

Naturally, I don't need another 8' 5wt (I've got several brilliant 8' 5wt rods already), but the 8' 5wt is my fly rod equivalent of Chili Verde; a baseline food that I use to compare new Mexican restaurants with those I already know.

Thus if a new Chile Verde (or 8' 5wt fly rod) is brilliant, it's possibly (likely even) that the rest of the menu (or fly rods in the line) are also brilliant.

(While the rest of you are out fishing, I'm creating ISO 9000-level processes for making the world a better place.)

First glance? It's nicely made but looks a little clunky, and like so many rod builders these days, the grip doesn't exactly overwhelm. For an 8' glass rod it's surprisingly strong (it says "5wt" on the website but "5/6wt" on the rod), which is either a useful thing or an odd performance characteristic for a rod you'd say was probably going to be fished at close range.

More as I fish it.

Russell Chatham Goes Broke in Montana


I read this article on the SF Gate site about Russell Chatham abandoning Montana after overinvesting in real estate, losing his shirt, and deciding he couldn't take a 40th Montana winter.

He's back in San Francisco and painting to pay the bills (at least his paintings still fetch big dollars), and the whole thing feels timely now because I also recently took delivery of a couple books from his just-revived Clark City Press publishing imprint.

I bought a copy of Silent Seasons and The River We Bring With Us, but -- embarrassingly -- forgot to also order a copy of Chatham's seminal essay work about fly fishing the west coast in the 60s and 70s (The Angler's Coast).

I plan to rectify that in the near future, but in the meantime, I believe his publishing house is run by his daughter, and if you ever wanted to own any of the classics in their backlist (or their new titles), then hurry on over.

AuthorPicture

Tom Chandler

As the author of the decade leading fly fishing blog Trout Underground, Tom believes that fishing is not about measuring the experience but instead of about having fun. As a staunch environmentalist, he brings to the Yobi Community thought leadership on environmental and access issues facing us today.

Josh: How do you like the South Forks 8? 5wt?I have one of their 6’6? 2wt rods being built and was thinking of adding the 5wt ‘big brother’ since I need a glass 5wt anyway My take is it's a fairly strong rod -- a little beefier in the butt than I was expecting. Nicely made and casts well, but not a small stream rod.
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How do you like the South Forks 8' 5wt? I have one of their 6'6" 2wt rods being built and was thinking of adding the 5wt 'big brother' since I need a glass 5wt anyway
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The Angler's Coast is an absolute must-have. Not only are the essays remarkable, it also makes me (who just turned 30) want to give every angler over 50 or so a poke in the nose for letting it all slip away. I'll never see the legendary Californian rivers Chattham describes, as they simply no longer exist. Gave me many great ideas for the use of my 50 year old pram, too.
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Rod length really is a regional thing (as well as personal); the guys who chase brookies in those tunneled GSMNP streams go for rods much shorter than I'd fish out here, where the smaller streams are often freestoners without too much overhead cover, and longer rods are needed to deal with the short currents.
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Better reconsider your PG 13 if you're going to quote Chatham. I know how the cussin' offends you so... :-)
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The chili verde analogy is beyond perfect. I was cracking up.
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For me it's a 7" #4. Or 8" if I've got some sky to play with. Somehow I end up with #3's and #5's, though. Life. Strange thing.
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"Dark Waters" is a collection of Chatham's essays that is top drawer.
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I like Russ a lot, and I'm not too sure about the "truthiness" of the article. I usually buy one of his original lithographs during my annual pilgrimage to Livingston/Yellowstone. Even if the gallery wasn't open, I could call the number on the door and he'd meet me shortly and let me in to roam around. It's difficult to pick only one when every single lithograph is so beautiful. If his gallery assistant ... more wasn't around, he'd just write down my name/address and send me a bill because he didn't know how to run a credit card, much less how to do a sale on the computer. I loved that part. However, they've closed the gallery; Livingston won't be the same. I hope he keeps the printing shop open and continues to create lithographs on occasion. We'll see.
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