New Bamboo Rod Building Apprentice

I would like to introduce everyone to Olivia Elia, my bamboo rod building apprentice. Olivia built her first bamboo fly rod two years ago, and has a goal of taking her rod building skills to a high level. Olivia currently lives in Santa Rosa, CA, and we’ve worked a plan for her to apprentice with me through some time with me in my workshop, as well as through virtual connectivity for the two of us. Olivia is a very talented photographer, musician, luthier, and and fly fishing angler, and you can see some of her talents showcased on her WEB site at: https://www.oliviaelia.com/.

Olivia spent a couple of weeks with me in my workshop recently working on rods. Her workshop skills are at a high level, and she has demonstrated fantastic skills towards rod building. I worked with her on three new bamboo fly rods while she was here, passing on my rod building knowledge where ever I could. It may not be too long before she is teaching me a few things about rod building. Here are a few photos of her time in my workshop:

Olivia and I with beveled and heat treated strips for our rods.
Splitting Strips
Removing nodes.
Straightening Strips with the Heat Gun.
Running strips through the Bellinger Beveler.
We’re both hand planing strips.
Ferrules, Cork, and Reel Seats are done…ready to varnish bamboo and tie on guides.

New Tool Arrives

It’s always fun when a new tool arrives in the workshop. After years of procrastinating, I finally ordered a new dust collection system from JET for the shop, and it came this week After some assembly, it’s now ready to suck like crazy.

It’s here!!!
Some Assembly Required…
All set up and ready to run.

Date Night…An Evening Out….

Mary Ann and I had to get out of the house for a few hours and managed to sneak out to the Metolius River yesterday evening for two hours. It was an incredibly peaceful evening away from the crowds down on the lower river. We both took out our 7′ 9″ 4 wt bamboo rods for the evening. A few BWOs starting showing up about 5:00 PM and then some PMDs about 30 minutes later. No fish seemed to want to come to the surface but we did well swinging PMD soft hackles…Thanks John Kreft for your great PMD Soft Hackle Pattern.

waiting for the evening hatch….
Mary Ann working a nice riffle.
A Nicely Colored Rainbow
John Kreft’s #16 PMD Soft Hackle

Bamboo on the Metolius

I got the chance to get out with my friend, Tony, recently on the Metolius River. Tony had just picked out his second bamboo fly rod from me, a very nice medium action 7′ 9″ 4 wt Spring Creek Series Rod to compliment an 8′ 0″ 5 wt rod he got from me several years ago. I took out my medium-fast action 7′ 9″ 4 wt Freestone Series Rod and we hit the water for a few hours. Fortunately, we found some very cooperative risers in the afternoon and picked up several nice rainbows on BWOs, Green Drakes, and Golden Stonefly dries. Tony out-fished me for the day, including landing a very nice 17″ rainbow that took his drake. Here are a couple of photos of our day.

Dave and Tony on the Metolius River
Tony working on a good drift.
A nice rainbow that took a golden stonefly dry.

New Agate Stripping Guides

I just received a new shipment of 9mm and 10mm Agate Stripping Guides for my bamboo fly rods from Joe Arguello. I use only premium quality Agate Stripping Guides with black nickel finishes on my rods, and Joe’s guides are some of the best around. The Green/Olive/Brown guides are for rods with Olive wraps and the Banded Dark Amber guides match a lot of other wrap colors very well.

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