Olivia is back in my workshop

Olivia Elia, is back in my workshop this week.  She was with family for several days but is back in Sisters now it’s great to have her back.  It’s fun to have another builder in the shop with me to bounce ideas off of, and I think we do a great job at challenging each other in our bamboo rod building efforts. She started a new 7′ 9″ 4 wt bambo fly rod this week as a custom order from a new client.  Here is Olivia at work!!!

Splitting Bamboo Strips

 

Running the Bellinger Beveller

 

Recovering from the holidays!

I’ve had a very busy holiday season with several rods and nets heading out the door, as well as participating in multiple virtual rod building/fly fishing events.  So, I haven’t posted for a few months.  But, I’m back in the normal swing of things in the workshop now.  I normally try to keep a handful of completed rods and nets in my inventory for those folks who call me up looking for something but can’t wait for a few months for me to get a new custom rod/net built for them.  The holiday rush put a noticeable dent in my inventory so today I started on a new rod and a net…it’s always a fun time to get started and “split some bamboo”.  Newly split strips for a 7′  9″  4 wt. Spring Creek Series rod and a new 27″ bamboo trout net are now on my workbench…starting to make progress.

Bamboo strips for a new rod and a net net.

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