I put the finishing touches on two bamboo fly rods this past week. Both are the same taper…an 8′ 0″ 5 wt medium progressive action rod from my Spring Creek series of rods. One rod will be going to the Seattle area to a regular customer who wanted to add a 5 wt. rod to his collection. The second rod will be mine…I get to build a rod for me once-in-a-while!!! Here they are:
Our good friend and bamboo fly rod builder, Olivia Elia, was just profiled in the latest Journal of The Italian Bamboo Rodmakers Association. IBRA is one of the most prestigeous bamboo rod organizations in the world, and they just published a wonderful article on Olivia’s journey that took her to becoming a gifted bamboo rod maker. I’m proud to have contributed to her journey and to have her in my workshop as she builds her custom bamboo fly rods. Her article appears in the April edition of IBRA, and can be found at: Documento senza titolo (rodmakers.eu). Let’s all celebrate Olivia’s accomplishments by raising a glass.
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!!!
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.
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: