I got out on the Lower Deschutes River yesterday for a day float with Mary Ann, and our good friends Alice and Mike, who are both guides from West Yellowstone, MT. Mary Ann, Alice, and Mike took out their two hand rods and chased steelhead for the day. But, I was more interested in looking for the larger rainbows in the Deschutes River with my 9′ 0″ 4 wt bamboo EuroNymphing rod. I had some great action with small #18 and #20 mayfly nymphs, with several fish in the 15″ to 19″ range landed. My 4 wt rod managed these larger fish very well, and I never felt I wasn’t in complete control. And the sensitivity of the rod made it easy to detect the light takes on these small flies. I even hooked a nice steelhead momentarily on one of my small nymphs, but after a few head shakes, it easily broke my 4X tippet…not sure how well my 4 wt rod would have handled that fish.! Here are a few photos of my day.
I just finished another Bamboo Trout Net this week. This one is headed to my good friend and fishing buddy, Dale, who lives in Idaho. Dale is one of the best lake anglers I know, and since he does a lot of float tubing, he choose one of my 32″ Float Tube Nets. I know he’ll be very happy with this net.
Mary Ann and I were in Utah last week attending the Wasatch Fly Fishing Expo for a few days with our good friend, John, from Colorado. We extended our stay so we could fish the Middle Provo River in Heber City. Although it was in the low 40’s and raining, fishing was a blast with browns rising to midges and BWOs all day. It made for some great dry fishing. Our friend John was new to fly fishing so we put him on 9′ 0″ 5 wt Winston graphite rod. I fished my 8′ 0″ 5 wt bamboo and Mary Ann fished her 7′ 9″ 4 wt bamboo. Here are a couple of photos of our time on the Middle Provo.
Our friends, Hillary and Keith, came by my shop this week for a visit. Hillary was picking up her new bamboo trout net that I just finished for her. Looks like a very happy angler, but she might need to wait for some better weather to try out her net.
Mary Ann challenged me this winter to see if I could build her a bamboo fly fishing net. I hadn’t built a net before but I had a pretty good idea what I needed to do…but I wasn’t sure if it was even possible. Nothing on a culm of bamboo is straight, and I didn’t know if I could bend the bamboo around the hoop section of the net without breaking it. Well, I took on the challenge and dove into my “Net Building” effort.
The first step was to get some straight strips of bamboo from a culm. Splitting didn’t work because none of the strips came out straight. I pulled together a jig for my band saw that allowed me to saw the strips instead of splitting…worked pretty well.
The next step was to sand down the sawn strips for the Hoop and Handle sections of the net. The hoop strips were sanded down to 0.080″ thick, and the handle strips were sanded down to 0.200″ thick.
Time to glue up the strips for the Handle section and sand that down.
After the handle section was shaped, it was time to glue up everthing into the overall net.
After the glue-up, it was time to shape/finish everything. This was done with a hand plane and lots of hand sanding.
This was a fun winter project, and I certainly discovered the challenges of working with bamboo instead of wood in making a net. Time to try it out on the water! And, it’s also time to get back to rod building.