Tag Archives: outdoor blogger network

Bamboo — The Last few Pictures

Got the rod out to a pond and a creek for the last couple of days I got to use it.

Skunked it on the pond, but fishing was a bit difficult that day anyway.

Now to sit down and write something semi-coherent about the rod and the experience. The rod was a pleasure to use. Fly fishing? I have issues with it.

For some fly fishing may be a way to achieve nirvana, a method of fishing that lets you enter into some mystical state where you become one with your surroundings. Heaven knows enough have written about such things.

It may be an extremely efficient way to cast flies and hope a fish may appear remotely interested.

But to me a fly rod is a tool and in this case, kind of like trying to split logs with a hatchet.

But I digress…

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The Outdoor Blogger Network teamed up with Fall River Flyrods, Montana Fly Company and RIO Products this spring to put together a rig consisting of an 8ft, 2-piece, 5wt “South Fork” bamboo rod, Madison reel, and double taper, floating line to be fished by 15 far-flung anglers over the course of the season. One of those 15 anglers will own the rod, reel, and line when all is said and done, along with an accompanying journal in which all 15 anglers will record their thoughts and experiences during their time with the rod. With a first season like that, the story of this brand new rod is off to a very good start.

Bamboo — A few Pictures

Sadly, not a whole lot with fish.

Which figures, since I have this wonderful bamboo fly rod to play with.

A cold front came through a few days ago and pretty much shut down the fishing. It turned the water considerably cooler and on one creek, it turned it crystal clear.

Of course the fishing will turn back on as soon as I ship the rod off to the next user.

A week earlier the fishing was hot and heavy anywhere I went on the Fox River or any of it’s creeks. My trip to a creek proved it to be devoid of smallies except for one.

A far cry from the previous week when I stopped counting somewhere around 30 on this same creek.

I was looking forward to another banner day of fishing, the creek is beautiful and it would have been a treat for the fly rod.

I did get a rock bass to cooperate…

And a handful of crappie were eager to hit.

Not what I wanted or expected, but better than getting skunked.

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I took the time to peruse the journal.

Definitely an enjoyable read with a bit of an artistic flair at times.

Also played around with the flies in the little traveling fly box.

Do you trout anglers really use such tiny little flies? Even the bluegills around here would scoff at that as an offered meal.

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Today was supposed to be a banner day of 20 or more smallies. It’s a go to spot, but nobody told me the fish had got up and gone. The bald eagle that floated around the area for a half hour gave me hope, but apparently they know as much about fishing as I do.

Did manage to avoid a skunking…

So I hung out near a boulder and tried to get a half way decent shot of the reel and some background. The fish weren’t biting, so I had to humor myself somehow.

Sunday, the ponds. This is where I salvage the week.

Unless they’ve all dried up since I was there six or so weeks ago. Hasn’t rained much in all that time.

If so, back to my initial plan…

Tying on a peanut and going for my wife’s trained squirrels out in the front yard.

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The Outdoor Blogger Network teamed up with Fall River Flyrods, Montana Fly Company and RIO Products this spring to put together a rig consisting of an 8ft, 2-piece, 5wt “South Fork” bamboo rod, Madison reel, and double taper, floating line to be fished by 15 far-flung anglers over the course of the season. One of those 15 anglers will own the rod, reel, and line when all is said and done, along with an accompanying journal in which all 15 anglers will record their thoughts and experiences during their time with the rod. With a first season like that, the story of this brand new rod is off to a very good start.

I’m Psychic… Who Knew

Since the day I heard back in March that I won the opportunity to use and write about the bamboo fly rod from Fall River Flyrods, the Madison reel from Montana Fly Company and the fly line from Rio Products, I’ve joked that I was going to break this rod. Not intentionally of course, but I know my history with rods.

Who knew that on the evening of August 9th my prediction would come true.

I think it’s going to need more than a BandAid…

When fishing the Fox River for smallies I use spinning gear and usually have about 15 to 20 feet of line out, letting a lure drift around in the current. I move the rod around a bit to pick apart every nook and cranny, ever tiny current break that might be holding a fish.

Smallies being what they are, the ultimate fresh water predator, it’s not unusual to have them hit right at your feet with no more than a few feet of line out. The hits are sudden and violent and the runs are intense. On a good day, I go home with a sore hand and wrist from fishing this way.

I use medium light spinning gear with a very fast action. I also only use braided line, which doesn’t stretch. To compensate for that, I keep the drag set relatively loose. The tip and loose drag are enough to cushion the blow of these short, sudden and violent hits.

I was doing the same thing with the fly rod on Thursday night.

With about an eight foot leader and another foot of line out, I was dragging something through the water in and out of a current seam. A pool of line was at my feet. I had the line cinched with my finger at the grip.

This I believe was the problem, no drag.

The hit was sudden and violent and my initial reaction was to give a quick hard snap back to set the hook.

And then I heard another snap.

That couldn’t be good.

The rods tip alone wasn’t enough to cushion the blow. Having the line cinched down and giving a quick hard snap back didn’t help. There was nowhere else for the end of the rod to go but… snap.

I knew better, but in the moment, I didn’t.

Sorry about this Mr. Zicha. No matter how much care in handling this rod that I took, I can’t control the actions of an aggressive predator. They don’t care what you’re rod is made of or how outstanding it’s craftsmanship.

They are there to humiliate all.

I do know this, no more short drifts at the end of a cast with about nine feet of line out…

I don’t think the twisty ties will hold for long.

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The Outdoor Blogger Network teamed up with Fall River Flyrods, Montana Fly Company and RIO Products this spring to put together a rig consisting of an 8ft, 2-piece, 5wt “South Fork” bamboo rod, Madison reel, and double taper, floating line to be fished by 15 far-flung anglers over the course of the season. One of those 15 anglers will own the rod, reel, and line when all is said and done, along with an accompanying journal in which all 15 anglers will record their thoughts and experiences during their time with the rod. With a first season like that, the story of this brand new rod is off to a very good start.

Fall River Fly Rod River Test

The plan is to fish the Fall River Fly Rod every day through next Wednesday. I might miss a day, maybe tomorrow. The wife is off work, the weather is fine and I like to hang out with her after work when she’s around.

The plan was to also leave updates every day of the fishing. I think that will fall apart during the week, no time. At least not if I fish till sunset every day like planned.

I do have to sleep now and then. Eat something maybe.

When I’m done playing with this rod I’ll be doing more of an official review, maybe two. For now, I may as well put up something since I have a bit of time.

Got out this morning at sunrise even though I knew I should have waited.

We had torrential down pours on Saturday that kicked the river up from a low of 250 cfs to 1100 cfs in a couple of hours. It then plummeted almost as quickly and was down to 500 when I walked out the door this morning.

Past experience tells me to give it 24 hours when the river does something like that. It seems to confuse the hell out of the fish and they need time for the river to stabilize a bit.

The other factor working against me was using a fly rod. The Fox River is not a fly rod and flies friendly river. Normal summer clarity is barely six inches, most of the time even less. North from where I fished today the Fox is primarily an urban river. There are 8 dams up stream that have stagnant pools that are prone to algae blooms. This all gives the Fox a color similar to that of pea soup during a hot summer, which we’ve had. If what you’re throwing in the water doesn’t make itself known in some way, it will be missed. A fly tends not to cut it.

One last factor working against me, I never use a fly rod on the river itself. I’ve used them in the clear creeks that feed the river, but I only recall using one on the river itself once in 16 years and that was a good dozen years ago.

I did catch smallies that day, so there’s always hope.

The skies had cleared the temperatures had dropped and there was even a bit of a chill in the air as I headed for a starting point.

The rod performed and behaved flawlessly, but the fish didn’t cooperate much. I was expecting double digit numbers, but only managed to land seven smallies. I didn’t bother tracking the missed hits. There were quite a few.

Again I was surprised at how much easier it is for me to use and control this rod compared to the other three fly rods I own. Something about the bamboo, the slowness pointed out by others, suits me fine. It handles these smaller fast running smallies just fine too. I’m hoping at least one outing will get me one in the 16 inch range. See what kind of backbone this rod really has.

When I was bored I kept letting out more line and making longer and longer casts. I have to be getting it out there a good 60 feet. I may have to make a measurement just out of curiosity. There’s no need for casts that long when fishing for smallies, but it’s nice to be able to do it anyway.

Then the wind picked up, right in my face, and the casts went to hell quickly. Try as I may I couldn’t figure out how to get the line and fly to cut through the wind. Something else to practice.

At least it wasn’t a skunking out there this morning.

Next up is a clear water creek, a clear small river and a crystal clear pond.

It will be interesting to see how this goes.

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The Outdoor Blogger Network teamed up with Fall River Rods, Montana Fly Company and RIO Products this spring to put together a rig consisting of an 8ft, 2-piece, 5wt “South Fork” bamboo rod, Madison reel, and double taper, floating line to be fished by 15 far-flung anglers over the course of the season. One of those 15 anglers will own the rod, reel, and line when all is said and done, along with an accompanying journal in which all 15 anglers will record their thoughts and experiences during their time with the rod. With a first season like that, the story of this brand new rod is off to a very good start.

I’ve been waiting for you…

My wife has been making fun of me for over a week, my anticipation of the arrival of the Fall River Fly Rod has apparently got a bit annoying.

It showed up today.

The shipping container is looking well worn.

And well marked.

Today is take it out of the shipping tube and play with it day. Read what others have been writing in the journal. Take it out on the lawn and wave it around. Take some pictures. Maybe I’ll try to catch a squirrel on a peanut…

It’s supposed to approach 100 degrees today with violent storms now out over the Mississippi River, heading this way.

I don’t see any point in ruining what will be an interesting next 10 days by getting hit by lightning on the first of them.

The next 10 days are going to be gorgeous out. Every day a few hours will be spent fishing this rod.

Let the fun begin.

I borrowed this from one of Quill Gordon’s reviews of the Fall River Fly Rod because I couldn’t think of a better way to put it… Thanks Quill.

The Outdoor Blogger Network teamed up with Fall River Rods, Montana Fly Company and RIO Products this spring to put together a rig consisting of an 8ft, 2-piece, 5wt “South Fork” bamboo rod, Madison reel, and double taper, floating line to be fished by 15 far-flung anglers over the course of the season. One of those 15 anglers will own the rod, reel, and line when all is said and done, along with an accompanying journal in which all 15 anglers will record their thoughts and experiences during their time with the rod. With a first season like that, the story of this brand new rod is off to a very good start.