|7 Months of waiting, it's finally here!|
Back in March, I came across a post that basically slapped me in the face on the Outdoor Blogger Network. OBN had partnered with Fall River Fly Rods, Montana Fly Company, and RIO products to offer one amazing contest that would result in the ultimate giveaway. Fall River Flyrods had provided a hand crafted bamboo 8', 5 weight rod, (valued at $1600.00), Montana Fly Company coupled the rod to their Madison II Reel (Rive Rock 5/6 weight), topped of by Rio's Trout LT DT5F Fly Line. An amazing package, I was ready to hit the comment button to get myself entered in the drawing for this dream package for any fly fisherman. I mean, who has a bamboo fly rod? Most of the fly fishermen I look up to only dream about having a setup like this as part of their rod collection. But there was a catch!
The package would not simply be given out as a giveaway, this was to be a one of a kind contests, and one that would be a thrill in itself to be a part of. Sixteen lucky contestants would be chosen from around the country as "finalists" for the package. The fly rod, reel, and line would make it's way around the country to each of the 16 finalists, each participant would have 2 weeks to fish with the rod before sending it on to the next in line. After everyone has had their time to fish with the rod, all will reconvene via web cast, and 1 lucky person in the field of 16 will provide the final stop for the rod, it will finally have a home. I wanted that home to be with me, so I signed myself up.
So, what's so special about a bamboo rod? Most all rods in use today are graphite. Bamboo is becoming a long lost tradition and art, this used to be about the only way a fly rod could be found. Fall River Fly Rods are a step up from the past, however. This is not your grandfather's rod.
Fall River uses only the best bamboo direct from suppliers in China, and where much care and concern go into making sure the bamboo meets tolerances of .001" after being split, tempered, and planed, before being attached to a fly rod blank. From Fall River Fly Rods:
"Each bamboo fly rod is appointed with a natural agate stripping guide set in nickel silver, polished and hand fitted nickel silver ferrules and a nickel silver winding check and reel seat which holds a distinctive wood burl or inlaid wood spacer.
All threads used are the finest Japanese silk, hand wrapped with tedious attention to detail.
Cork handles are turned here in the shop from the finest Portuguese flor grade cork we can get in any profile you like including cigar, western, full-wells, or half-wells. These cork handles are left natural and any pits are not filled with wood glue and cork dust so as to look more authentic.
Each bamboo fly rod comes with hand turned ferrule plugs, a cloth bag and is fitted in a Presentation Grade hardwood hexagonal rod case custom built for the bamboo fly rod to insure your investment will be around for future generations. Custom monograms, engraving, inlays and thread work is available."
Here's a link to the original post on the Outdoor Blogger Network: http://www.outdoorbloggernetwork.com/blog/2012/03/01/fall-river-flyrods-and-the-obn-announce-a-bamboo-fly-rod-giveaway/. Check it out as you will learn how special Fall River Fly rods are. There's not many companies out there making hand crafted bamboo rods, and the special craft is a real treat for any lucky angler that owns, or wishes to own one of these rods!
A week later I was ecstatic to find out if I had become apart of this journey. Reading down the list, Host #7 Jason Porter! Sometime in September or October the rod would find it's way to the mountains of southern Utah! Here's the link with the announcement on the OBN: http://www.outdoorbloggernetwork.com/blog/2012/03/08/stage-1-winners-fall-river-flyrods-giveaway/.
Now, the waiting would begin!
I embarked on a hike for my morning deer hunt, thinking about the 3 hours or so I would have to fish during the middle of the day. I probably rushed the hike a bit, and after a quick bite to eat headed for a nearby lake just up the hill from my camp. Here I would be able to check off my list rainbow and brook trout, and who knows, maybe an arctic greyling. On the shores of this beautiful lake, with the aspens beginning to turn that golden color that makes fall my favorite season, I put the rod together for the first time, tied on a bead head prince nymph, and pushed from shore in my float tube. The conditions were perfect, now if I can just find the fly the fish want!
Out just past the weedline, I made my inaugural cast with the Fall River Rod, MFC reel, and Rio line. It was a complete failure! Thinking back to the instructions that came in the package, "this isn't your grandfather's rod". In simple terms, older bamboo rods of the past took a good deal of effort to cast. Heck, MY fly rod took a lot of effort. I was trying to hard. Relaxing the draw, and with more "flip of the wrist", the line spooled out and took an impressive glide across the water. OK, I'm getting it now. And Bingo! First cast, not even out as far as I wanted and I had landed a nice 18" rainbow! Check one off the list, albeit the easy one!
|Boulder Mountain brook trout.|
Hunting took my priority list again for a few days, however I was able to return to the lake for one more short trip. The fishing wasn't nearly as good, but the fall colors were now brilliant and alive, and the day was just as relaxing and fun.
|Fall's yellows contrasting with the reds of the desert below.|
|The Aquarius Plateau looms at 11,000 feet, 1000 feet above this lake.|
I guess this is also a "review", and here I am lost in the experience. This has to easily be my longest post! I have always tried to hook my viewers up with what is good, and affordable. Maybe not top of the line, but what gets you by when you are on a budget. I rarely say that something so expensive is worth the cost. I have to say, if I had the money you bet I would buy a Fall River Rod, complete with MFC reel and Rio line! I would encourage anyone else to do the same without regret. This is truly one of those special items that does the job, and adds a factor that "creates" it's own wonderful experience. I will admit that I often found myself more concerned with not breaking the rod and treating it with care, but even if it was mine, a hand crafted gem like this should be cherished and afforded top notch care. Maybe I can't afford the rod right now, but I will definitely be out to get my own Montana Fly Company Reel, coupled with Rio line! Check out some of these amazing patterns that MFC offers on their reels: http://www.montanafly.com/Camo/Reels.html. This is just a taste of the options they have available. Rio also offers 3 new lines in their LT DT trout line series: http://www.rioproducts.com/blog/rio-products-lightens-up-with-three-new-lines-in-the-trout-lt-dt-series/. The reel was a piece of art in itself, and the fly line was so incredibly smooth and I had no problems with memory retention or anything like that. The only negative to the entire experience is that it's not mine! Here's for hoping! We will find out within a month or so I imagine.
It was a difficult thing to do to package the rod back up and send it off to it's next stop, not knowing if I will see it again. I will always cherish my time with the rod, as I still see the shine glimmering from the fine bamboo, the greens of the fine silk thread and golden eyelets reflecting from the water. It looks like something you would rather have on the mantle above the fireplace, rather than in rough hands over water. That may be true, but why do that when you could be on the water, having the experience of a lifetime with a beautiful Fall River Fly Rod!