A Fisherman’s Point of View
My mother taught me to fish. She showed me how to sift through flowerbeds for night-crawlers and black crickets. When crickets and worms were scarce she helped me mold a piece of white bread around a hook to entice little bluegills and “punkinseed” bream. As a little fellow my part was taking fish off the hook and stringing them up because Momma didn’t like to touch them. We ate everything big enough to scale and fry, having never heard of catch and release. Of course these days I release nearly everything I catch.
In the summer of my tenth year, our family vacationed at Roaring River State Park in southwest Missouri. Activities at Roaring River revolve around a rather contrived “put and take” trout stream. Fresh fish are stocked every night, a morning whistle starts the day’s action. I still have the first tan fiberglass fly rod my folks bought me at Roaring River. That rod and reel package came with a half-day’s instruction from the local flyfishing expert. After a few minutes coaching, I was hooked. For over forty years, fly fishing has been a part of who I am.
Though I can’t quite explain it, building bamboo fly rods somehow nourishes the creative part of my soul. The focused attention necessary for good work forces everything else out of my mind. Minutes in the shop melt away stress. Hours fly by like seconds when listening to the rhythm of a slicing plane, gazing on the beauty of a well-executed silk guide wrap, examining the clean lines of a delicate trout rod, or even studying computerized taper graphs.
My rod making skills are greatly indebted to the many folks who have patiently listened to and answered thousands of questions over the years. Knowing I will never completely master this craft keeps things interesting. Offering free rod making demonstrations and programs each year is a small way of returning a few of the favors others have done for me.
Bamboo rods are only one of my several deep passions. I thoroughly enjoy fly casting and have become a Certified Casting Instructor through the Federation of Fly Fishers. But family and faith are first in my heart.
My wife Tami has retired from her position as manager of a women’s fitness center here in town. I only half-jokingly refer to Tami as SWMBO – She Who Must Be Obeyed! Our only child, Sara, lives in Baton Rouge, Louisiana where she is employed by Paris Parker Salons. She is a gifted aspiring writer and a beautiful young woman.
For twenty-three years I served as pastor of three different churches in Louisiana. I left the full time pastorate at the end of July 2008. The old Westminster Catechism had it right when it stated that the chief end of man is to glorify God and enjoy God forever. I still enjoy preaching in traditional Baptist churches as well as occasionally filling the pulpit for my Christian friends in other denominations.
Writing about fly fishing and rod making is fun for me. I’ve written some articles for web publication, and other articles for the national print media and have three book projects in the works. Two of those focus on bamboo rods and rod makers.
My guide to building your own bamboo rod was published on the web at Global Fly Fisher. You can find those articles at http://www.globalflyfisher.com/rodbuilding They are also available on my old website at http://www.canerods.com/Rodmaking.html You may also enjoy reading some of my contributions to the “With Bamboo” section of flyanglersonline.com.
I’ve also written several articles on trout fishing in the southern United States for FlyFish America. Some of those articles are available through their website at flyfishamerica.com.
Thanks for visiting my site, and may God’s best blessings be on you!