are some publications I have written, and some notes
own bamboo rod, Chapter One
Making your own bamboo rod, Chapter Two
are a few of the comments I have received
Just wanted to drop you a note about the rod you sent me. I own five bamboo rods from five different makers and none match the beauty, craftsmanship and attention to detail that your rod exhibits. Many years ago before Hexagraph developed their line of light line rods, I worked with Jim Clarkson from Raptor Rod Works to create a 2 wt. rod using a Hexagraph blank. After sending the rod back and forth several times and tweaking it, I inadvertently wound up with a 3wt. that was the finest casting rod I had ever used. I have used this rod as the standard to compare all others. You will be pleased to know that your rod has replaced that one as the "gold standard"! Rather than cast with your rod, it's almost as if you can will the fly to land where you want it. I really like the action and the accuracy that you built into this rod. I also valued how you kept in touch throughout this project. You truly are a master craftsman. I guess you can figure out that I'm a very satisfied customer!
Thanks again, Harry,
The rod arrived today. It is beautiful. The rod feels very light, much lighter than any 8ft 5 wt. I have previously tried. I hope to fish it next Mon, Tues, and Wed.
Lake Charles was very enjoyable. I finally got to see my new rod, and at the banquet I was shocked to find out that I was receiving the Gulf Coast Coucil FFF Fly Tyer of the Year Award. They must have been hard up....
Thanks again for the beautiful rod, and finishing it ahead of schedule to boot!
Just thought you would like to know everybody was very impressed with the new Otter Creek at the cane party Saturday. Even the high brow rodmakers I have living up here.
My first rod was completed a couple weeks ago. I purchased, guides, ferrule, reel seat and built the rest of the rod myself (hopefully the
linked photos open properly). I realize it is not a work of art but I can’t put into words how much that I enjoyed the process. My fly fishing partner and long time friend Tom lives on a small creek and we spent a warm summer afternoon casting an Adams (with hook point removed) to the little trout in his creek. It cast well with just the leader and chucked line out a surprisingdistance. All and all I am very happy, and can’t wait to start my next rod.
I had never considered building a rod until I read your series on cane rod building, and after reading several other books I continued referenced your series during the building process. It is well written and very helpful.
Thank you for your help and support.
Got the the rod from the Post Office on Wednesday. It looks great and trimming down the sock makes for a great fit in the tube. Thanks again for OUTSTANDING Customer service. Also, congratulations on your FFF certification. I have been toying with the idea of trying to get certified. There are currently no FFF certified instructors in Oklahoma to my knowledge. Have a great summer.
Number 95 and I went up to the NC mountains and fished Bullhead Creek last Saturday.... I had loaded and Orvis Battenkill Barstock with Sylk DT5 line. That reel looks and feels great on the rod. I signed up for a beat, lined up the rod, tied on a dry fly and headed to Practice Pool to warm up my casting stroke. Prior to that moment I had only cast the rod off my back deck over a sloppy winter lawn. What a difference water makes!
A few rod wiggles and false casts to work out some line left me with a warm feeling. Actual fishing casts felt even better. I did not need to adjust to the rod whatsoever. In fact, what I noticed quickly was that I hardly noticed the rod at all. I was fishing the rod as if it were an old friend. Very comfortable, almost intuitive. Stand casts, roll casts, puddle casts (in advertent sometimes), steeple casts all felt smooth and comfortable.
I then hiked up to beat 7 to fish my quarter mile of stream. It's pretty much a typical NC stream with pocket water, riffles, glides, logjam pools and the ever present rhododendrons. The rod fished it all comfortably. It felt natural in hand and I never had to think about what it was doing. The moderately oversized grip felt perfect and that "hinge" you built in to accomodate frequent rollcasting works quite well. All in all a wonderful rod tailored to my needs, performing beautifully....
Unfortunately, no matter how well he cast "Number 95" couldn't get me to catch a fish that day. Perhaps next time.
Thanks for making me a work of art.
Now that I have had the new rod for several weeks IT WAS MONEY WELL SPENT. I am a wet fly nut, love fishing the old classics, plus a few dries (just to make the traditionalist happy). Well it handles my wets just fine as a matter of personal note, just a wee bit better than the 5 wt. So I have what I wanted a great 5 and a fantastic 4.
Just thought that I'd drop you a note of thanks for the rod and give you an update on it's first outing. I took the rod with me out to Colorado last weekend; we were at a wedding on Friday in Redfeathers (Beaver Meadows to be exact) and I had the chance to fish some private ponds in the area on Saturday. Fish started rising for Callibaetis around noon, so I rigged up a #14 nymph figuring that the fish would be in the 10" stocker range (they usually stock the ponds prior to major holidays). I guess that the rising fish were holdovers from last year since they were in the 14" range! Landed six within the first 45 minutes or so before it really started to thunder and rain. The next day I fished the Big Thompson which was running a little high (200 cfs); it was all pocket water fishing with a #16 PMD dry. Most of the time I was using just about a foot or two of line; I was able to cast the leader with accuracy to some pretty tight seams and landed several nice browns. I tried to get a couple of photos; I only had a cheap disposable camera so we'll see how the photos turn out. Today I went down to Lyons to visit Mike Clark and Kathy at the shop; they were both impressed by the rod. There was also a casting instructor from the UK that was trying out several of Mike's rods; watching him cast the 7'9" 2wt showed me what the rod can do in expert hands; tight loops out to 40+ feet with a double haul. I need a name for the rod that sounds better than "the Harry Boyd 7'9" 2 wt.". Let me know if you think of something, it's a great pocket water/small stream rod...perfect for the Big Thompson or the St. Vrain. If the other 7'9" 3/2 2 wt on your website casts as well as this one, it shouldn't last long.
Thanks again for a great looking rod with outstanding perfromance!
I received the rod today and was really tickled at how well it turned out. You are a true craftsman. The rod is beautiful and exceeds all my expectations. I already have a trip planned to Beaver's Bend to christen it. When I catch the first good fish with it, I will send you a picture of it with the rod. Thank you for sharing your talent with me.
I'd heard of Leonard, Dickerson, Thomas, et al; but Harry Boyd!? What or who is Harry Boyd? Kinda like: "Where's Waldo?".
Earlier this summer I inquired about a rod for small mtn. streams & beaver ponds in Idaho's Sawtooth & Lost River Range - primarily looking for a 3wt. I get an email from some guy named Harry Boyd & he wants to know if I would like to try a 7' 6" 2wt that he built just for such situations. Use it & see what you think he says. So he sends me this rod & the whole time I'm waiting for the rod to arrive I'm cringing because my casting style barely throws a 6wt. Besides, I don't even have a 2wt line. Cast a 2wt ~ No Way! Then again, many light line rods I've seen listed as 3wt generally tend to be a 4wt so I've got a 3wt line & Harry's rod will be a 3wt; no problem. Rod arrives & Harry, being devious, included a 2wt fly line for me to use. I'm assuming that's what it was because at my age I had to put on my Coke Bottle glasses just to see the silly thing. Now I'm stuck & committed. I put the line on a little St. George Jr. reel that up to now my wife is the only one whose had a use for it - holding sewing thread while she winds bobbins. Speaking of my wife, she takes one look at the rod sock with it's wonderful & colorful selection of flys & outdoor ambience and states: "Don't know About the Rod But the Sock's a Keeper!" Shish -- I'm in for it now :-0
Anyway, I line the rod & walk the last mile, dead man walking kinda thing, to the field and cast the dang thing. Holky Smokies; I am a Fly Caster! What a easy rod to cast & a 2wt to boot. Make a Long Story Short, I fished the rod on several tributaries of the Wood & Big Lost Rivers and it fishes better than it lawncasts. Almost loads with the leader. Don't picture some wimpy little noodle rod either; this rod has plenty of starch with a seductive medium fast action. Largest fish I caught with it was 13", maybe 1 1/2lb, using Harry's secret line & an Orvis 6x Braided Leader & tippet. Lots of fun & yet the rod has enough backbone to not exhaust the fish. Lastly, for this rod, Harry laboriously hand rubbed application after application of tung oil(I believe) until the cane is satiningly elegant. So if you're looking for a rod:
"Where's Harry Boyd?" I hope to be fortunate enough to be able to order one of his tweaked Payne 101 tapered, 7' 6", 5wts.
Thank You Harry ~ You Are One Heaven of a Guy!!!
Although Harry and I have never seen each other, I consider him one of my friends and as such I may suffer the accusation of bias, but I assure you that does not enter into what I have to say.
I have just finished reading Harry's last installment of his series at http://globalflyfisher.com/rodbuilding/bamboo7/ and one portion is one of the finest explanations of using heat to straighten rod sections I have ever read. While I use and have done so for many years the same technique, I do not think I or any one else have articulated it as well. Everyone should read that section if nothing else, but I assure you that the whole series is well worth your time no matter how good you are or how long you have been crafting cane. Congratulations Harry!
I finally got a break yesterday evening around 7:00 P.M. Got the PVC shipping tube and for the next 10 - 15 minutes removed about 40 yards of strapping tape from the tube. Have you ever watched the Red Green show on PBS? Red would be proud of your taping proficeincy ;-) After a couple of taps with my plastic headed mallet, the top was off the shipping tube. I knew what was inside had to be nice just based on the effort expended on taping the PVC tube. Removed the fly line and cringed at it's minute diameter. I'm supposed to cast this I said to myself? No way, the wind will make Linguini of it if I don't. Looked at the rod tube with your company logo, very nice indeed. Opened the tube and immediately fell in Love with the Sock! Told my Misses that even if I didn't like the rod, I'd buy the Sock ;-) I gently took out the Butt and one tip of the rod and just admired them. How on Earth do you plane cane for the tips?! Amazing - you must be very patient indeed. I have toothpicks larger in diameter then those tips. Grabbed the line, a Bill Ballan Heirloom Classic(don't buy one) reel and the rod and went outside. Put the rod together and wiggled it a tad. Boy is it thin. Felt rather tippy like a fast Dickerson action. Carefully wound the line on the reel, without a knot I might add; didn't want to crimp the line, and pulled the line thru the guides. I did not attach a leader or tippet with a hookless fly as it's not my line. Normally I always test cast with a complete outfit. I walked out into the meadow and was concerned because the offshore wind was blowing fairly steady at 10 mph, gusty to 15 - 20. Sure, I'm going to cast a 2wt in this! Good Luck! Laid out about 15 feet of line in front of me and took my first backcast and rushed the forward cast believing the rod was fast action tippy. Forward cast a little supersonic on the backwash - pulled more line off the reel and took a nice deliberate backcast and waited for the rod, as I do on my Leonard's, Thomas's, Edwards. Wow, the rod isn't tippy at all: feel it load and a smooth dliberate short forward motion and the rod just sent out the nicest tight loop you ever saw -- and in the wind! I only casted it three more times and it truly is a 2wt rod! It feels like a mini Leonard with that smooth as warm butter medium full flexing action. Took everything apart and got back inside; read your email about letting the rod do the work. How True! What a Wonderfull Rod Sir! Oh, while I made no attempt to balance rod/reel/line, the rod definitely looses it's tippy feel once a reel is mounted. I am not a fan of short rods. I am old school. At 8' this rod is more than anything I conceived of for the alpine beaver ponds and tributaries. It' long length by today's standards makes it a perfect short rod for me. I am a little concerned about hooking into anything over 12" with it though. Sometimes those beaver ponds have an older brookie lurking that has seen a couple of winters. Finally, it is very rare to find a rod that casts as eloquently as it is elegant to look at! Beautifull rod. You should be Proud!
I didn't take any pics on the trip, I rarely do. All my pics are between my ears. It's interesting how things turn out. I took over a dozen rods with me, most I have had for years but never been streamside, just lawncast. After fishing them, the rods that had magic for me, were surprising. I thought the "Famous Named" maker rods would rule but with one exception, that was not the case. I am keeping 4 rods & I am selling all the rest, including reels & lines ~ silk included. Rods are:
1. 20's Leonard 50 1/2, 8 1/2', 5wt. Finesse, sublety & distance, all built into one!
2. Cross/SB #1500, 7' 6", 5wt. Doesn't have Leonard distance or line mending but Perfect for mtn. willowed rivers.
3. Cross #1500, 7', 3/4wt. Just like it's longer brother, only lighter & crisper.
4. Harry Boyd, 7' 6", 2wt. Harry, that rod is such a Hoot!! Terrific creek & stream rod with enough backbone to handle the mtn rivers as well!
FYI, I was at one of my "No Tellum" fishing sections of Wood River, just above & below Prairie Creek. I was raised in the summers here & have known this place all my life. My whole family's ashes are scattered within this area with my Uncle the most recent and was scattered in this stretch of water. Anyway, a thunderstorm developed about 3:00 P.M., which is early to fish at 7800', and I took your/my 2wt & a Goddard Caddis & Dave's Hopper fly, hopper on the tippet, caddis in my hat. Lightning began to strike right down the meadow below Easley Mtn, where I was fishing & it began ro rain & the wind picked up. The Air was filled with Electricity, Ozone & Urgency! As I waded down the rapids just above a overhanging willowed elbow turn in the river & let the Hopper fly. That 2wt would precisely place that fly right under the willows, just as though the hopper had fallen off a twig into the water.
WHAM! WHAM! WHAM! as rainbow after rainbow hit my barbless hook. I reeled in the hopper & took my needle nose pliers out and with the wire cutter section, I snipped off the hook completely. On every cast, even with the wind gusting, the fly went Exactly where I wanted it to and/or was looking to place it. Trust me, there was another had guiding my casts; be it the spirits of my grand parents, parents, brotther & sister, uncle, et al; and while I'm not very religious, there was another hand also, warm & smiling(I'm getting goosebumps as I type this because it was/is so powerful and magical). Every cast now I could hurt nothing with my impotent fly. WHAM! WHAM! WHAM! Harry, with every cast I'd get 4 or more takes, all within a 5' to 15' bend in a small river. The trout actually came out of the water behind the fly, just like Arctic Grayling, and took it going down into the water head first. I began to laugh & cry at the same time and I shouted out loud: "It's Okay, I'm Going Back to Camp & Eat SPAM!" For the next hour or more it was a just as though we were all one, caught up in this finned ballet of fly & fin. As I waded out of the river & looked at my poor hopper ~ feathers & hackle ravaged by the melay, I carefully snipped it off the tippet & gave it a permanent resting place of honor, I stuck it in the hat band of my soaked leather hat; thus, whenever I wear or look at that hat, I will immediately be returned to what I call Heaven!
Now you may begin to understand why You, Your/My Rod is so special to Me! It Too has Pics & Hopefully has found a Good Home.
I received the rod yesterday.
Took it right to a nearby lake.
I used an Orvis Battenkill reel and 4wt. line with it.
Although I just wanted to feel how it cast I found myself fishing for four hours.
(My wife was not pleased since I told her I would be back in 1 hour.)
I can not tell you how happy I am with the rod.
The presentation that it allows with small dry flies is the best I have ever seen.
Thank you, I will treasure this rod,
I received the rod and what a joy. The rod is perfect. I can't tell you how much I am going to enjoy fishing and owning this fine piece of craftsmanship. Wonderful taper, it is going to fish really nice. What taper is it? I love the wraps and the finish is superb. Thanks again for doing such a nice job. I will work on some photos on my next fishing trip and send you some.
After looking all over my shop and gear bags I could not find a WF4-F line So I loaded a Ocuma 45 reel with 200 ft of #30 spun gel and a new Orvis WF-5F line. Stepped out to the pasture casting range.
Your rod not only looks great but boy does it cast. I have a specialI could not resist to cast your rod this morning, although it was cold and difficult because of the snow.It was very difficult to look fort he snow was glittering. I did not force the rod but had no difficulties to cast about 20m of line ( that is with leader about 23 m ).that is excellent for a # 3.I cast with a DT 3 444
With the plugs I did as you said and it works good.
I am certain your rod is
the most powerful bamboo rod for an honest # 3 I
ever cast. I am very
what the rod will do when fished. You made an
excellent taper and a
looking rod. What you did with the nodes is the best
Good afternoon Harry,
Yesterday I fished your rod fort he first time on one of my home waters, just 20 minutes to ride by car from my home. I fished that water for the first time this year, because it was either too cold or too high. It was raining a lot since I came back from Italy. I fished your rod about 6 hours on a stream 6-10m wide. There are not many trees on the borders that you can cast. I fished your rod with a Sage WF 3 Quiet Taper and a 6X leader. I wanted to try a 7X first but did not do it because the water was still higher than normal and not entirely clear. I caught about 30 brown trout and for the first time in 20 years (since I fish the stream) 1 grayling. The biggest trout I caught was 1 pound. So I cannot say yet how your rod will do on bigger fish, but I can tell a lot about your rod now. It is definitely the best true 3-line rod I ever fished.I shall prefer it even to my shorter 4-line rods because it can do everything the 4-line rods are able to do. I fished the rod with dry fly emergers cast upstream and could easily!! reach all distance I needed even against a little bit of wind. I would have been able to cast further but that would not have make sense because I cast as far as I could see my the hot red CDC wings of my emerger. For all trout I caught the rod had more than enough power to fight the fishes fast. About half the time I fished your rod with a bead-head nymph with 3.5 mm bead. Before I did so I asked myself whether the rod could do it. I do upstream nymph fishing mostly using roll casts. Your rod could do it -just- what short 6 ‘ for a # 5 could not: lift the nymph any time even with longer line, roll cast the nymph without going straight in the air (it came out a little bit higher than on a stronger rod though) and on over head casting you just had to slow down your cast and I could cast all distance needed with that nymph fished on the ground. After 6 hours fishing your rod did not tire me at all. I am curious what your rod will do with bigger fishes over 2 pounds. I am pretty certain it will handle them easily because I could fell there is backbone in the rod.
I did not
make any pictures yet. I still hope to
catch bigger fishes with your rod. I think I shall
do the pictures when
In Austria and
...just came to my front door.
What a beautiful rod you have made for me.
Gracias, mi amigo!
Just got back from MT. Home, had five great days of fishing. I used the rod for three of them, we may have to talk again. I received your package and instructions for the rod. During the trip I violated one of your rules, I landed fish some what vertically, I checked the rod and I do not think I hurt it. IT WAS FANTASTIC, I even land a bow over 20 inches on it. Man was that a fight cause I tried not to stress the rod, I knew that fish was big enough to break it. The rod cast well and equally with either tip and it handled a full slow sinking line nicely. Even got your work an admirer from Portugal. Met a young gentleman who is on the Portuguese National Fly Fishing Team and let him try your rod, a fight then ensued to get it back.I think that is enough praise for now, would not want to over burden you with humility. Talk to you later.
I just wanted you to know the 2 weight rod you made for me is my favorite rod. That's a high compliment as I've cane rods in a 3 weight, two 4 weights and a 5 weight. When I first got it I thought I wouldn't be able to cast it because it was so soft. However, the rod casts incredibly well. When I'm on my game it lays out line so beautifully and accurately. It even seems to overcome my casting mistakes on those occasional days when I'm rushing my delivery.
I went up to Rocky Mountain National Park last Thursday and I met this guy by the name of Casey (or KC) at Estes Park Angler who is also a cane fanatic. He said he had 15 cane rods himself so I offered to show him the 2 weight and Joe Arguello's 6'-3" 4 weight Paul Young Midge rod and he accepted my offer. KC thought Joe's rod was beautiful and it is. Like your's it's also a casting machine. But when I showed KC your 2 weight he said, "WOW!" He asked me who built it and I told him you did. KC was familiar with your name and he knew you're a minister/pastor. (He didn't get a chance to cast it since it wasn't rigged and we were on a parking lot in front of the store. I don't cast my lines on pavement).
Anyway, I finally got a chance to throw it on the Ceran St. Vrain Creek yesterday. That was the small creek I had in mind when I had the rod built. Boy, did I ever call it right. The rod was absolutely splendid on that small creek. Despite its appearance, it has enough backbone to horse a trout out from under downfall. It wasn't like I had much choice either. You just have to rotate the rod when playing the trout so as to protect it.
I also used it on the South St. Vrain and though the bite was off, the rod was able to lay out line for distance and it lays the fly on the water very gently. I also fished it on Big Thompson the other day and I brought in a couple of fish on larger water. I haven't hooked into a 16" but the rod might be able to handle it if it had to. But that wouldn't be my intention.
Usually, my latest rod is my greatest rod for the season. But this 2 weight is truly a wonderful and most importantly, fun, rod. One might dismiss it as a little ornamental toy and I could certainly understand that reaction. However, that ever be underestimating what it is and what it can do. I love it.
I wouldn't blame you if you built (or sold) another one using my rod's same taper. But the idea of having a one of a kind rod appeals to me too.