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August 27, 2016
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A Bamboo ferrule?

The 13th of September, the “Bamboo Gang” had a y’all-bring-something party to celebrate a fishing season that was slowly coming to an end. Some five or six years ago while fishing at Centerville on the East Branch a voice had unexpectedly called down from Route 30, “Hey Clem, is that you down there?” I cannot hide with those Texas plates on my van. It was Dave Brandt who then joined me in fishing the pool. As dusk approached, Dave hooked and landed a beauty. I was skunked. That chance meeting led to Barb and me having an opportunity to meet the raffish members that make up the “Bamboo Gang.” Despite our shortcomings as fly fishers, we have been allowed to blend in with these experts on fly fishing and bamboo fly rods. At that last meeting, Dave Brandt showed off his newest bamboo fly rod. This two-piece rod is a bit of an oddity, since the male and female ferrule is made of bamboo rather than nickel silver. Naturally, we all had to cast this rod and give it our enlightened opinions. The rod had been built by one of the four builders who had come to the gathering all the way from Japan. Japanese rod makers, like our friends Takatoshi Kumakirri and Masaki Takemoto, know how to build quality fly rods. The quality of bamboo fly rods today is the equal of the expert makers of the past. Of course, old timers like Bob Taylor and Walt Carpenter would probably dispute that statement. This would simply prove my belief that you cannot get fly fishers to agree on anything. Herding cats would be far easier.