I grew up with a flyrod in my hand.
hen I was 8 my Dad put an old cane rod (I wish I still had it) in my hand and turned me loose. We spent all of our summer weekends and vacations fishing. Whether locally or in another area of the province we could be found on the water with rod in hand.
grew up in the Kootenays fishing beautiful mountain streams and rivers for pure westslope cutthroat, rainbow trout and on the odd occasion I would focus on the large resident Dollies (bull trout). During the summers as a kid, I would get up in the early AM and with my gear walk over to the weigh scales at the sawmill and hitch rides on the logging trucks.
All right you little bastard, where do ya wanna go today? Walt Harder - 1973
ver time I got to know all the drivers and I would ask what drainage they were headed for that day. I would pick a driver and destination and then fish those waters for the day. I worked out a system with the drivers where they would blow their air horn at an agreed upon mile post on their last trip in and I would meet them on the road to be picked up on the run out.
How I miss those days!
hen I reached my early teens I had saved my money and traded the cane for a new Fenwick glass rod. Over time glass turned to graphite which then turned to whatever the flavor of the day was. You know the drill. Every time I changed rods or technologies I felt something was missing. It wasn’t until later in life (1998) that I fished with a fellow who had an Orvis cane rod. He let me cast it that day fishing BWOs to rising trout on the Crowsnest and the light went on. That’s what I was missing. That feeling of being connected to the rod. Feeling the line through every movement of the cast. It was then that I knew I wanted a bamboo rod again.
he search then began. I scoured flea markets, second hand shops and turned up nothing worthy of fishing without a lot of work and at what I thought was an affordable cost. New rods were double the cost of graphite and these second hand rods I was finding were still running between 50-100 dollars. Being a do it yourself type of guy and having found George Barne’s book in a used book store I took on the task of building my own rod. The early days of the internet helped and convinced me I could do this. Thus the journey began. Here I am now with gray hair and sons of my own, making rods and not fishing enough during the summer months like I did in my youth.
n 2003 to make things come full circle I put a flyrod rod in my eldest son’s hand at the age of 8. In 2010 I put a flyrod in my youngest son’s hand. It was the least I could do. Now the time has come to give them cane rods of their own and let them forge their own paths down this beautiful enriching journey.