Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Casting Grass

In Lyons, Colorado there is a branch of Disney. I had heard of this place many years ago in one of Gierach's books and I had a mental vision of what it was like. I was wrong. It was better.

Lyons is a small burg that has had better days though it seems to be coming around again. It's one of those places that is on the way to somewhere else though it may yet become a destination on its own.

The downtown has undergone a transformation and nestled in the heart of downtown is Southcreek Limited, Mike Clark's bamboo rod making venture.

Prior to visiting the shop I had not cast a bamboo rod but as I discussed rods with Mike and Kathy I began to feel like maybe I should. And Mike recommended a few rods including a Pickard 8024 which cast well once I learned to slow down my casting stroke. I left the shop with a new friend and a line and reel to match.

Last night I brought the rod out on my home waters for the first time. The Upper Farmington is running in the mid-60s up near the dam and is probably one of the only rivers fishable at this point of the summer.

The trout were in the fast water and the 5 wt bamboo rod was perfect for casting dry-dropper rigs. The only hatch going on was a #8000 mayfly so I was surprised when the fish consistently wanted the #12 Ausable Bomber and not the tiny pheasant tail nymph.

The first fish to the net was a ten inch Brookie and was followed by a number of Browns all in the bantam weight class.

As darkness began to settle into the valley I moved downstream to a long pool where larger fish are known to cruise. I spoke with a gentleman fishing the head of the pool for a bit. He was switching between #22 and #24 emergers and having modest success. That's far smaller than I care to fish so I tied on a #18 wet fly and went to work swinging a fly in the slow current.

By now it was too dark to see anything though the rises were steady all over the place. I missed two tugs on the line before I finally connected with a nice fat Brown in the 12-13" range. Having had success in total dark I was tempted to stay for a bit and see what else would come but then I recalled just how early the alarm clock goes off and turned my headlamp on and made for the car.

I'm not swearing off of graphite rods but I expect the Pickard to have a solid place in the rotation. It casts well - light enough to not make it feel like work with plenty of feedback to make the casting stroke function - and it didn't put up a fuss when I added two nymphs and a small split shot to my dropper rig.

And I really like the bend when you put something lively on the hook end.



15 comments:

  1. Ahh, the hook is set. What's the wait on one of Clark's rods these days?

    ReplyDelete
  2. I'm worried that this is like Steelheading - you go once to see what it's about. Then you go once a year. Then twice. Then you're dreaming about your next trip and tying eggs patterns in June. Slippery slope.

    Kathy said "You don't want to know." when I asked about wait time. I got the impression that they weren't taking orders at this point. Besides, I'm sure it's more than I want to spend on a rod (at least that's what I keep telling myself).

    ReplyDelete
  3. Just found your blog and its a a great read! I love that spot you were at and the pocket water upstream has some beautiful bows and brookies that keep me coming back swinging pheasent tail soft hackles. Keep up the blog it's awsome!
    Mike A from Enfield Ct .... Farmy regular

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks very much, Mike. Yeah, I was surprised I didn't find any bows in that water. I'll have to go back and try again. :)

      Delete
  4. "And I really like the bend when you put something lively on the hook end."
    Very well put, my friend. Indeed.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Though I did launch a six inch trout into the the Central Timezone when I set the hook. The rod has a surprisingly power butt section. (that sentence may actually be a punchline to an obscene joke)

      Delete
  5. Again, please release Steve without necessary harm. He's quite a good man and his wife and young sons will miss him.






    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. We will not set him free until the following demands are met:

      1) Procure lodgings from Roger, an innkeeper by trade
      2) Procure a fresh run of Steelhead
      3) Ply the angle for same utilizing copious amounts of lead, large hooks and vibrantly colored yarn puffs.

      Delete
    2. Done. Please ensure he is set free around the second week in November. We will happily throw in a few tomato canes.

      Delete
  6. Beautiful picture. I figure I'll just keep fishing bamboo vicariously through others as I don't see it in my future.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'm not sure you're really missing anything. As near as I can tell, the bamboo game is a mental one. As Jonny indicates above, you feel yourself falling down a rabbit hole where tweed is worn and pipes are smoked and you begin to debate the Dickerson 8024 taper vs the Dickerson 2014 contrasted with the Powell B. It's idiotic stuff really. Now that I've bought one, I can't see myself buying another. That said, rabbit holes are sorta comfy.

      Delete
  7. The two most dangerous loves a person can have, bamboo and English walnut. Avoid both to your financial ruin. God help you if we get a sxs in your hands and a dog to stroll through the woods behind.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'm more of a Beretta man myself.

      While I'm not sure I am, or could be, bitten by the bamboo bug, shotguns are a totally different thing. I've got my eyes on a Guerini that needs to be in my gun safe and there's the pretty little Merkel and then, of course, a CSMC RBL 12 Ga that I've lusted for for some time.

      Ah, the joys of double guns.

      Delete
  8. How very appropriate, cane, Ausable Bomber, and a brookie.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yeah, I couldn't have planned that any better.

      Delete