As I work on a few fly rods I’m building, I press play on a mixture of symphonies from Mozart. I find nothing gets me more focused on the task at hand like instrumental music. I jam away, measuring twice, adjusting, gluing, measuring again. Before long, a few hours have passed without realizing it and I have a couple rods much further along then they were. I stop what I’m doing, press pause and think about Mozart. Here I am listening to something penned on a piece of paper by a youth in Austria, hundreds of years ago. His music has jumped across time. It gives me a feeling inside, something to aspire to. Creating beauty that somebody long from now can appreciate. I feel a similar feeling when I look at my fathers cane fly rod. I wonder what stories it could tell, what adventures it was brought along with to be involved in. I look back at my rods. What if some kid a hundred years from now caught a fish on that rod. Would he look at it and appreciate its colors and lines, maybe wonder what kind of person I was. I keep thinking of these things I create, I think of not just my usage or my friends or customers usage. I think more and more of the future. I think of what I’m leaving behind. Then it gets my mind thinking of not just mere trinkets to be appreciated, but of the world itself. What kind of world do I want to leave behind. I have a lot of work to do. We all have a lot of work to do. I put the Mozart back on and try to clear my mind. I start to wrap the silk onto the rod. Saving the world will have to wait until the morning. Right now I have beauty to aspire to. Still, the feeling never truly escapes me….


2 fiberglass rods waiting for glue, alongside a finished rod.


-Here’s a couple pics of a finished rod on the water from this past summer, alongside the Williamson river.  The agate guides have a special glow.


Light shining through the variegated silk makes the wraps almost look like tiger stripes up close.


Looking back up the Williamson



Bollibokka 2014

Its been a while. Once again I got to go to Bollibokka club on the McCloud river. This year as an aid/helper/cook/fly tyer. This is a special place so I felt I had to share a little. From the moment we arrive we run into all sorts of wildlife, like giant day glow hoppers with blue eyes.This thing was around as big as a salmonfly.


We had a resident hawk that liked to hang out and watch for mice.



“What do you want?”


We had a wide range of anglers, some had never fly fished, some had fly fished all over the world. Steve here was learning the fine details to a good high stick and swing.


Fish on!


Kevins’ first experience with fly fishing….




Fish on!  Redding-area guide Billy Downs knew where to put Kevin for a hook up and was quick with the net.


Not bad for your first fish on a fly….



At night I could hear rustling in the bushes while we enjoyed our cocktails. I broke out the headlamp to investigate and we found giant toads as big as a softball.



Breakfast of champions


I ran into a ton of other critters like this Preying mantis. He seemed very ADD. He also seemed to think my camera might be food…

“Oh hey there…”


“who are you?”


“Come closer…”




“Damnit hes gone..”




“Hello there again..”


“Awww dont go away…”


Here’s a new killer that hasn’t grown his wings yet.


It was an epic week of fun and fishing, sights of landscapes and all manner of creatures, it breaks my heart a little every time knowing such an amazing ecosystem is probably going to end up under Shasta dam. We left sad, but content with steelhead on our minds. We were off to the Trinity to swing flies on our spey rods, but that’s a story for another day….