As of mid-June, all our shows have been cancelled through August. However, our shop has never been busier! Many folks have contacted us with requests for repair and restoration work on their bamboo rods. We enjoy helping people use their family heirlooms- whether to fish with them or display them. We have also received inquiries about our rod-making workshops. Due to the travel restrictions in place at this time, we have moved our workshops to August, in hopes that students will be able to travel from out of state by then. Please don't hesitate to inquire about available times if you want to build your own custom bamboo fly rod.
So, here we are in mid-March, and due to the severity of the Corona Virus, public shows and meetings are being cancelled to prevent the rapid spread of this illness. We were scheduled for the Eldredge Brothers Fly Fishing Expo the last Saturday in March, but it has been cancelled. We are also scheduled for shows in April and May, but it is too early to know if they will be cancelled too. Please check this website for further information regarding upcoming shows. Be well and think about Spring Fishing!
We have to following schedule of shows for this year. These shows are a great place to meet new people and renew friendships with so many of our friends. Please stop by and visit if you can...
January 17-19th. Marlboro Fly Fishing Expo. This is the largest show of it's kind in New England. We always enjoy this 3-day show. For more information, go to: www.flyfishingshow.com
February 22. 18th Annual Fly Fish N.H. Show. We love this 1-day show because it is held in a nice conference center, attracts over 800 attendees, and gives us a chance to visit with people in a friendly setting. It is held in the Executive Court Banquet Facility, located at 1199 South Mammoth Rd. in Manchester, New Hampshire. It is sponsored by the Merrimack Valley Trout Unlimited Chapter and they run a top -notch show. The show hours are 9-4:00.
March 28th. The Annual Eldredge Brothers Fly Fishing Expo. Our local fly shop, Eldredge Bros. holds this event every year, outside under a tent, and it features vendors from Maine sporting camps, fly tyers, our local Trout Unlimited chapter, and us! We bring Kretchman rods for people to see and cast. The TU members supply free breakfast and lunch food... If you have never atternded, you'll be amazed at the quality of this show and the large selection of fly fishing gear/tackle/ etc. offered by the Fly Shop. Dress appropriately for outside weather conditions. We are a hardy bunch of New Englanders so come join the fun and cast some bamboo... The shop is located on Rt. 1, in Cape Neddek. More information will be forthcoming on the shops' web site. The is no admission fee.
August 1-4th. The 86th Annual League of N.H. Craftsmen Craft Fair. The League is one of the oldest craftsmen organizations in the country and this Fair attracts 30-40,000 attendees each year. Held at the Mt. Sunapee Ski Resort in western N.H., we will be displaying our new bamboo rods and also holding casting lessons at the pond on-site. Last year, musician Steven Tyler [lead singer for Aerosmith], attended and spent time talking with Fred after watching him give casting lessons. Show hours and directions can be found at the Leagues web site: www.nhcrafts.org
August 22nd. Portland Fine Craft Show. This one day show is a very different venue for us. The city of Portland, Maine, closes a 2-block area of Congress street and has over 100 juried crafts people who set up displays of their work. We, of course, bring our fly rods. Portland is the Foodie Capital of New England, so plan to spend a day walking the show and streets of downtown, sampling some fine food and enjoying excellent crafts. More details can be found at: www.mainecrafts.org
Less than 2 weeks ago, I was fishing on the Henry's Fork in Idaho when a friend called me to let me know that our mutual friend, Sante Giullian, had passed away. Sante was a well-respected authority on vintage tackle, especially bamboo rods, and a dear friend of ours. I first met him nearly 20 years ago when he bought a Thomas fly rod from me. Years later, I married and moved to the coast of Maine, and Sante lived only 4 miles from our house. We spent many days traveling to shows, looking at bamboo rods that one of us may have acquired, and even fished. In fact, I took him to Grand Lake Stream one October for some landlocked salmon fishing. It turned out to be the last time he fished... We talked about life, fishing, tackle collecting, rods we owned or wished we owned, and sometimes talked about health issues.... Sante suffered the side effects of exposure to agent orange in Vietnam. He struggled through tough days but always kept a positive attitude- never giving in to the pain he felt and he never expressed anger at being exposed to agent orange. He was as patriotic as any person I've ever known. We miss you Sante....
Please see the write ups in the post from January. We will be at the Discover Wild NH show on April 20th and at the Harriman Ranch Bamboo Rod Gathering on June 22-23rd. in Last Chance, Idaho.
Both Bonnie and I had a terrific show one week ago. We saw many old friends, some of whom we haven't seen in many years. Lots of folks are interested in our Workshops and one gentleman gave us a deposit for a workshop this Spring, Our new rods continue to attract a lot of attention. One person cast several of my rods and reported that I had the best casting 8' 4-wt.rod at the show !! Another person brought in a 7 1/2' Orvis Battenkill rod dating from 1958 and he consigned it to us. It was in excellent original condition and we sold it this past weekend. The photo below is of us with a very dear 'old' friend: David Footer, from Lewiston, Maine. David is a world renown artist and taxidermist (specializing in brook trout). Fred met David around 1996 and he even repaired some old bamboo rods David got from Herb Welch- his mentor in artistry and from whom he learned how to mount fish. Meeting both old and new friends is so important for us and we look forward to the next shows...
January 18-20th: The Fly Fishing Show in Marlborough, Mass. Held at the Royal Plaza on Rt. 20, this event draws thousands of fly fishers. We'll have our new custom bamboo rods to view and cast. Friday, 10-6, Sat. 9-5:30, Sun. 9-4:30.
More info is at: flyfishingshow.com
February 23rd: New Hampshire Fly Fishing Show. Held at the Best Western Plus Executive Court Inn on 13500 South Willow Street in Manchester. This is a wonderful show with many quality vendors. Plan to attend the best show in New Hampshire.
NOTE: We have decided to not attend this show as we have a very busy schedule. Hopefully, we will be able to make it there next year. March 16th: Western Maine Fly Fishing Expo. Held in Bethel, Maine at the Field House on campus, this show is really fun and our rods can be cast inside this field house. More info is at: http://www.mollyockettu.org The proceeds from this show are used for worthwhile local T.U. projects, including handicap fishing access platforms...
March 17th: Fly Tying and Bamboo Rod Show at the Historic Longfellow Wayside Inn in Sudbury, Mass. This wonderful event is held in a cozy, friendly place and attracts quite a crowd. Youngsters are facinated by the display of live aquatic insects and can learn to tie flies to immitate those critters! We'll have our new rods there, as well as some vintage ones, and will do appraisals of your vintage tackle too. The show runs 10-4:00 and is free to all attendees. Any donations are used to purchase trout to stock in Josephine Pond for children to learn how to catch.
March 30th: Annual Eldredge Brother Fly Fishing Expo. This all-day event is held rain, shine, snow, etc. so dress warmly and come to Cape Neddick, Maine for a great day. We are outside, under the tent, and will have rods ready for you to cast. Our local T. U. chapter provides free breakfast and lunch, so plan to spend the day. It is always well attended and the fly shop is one of the best in New England.
April 20th: Discover Wild NH Day. This is our first year at this free event. It is located at the NH Fish and Game Headquarters on 11 Hazen Drive, Concord, NH. The purpose is to raise funds for the Fish and Game department and to raise awareness of the awesome outdoor opportunities in the state. It runs from 10 AM - 3:00 PM and more information can be found at: Discover WILD NH Day
June 22-23rd: Harriman Ranch Bamboo Gathering in Last Chance, Idaho. We will be attending this important show for the first time this year. This event is held on the banks of the Henry's Fork river and promises to draw very serious bamboo fly fishers . We will have rods to cast and sell there. More information will be released by the Harriman State Park staff in May.
August 3- 6th: Annual League of N.H. Craftsmen Fair at Mount Sunapee, N.H. We will again have a booth to display our rods and Fred will be demonstrating casting bamboo rods at the pond. This juried show attracts many thousands of folks and features some of the best New Hampshire crafters. You won't be disappointed, so plan to spend the day!!
August 9-11th: Maine Boats, Homes, and Harbors Show on the Waterfront in Rockland, Maine. This show is for anyone who loves boats, seacoast living, or just dreams about being on the seacoast. We love the water-oriented theme of this show and the town of Rockland has so many nice shops and seafood eateries...! More info is at: firstname.lastname@example.org
August 24th: Annual Portland Fine Craft Show on Congress Street, Portland, Maine. For this show, they close down Congress streetto car traffic so shoppers can casually stroll down the street for several blocks. It features some of the finest crafts people in Maine and is always a fun day. Plus Portland is one of the most highly rated "foodie" cities in the country. We'll have our bamboo rods on display so come on out and have an enjoyable day. Held 9-4:00, you can get more info at: www.Mainecrafts.org
Regarding bamboo fly rod repairs; As the fishing season winds down, now is a good time to contact me about repairing your bamboo rods before next year’s fishing season opens. I would recommend contacting me now to get your project into my line-up sooner rather than later. Often, people wait until the Springtime to ask me to repair their bamboo rods, and I’m normally booked with a 4-5 month backlog of repair orders, so let me know now what rods you need worked on.
Autumn is a wonderful time of year. Not only do we get to enjoy the gorgeous foliage, but we also can enjoy memorable times fly fishing before the Winter snow sets in. This month, I had the pleasure of spending 2 days fishing in New Hampshire for landlocked salmon with friends of mine. The temps were chilly, water levels were perfect, and the male salmon had already started to enter the river. These were perfect conditions for fishing bamboo. I chose my new model #P-206, which is a 9’ hollow built 3-piece rod that is patterned after a wonderful Payne model 206 from the 1930’s. The rod is so easy to cast and is perfectly suited for #5 lines. This particular river has been a favorite of mine for over 30 years, and it was nice to share it with my friends. Both days, I managed to land 3 fish: two were in the 20” range which is normal for this river. However, the other 4 fish were in the 5-6 lb. + range. The largest was over 6 lbs. and was so long that I couldn’t fit it in my net, so I tailed it. All fish were carefully released which is easy with barbless hooks. The second day was windy- bringing down more pine needles and leaves on the water- just a reminder of the Wintery weather to come. What a treat to celebrate the end of the fishing season with a super-casting bamboo fly rod.
One of the Boston Red Sox’ most important players in the past was Ted Williams. I now have his personal Fly Rod, a Paul Young Para-18, for sale. The owner was a close friend of Williams, and he bought this rod directly from Williams in 1994. This rod was on display in Florida at the Ted Williams Museum and Hitters Hall of Fame in Hernando. It is also described in The American Fly Fisher (publication of the American Museum of Fly Fishing) in the Fall 2005 edition. There is plenty of provenance to accompany this rod. In fact, Williams even had it refinished so he could use it in salt water. He won the Islamorada Tarpon Tournament one year using this rod. Out of all the rods Ted Williams owned, this was by far his favorite one. Check out my Vintage Tackle page for more details.
An avid fly fisherman for over 50 years, and a craftsman of some of the finest split bamboo rods in the world for over 25 years. Working daily on the coast of Maine.