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: email@example.com
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.
www.Starting Saturday, August 4th at 10:00, it's the 85th Annual League of New Hampshire Craftsmen's Fair at Mount Sunapee, NH. We'll be there for the first 4 days of this 9-day Fair. Look for Bonnie and I in booth #111 in tent #1. In addition to showing my new custom Bamboo Fly Rods, I'll also be demonstrating how to cast a fly rod at the Pond, each day at 12:00 and 3:00. This Fair draws tens of thousands of attendees each year and features only the finest craftsmen (and women) in the state. It is nationally recognized for it's high standards and all members are juried in order to select only the best of the best in each field. More information can be found at: www.nhcrafts.org.
Friday, August 10th, starting at 10:00, we'll be at Rockland, Maine for the annual Maine Boats & Harbors Show. This will be our first year there and we'll be located in the largest tent on the grounds (tent F). This unique 3-day show is located in the Town Park on the waterfront and always brings a crowd who enjoy water and the seacoast. We will feature 2 of our saltwater bamboo rods in our lineup. You don't have to be a boat owner to enjoy this Show and seacoast town. Spend a day or the weekend along the beautiful mid- Maine seacoast and take in all the exhibits at this show, which is the largest boat-related show in Maine. Delicious seafood is offered at this fair, so bring your appetites too. More information can be found at: firstname.lastname@example.org
Saturday, August 25th: The Portland Fine Craft Show. This will be our 5th year at this juried show. It is held on Congress Street in downtown Portland, Maine. Thousands of people attend this free show each year. Congress street is closed to car traffic during this show and it makes for a relaxed atmosphere where you can visit with us and others showcasing some of the finest craftspeople in Maine. This city has become a major tourist destination and we always enjoy visiting with friends and new folks at this show. Combine a visit to this show along with dinning at any of the many high quality eateries located in this coastal city. The show 'officially' starts at 9:00, but you can shop earlier if you want. More information can be had at: www.mainecrafts.org
We will be attending a number of shows this year, so here is a list:
March 17th.- Western Maine Fly Fishing Expo in Bethel, Maine
March 18th- Wayside Inn in Weyland, Mass.
March 31st- Eldredge Brothers Fly Fishing Expo in Cape Neddick, Maine
April 20th- Discover Wild N.H. Day in Concord, NH.
June 16th- Kittery Block Party, downtown Kittery, Maine
August 4-7th- League of N.H. Craftsmen Annual Fair at Mt. Sunapee, N.H.
August 10-12- Maine Boats, Homes, and Harbors Show on the waterfront in Rockland, Maine
August 25th- Portland Fine Craft Show on Congress Street in downtown Portland, Maine
This Saturday, February 24th, we will be at this excellent show in central New Hampshire. it has over 800 attendees each year and is a pleasant place to visit with folks. I'll bring my new Striper Model rod, and another new model- my 9' 5-wt. rod. Hope to see you there!
It's at the Executive Court Banquet, 1199 South Mammoth Rd, Manchester, NH. Show hours are 9 AM to 4 PM. Admission is only $7.
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.