|Project by crmitchell||posted 507 days ago||1709 views||2 times favorited||3 comments|
I have a lot of antique bamboo fly rods sitting around, so I thought it would be neat to share some of the history by displaying in the office.
The wood rod on the left dates from around 1860 and has a wooden reel (not shown).
The second from the left was sold by Harrod’s of London and dates to around 1890.
The one in the center is somewhat of a mystery. Some experts who are more expert than I have identified it as having been made around the turn of the last century, but, the reel seat is stamped “Abbey and Imbrie Centennial Rod 1820-1920” – where was it during those 20 years ? Note the Abbey and Imbrie advertising sign mounted behind it. A&I was an outfitter similar to Abercrombie and Fitch before they degenerated into clothing (i.ie., when they were supplying Earnest Hemingway with his guns and rods) and went under during the great depression. I also have a letter from from F.E.Thomas, the man who made rods for A&I, dated 1922, advising them that prices would increase by 2% next year.
The next is a more modern South Bend made from 1946-1950. Truman banned the import of all products from communist China and the flow of Tonkin bamboo dried up, and with it most production of bamboo fly rods (Japan tried to fill the gap with cheap rods made from a local bamboo which is much inferior).
The last is one of those cheap Japanese rods, the butt section was broken, and I used the mid and tip sections to make a short rod for the grandson. Turned the cork grip and reel seat on the lathe. The wood reel seat was made from a scrap of figured birch left over from the bookcase pictured to the left of this project in the mid-1970’s – how’s that for hoarding wood scraps ?
The display of flies in the shadow box above also sports a photo of me fishing in the Gallatin River in MT. Just downstream the film crew was filming “A River Runs Through It.” We never knew what the movie would be like until it came out a year later – what a movie ! I have a photo of me standing and casting on the rock where Brad Pitt was filmed “shadow casting.”