This page is really sort of a continuation of my “the anglers story”, and a little more on how I approach the making of my rods & fly fishing in general…and some personal philosophy about this whole deal…

 

 

                   Making Bamboo rods really came out of necessity for me. After experiencing sticker shock on a fly guides paycheck  wanting  a new bamboo rod…I knew I could do it myself…and I just had to get rid of the laziness that was in my way. Having been a cabinet maker and carpenter for 40 years had some bearing on this too…since nothing I ever pursue is a hobby, always something that can pay the bills eventually too, one of the side effects of being a “proletarian wanderer”.

 

 

                  I first started out my “operation” making nets and of course tying…then repairing bamboo rods…its then that I decided to make my own rods, but not follow the “traditional” path entirely. Of course the basics of split cane tapered and glued, and final scraped and sanded ready for guides etc is all the same. I’m sure there are machines nowadays that can do lots of those steps too…but being a true artist & trout bum  , plus someone that also really enjoys the process of taking raw materials and turning them into a finished product, I found a perfect “canvas” for me.

 

...strictly "hand tied" wraps on all my rod series...

 

                   There seemed to be an infatuation with rods from say the 1880’s to 1950’s in the world of bamboo angling…and so many beautiful rods that shared many of the same finishes and details. So rather than  build entirely on “another mans foundation”, I proceeded in a way I have always made my own outdoors gear. From Bows and Arrows , knives and of course my fly tying , I just followed that known and familiar path …I have a great respect and admiration for Native American Culture, and have always used that “style” as a pattern…believing wholeheartedly in every aspect of “The Circle of Life” found in Native traditions. My gear reflects that, and has for decades…from my bows and knives I make…even to the homes and furniture I have built since the 70’s.

 

 

                   Being an artist that had  “moonlighted” as a carpenter etc for 40 years plus, making angling gear was just another trail to follow as I have in other times…and being ready for a new outlet, rod making filled the “niche” perfect. It was an excellent transition too from having worked as a fly guide for several years in the advent of diminished carpentry & cabinet making projects that many have had to deal with .You see, I had a small cabinet shop for about 15 years most recently,built some post & beam custom homes for about ten years, then I had an archery shop…you see, I have been wandering in more than one way for a while…

                      Alas…maybe this rod making will be my final occupation? maybe this is what I would do when I do finally grew up? well its becoming more enjoyable every day. Not only the work itself, that I love, but also the people I get to meet. I like to use the old “Will Rogers” line my Dad always used to quote back in the day…how he “never met a man he did not like”…I aspire to that…however I don’t think Mr Rogers would be able to say that nowadays…but in respect to my angler friends I make through my business…it is totally true…and the truth be known…I think others want to be the same way…and meet folks that are similar in their beliefs…I am in this area blessed indeed!

 

 

             “The Calculus” of fly fishing is something with levels of access and involvement that has more layers than the peverbial onion. From the person that just loves to go buy a ” little plastic cup” full of fresh flies at the local fly shop, and spend a sunny afternoon trying to catch a few trout…to the folks that know every aspect of angling from rods,hooks, tackle, geography to the latin names of the aquatic insects they imitate in their patterns, down to the number of legs one species has vs. their close cousin…and then there are the total purists…that only believe a gentlemen pitches size 22 dry’s…and of course the “layer” called Bamboo Anglers…a very interesting group that has its own diverse strata…a group I enterd in through the tradesmans entrance to by the way…

               I fit into all the above from time to time…but moreso in loving the solitude aspect more and more…and the incredible joy I have using my “organic” tackle…

 

 

               I enjoy all the details and nuances of probably every level…I dream of getting one of those awesome  “Bellinger”reels that are a bit $$, but so incredibly beautiful…and I also love tying flies with fur & feathers from game harvests etc…and trying to trick a trout with one of my rods I craft. After over 40 years being a part of all this , working in fly shops, being a trusty guide and just being a regular Joe trying to have some fun , I think I  a good understanding of the overall “lay of the land”…and yes I have gotten a few more years under my belt  too, which does add a special perspective too!

 

               Where I have ended up at is here, trying to make an honest living creating quality rods and tackle that flow and fit in with the “bigger picture”……The biggest aspect of it all for me is the connection with Nature and “the Creation”…flowing with it, not trying to conquer it or own it. Being a welcome participant rather than a brash intruder…gear comes and gear goes…yes I love making cool stuff, but its only a part of the equation…all I know is that this is where I care to be. “Wandering Monk” is my attempt to fill a “niche” for the angler that feels the same way about that “spiritual component” fly fishing fills for them abnd myself as well… whenever I don’t feel that special connection with my customers, or don’t feel I am contributing a positive energy…I will look for another “canvas”…but right now its “going on big time”…and in well over 40 years of being a draftsman, carpenter, general contractor, cabinet maker, bowyer, ranch manager, fly fishing guide on top of Father and husband, I have never been happier…and more excited to get up every day and see whats on my clipboarcd to do…

              thanks to all that help me keep this dream going on… If I can help you achieve something special with some gear or tackle , let me know…I would love to talk… if nothing else maybe we can swap a few flies and stories…wm

 

in

 

              My rods are for sure an artistic expression, but not in a typical fashion…they are also tools to enjoy that  I and others  participate in “Circle of Life” with…and more importantly be a participant of some real fun!…for me having adornments from some of my favorite “critters” , fashioned in a way reminiscent of a “Shamans”  accouterments, places the angler in not only a good position to catch a nice trout, but also be apart of an incredible multi-layered experience.

                                   

 

 …wm’s DreamCatcher…