11 August 2010
Rod Building with Norm
Many have seen the movie A River Runs Through It, where Jason Borger is Brad Pitt's stand-in for the casting scenes. Watching Jason's casting, hearing Jason's casting demonstrates one aspect of this unique art.
Making a good cast or a mediocre one and hooking and landing a fish, most of the times a beautiful fish with gorgeous colors, stripes, spots, and shine, offers another artistic aspect.
However, what prompts people to continue fly fishing when casting is an innate habit and landing fish is a frequent occurrence? Fly tying and rod building are the answers. You know, someone had to tie the flies seen in fly shops, because there is not a machine that ties them. Save some money and perfect fly-tying skills, so that fish are biting flies you tied. It really is an added bonus, not to mention a third facet of this beautiful art.
True, pure fly fishing art form is presenting the perfect cast with a rod you built and a fly you tied and landing a fish. Taking a blank and creating a unique design, which sets your rod apart from the store-bought rod, creates an added addiction to fly fishing. I guess that is why Norm and Brother Mike suggested I name my first rod AA, because it is addicting (and due to work's interference, it took me from August to April to build that first rod). Catching fish on a rod you built does nothing but encourage the building of another rod. Just ask our friend Jason, who built 14 rods under Norm's tutelage.
Many of us in the Dallas Fly Fishers had a wonderful teacher, Norm Goheen, who on Wednesday nights taught us the meticulous, rewarding art of rod-building, well, building graphite rods. (If anyone wants to learn to build a bamboo rod, Colonel J.A. Bradford is the man to see.) Norm fought a courageous battle against several cancers but succumbed to the disease at the end of November 2009. I love TFO rods, and with the exception of my Casting for Recovery 5# rod, I built every one of them under Norm's guidance.
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