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More Than Trout

Not a Philosophical Treatise

Growing up in Corpus Christi where my grandparents lived in a small house on the Laguna Madre, my fishing life began at about three catching "piggy perch" with a cane pole. This was back when the Laguna was clear enough to snorkel.

 

My father worked in Colorado and then lived in Montana before I was born. That's when he got a Shakespeare split cane rod and spent his weekends on streams and rivers.

We had family in New Mexico and Colorado and during our more or less annual visits up there, my Dad would get his fly fishing fix with his only and forever fly rod. I still have it - it's rather wobbly and I'm considering restoring it, but...

Anyway, he'd let me dap at a young age and as I got older he'd let me catch trees and bushes. This was much more confusing, and less fun, than casting a spinning rod.

After a move to San Antonio at age 14, an engineering degree from Texas A&M and a few years of life under my belt, I didn't think about fly fishing (except while watching Curt Gowdy's "American Sportsman") until I began forays into Wyoming for work.

The fly fishermen on the North Platte and Yellowstone seemed to be having more fun than I was, so I did the logical thing and bought a combo spin/fly rod. Well, you know how those are. 

Later, and having some money, I bought an Orvis Silver Label 4 wt.

With some pride, I showed my father my new rod who didn't exactly say, "Why didn't you get split bamboo?", but the vibe was there.

I didn't know they still made them. I went to the Orvis store and found that they still did.

And found out why nobody I knew had one.

 

His cane bug stuck in my brain and I was increasingly intrigued by split bamboo. In the late '90s I bought the cane crafting books by the big boys - Garrison/Carmichael, Cattanach, Howell, Elser/Maurer - and declared (to myself) that this is what I will do when I retire. 

In 2018 I retired from Texas Instruments after 23 years, started a little lawn irrigation business and sold it in 2021.

I was officially retired now. Officially.

After an ideal one-on-one class with master rod builder Harry Boyd in Winnsboro, Louisiana, that is what I did.

After I built my shop...

My son Daniel's first fish when he was about 2-1/2.

The photo is meant to represent me at 3 since there were no cameras when I was his age...

The Shop

Soon to be listed among Denton's

"Must See" sites

The Workspace

Only slightly staged to give the impression of industry and progress

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