Sunday, May 27, 2012

Winston Boron IIX. New project in progress.

Here is my second Winston rod project that I'd been neglecting for a couple months when I've finished the handle and the fighting butt. Just as my previous Winston LT rod project, I intend on keeping this build close to the original Winston rod with slight modifications such as the stripping guides and the reel seat, which are by all standards, classy. Winston Rod Company was kind enough to send me the genuine rod cloth logo for this rod and I thank them for that. I bought this blank last year when Winston discountinued the BIIX series because I was most impressed on this 8 wt. A client called shortly after that asking me if I can build him an 7 or 8 wt. rod. This rod was sold long before I'd even get a chance to start working on it.
So here's how this amazing Boron IIX 9084 looks like right now. I'm looking forward to see it finished the upcoming week. Stay posted and thanks for looking!

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

T.F.M. special glass build

A hard week passed and the "T.F.M special" was finally finished.
This fine rod is the first one of my rods that's going to bend on american rivers. Also, the blank used on this build is the most representative blank that Mark Steffen makes. The 8'0" 3/4 weight in 3 piece.
A long time dream of mine was to fish the western rivers for trout. As hard as this can be for me to get there, I'm happy that this thing here will get there first.
Some of the finest components were used in this special build. Classy orange and black twist silk thread with double black tippings, fine cigar grip and the finest cork available, titanium snake guides, and my elegant sliding ring Lemke reel seat with a gorgeous Koa wood insert. Hope this rod will receive some fine treat and will be a good example of my craftsmanship for the american anglers! Cheers Cameron, hope it will be there in time for your fishing trip. Thankx for representing!

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Monday, May 14, 2012

T.F.M. Steffen build start up

I have just started putting together the parts for Cameron's rod at The Fiberglass Manifesto. This rod is going to be used as a demo rod in the US at rod building shows. Cameron, the "glass geek", badly wanted to add one of my builds to his personal fiberglass rod collection and I was more than happy to build him a rod on a Steffen blank he provided. This will also be my first rod that will get to the United States and will be present at the TFM booth. It's really a great opportunity of showcasing my craftsmanship overseas . This can only be good. Stay posted for the finished rod!

CTS Affinity X 10'0" 2wt.

Here is a ultralight french nymphing rod built on the fastest line of freshwater blanks that CTS New Zealand makes. The Affinity X.
French nymphing is used a lot in cristal clear waters where a stealth approach is critical. Ultra long leaders are easy to cast out on this soft tipped 10'0" 2wt. long rod and controling the nymphs is very easy. Allthough this method seems to take out some of the challenges of fly fishing, this thing definitely catches more fish that the standard 9'0" rod, fly line and leader, especially with 15' long tapered leaders. I use this method when nothing else works or when the water is overfished and the fish are stressed out. As much as I love dry fly fishing and fly casting, when it comes to technical nymphing I don't go out fishing without one of these babies in the trunck of the car. Just in case.
Nickel silver components used here with a redwood spacer and a beautiful rusty red silk thread to match it. This is a custom order so this rod is sold. Thanks for looking!

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Another week. But not just another rod.

Here is a CTS Affinity X 10'0" 4pcs. 2wt. ultralight nymphing rod that I just finished wrapping. Stay posted for the finished rod soon!

Monday, May 7, 2012

Trout Opening Day. Red creek fly fishing. Episode I.

As trout season opening day was approaching (1st of may in Romania) many preparations had to be made just before the short two day trip that me and a good friend of mine have planned some good weeks before. The weather was unusually warm and the water was pretty low for this time of the year and the extended drought from the last year had a lot to do with this. We were facing different and unusual conditions and were very anxious to see if the fish were allready in shape after the heaviest winter in Europe in decades. Finished up my Steffen rod a few days before the trip and tied a few flies just the night before. Building fly rods can get tiring and time consuming and getting out fishing every once in a while is great. I could hardly wait for this trip to release some of the back hurts from building rods and the "rust" collected in the winter months. Elk hair caddis flies, Adams parachutes, Pheasant tail nymphs, Peeking caddises, Hare's ears and some very small muddlers were my go to flies for the first day of the season. In fact I use these flies just about anywhere I fish for trout throughout the season as base or searching patterns.

There is something magic in the colours of the trouts here and it's nowhere else to be found. It's very sad to see and to say that excessive logging is slowly killing these beautiful creeks and honestly I don't think my kids are going to see this river the way I used to see it when I was a kid. When I first came up here I was fourteen and had a two piece fiberglass spinning rod that I turned into a fly rod from my imagination, a five weight double tapered line and a very simple reel click and pawl graphite reel. I can remember the heavy noise that reel sounded like. I first came up here alone hiking through the woods for twenty kilometers after I've been hitchhiking and left at the base of the forest. The ranger that watched over the river back then was a nice guy and had let me put my tent in the backyard of his cabin.

Early in the morning we headed towards the river on an incredible hard dirt road drive through the forest to get to the high country at about 1200 m elevation and finally down the Red creek and other creeks and the bigger river that collects them. These creeks are all waters I fished a lot in my childhood and they are very close to my heart.

No matter what "fancy" location I get to fish in a year, I always grab my two weight rod and a click and pawl reel with a double tapered line and return here, to my home waters.

It's only a two-three hour drive from my town but you need a solid car to get here. To me, there really isn't a more beautiful place for fly fishing than this.
During my first visit here I have found out that the ranger was himself a fly fisherman and we became friends. He showed me a few flies and I was ready to go experience fly fishing only by myself in that first day. I remember that no one else was on the creek that day and I was so afraid of a bear encounter.
We go fishing together since then and we stay in the same cabin where I first met him. The old cabin is still there and touched only by time and nature. We still cook the old polenta with sheep cheese up here where everything tastes better, even a "bad" coffee first time in the morning before fishing. I really don't think there is anything better than this.


Pretty crazy and fun stuff of how I got into fly fishing at the age of fifteen. It's all great memories. And since that day I guess I can call myself a troutbum.

I couldn't believe how low the creek was just so early in the season. We took a hard breath being a little worried the both of us. No matter how hard the fishing is or how many trouts are caught this was still going to be good. The water was still cold and the trout were still weak and recovering from the harsh winter. Dry fly action was extremely low even though the water was perfect. I still managed to catch a few trouts on Adams parachutes and elk caddises. Nymphing was better but still slow and I had some mini streamers that I wanted to test. Had some hits on small muddlers and squirrel tails but this was still better fun than nymphing all day long.  My buddy had a longer graphite rod (8'6") with him and he fished high "sticked" nymphs ninety percent of the time. Despite my shorter Steffen rod (7'3") I succesfully "nymphed" with it.


Roll casting small nymphs and muddlers and is crazy fun with this rod and the most delicate dry fly presentations are at home even in the smallest water. It kinda' sets me back in time when I caught my first trout on my improvised fiberglass fly rod. It's an undescribable feeling but it just feels magic. This is the main reason that has made me go back to using fiberglass rods and into building fly rods out of fiberglass blanks. But I am more and more convinced that these glass trout rods make the game more fun than graphite. 
When I'm on the river I like to test all kind of flies and methods and never get tired of it, sometimes disregarding the most productive fishing method on that particular day. It's just how fishing is more fun for me.


We didn't catch anything bigger than ten inches but I remember some of the fifteen or twenty inch wild browns from the past. The vibrant colours of the fish are still there.