Bamboo Tips - Contributors - Cattanach, Wayne

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I am Wayne . . and I am a flyfishing addict . . . Wow  . . where does one start . .  . At  13  my  mother was battling cancer so my cousins  . . who was my parents age took me for a few weeks during that summer . . he walked to his closet and came back with a bamboo fly rod that he had and then took me to the stream and taught me how to use it . . he and my dad had guided on the Muskegon  River  during  the  20’s and 30’s and he was given the rod . . he claimed it was too short . . a couple years later I lost both my mother and grandmother within a couple months of each other . . and I escaped to flyfishing perhaps as a way to sort it all out on a trout stream or just a place I felt I could  see  God clearer . . then, 29 years ago I was fishing with a group of friends when I set the rod on the topper of my truck while fishing the upper Jordan river and then went off with my friend a CO(Conservation Officer) to help him in an investigation . . when I returned, the group was packed and ready to head to the Upper Manistee to fish the next day there . In the confusion I forgot the rod thinking it somehow had gotten packed away . . the next morning I learned it hadn't . . the loss was of great intrinsic value but later I learned it was of great cash value as well . . the rod was a Leonard 36 . . . not having the resources to replace the rod and being the DIYer I am I pursed making my own  . . The book at the time was the Master's Guide . . and so, step by step I walked through   the   process  .  .  making  the  needed  tooling  as  I went . . planing forms . . binder  . . and  an  oven of my own design . . a  year  and  a  half  later  I  had  completed  my  first rod . . and I was drawn  .  . by now I had started to talk to other rodmakers that were hidden across the country . . and it wasn't until I went to see Ernie Conover that an idea sprung up that started to link the makers socially . .  Ernie suggested a newsletter . . and thus  . The Planing Form . . at first I did a lot of the articles just to pass along thoughts and ideas I evolved to while making my rods . . then the idea was to see if there was interest in forming a gathering . similar to what was happening in Canada (the Merrit BC) . . so we linked up with Barry Servantie and rented a room at the Embers (Carlisle, PA) where Barry did his annual 4th of July Book Sale and so the start of many gatherings . . they then moved to Boiling  Springs  for  a  few times . . and then I met Lisa Lyons from the Catskill FlyFishing Center . . and plans were forged to create another gathering there.  . I remember walking to the covered bridge on the upper Willowemac with Lisa and my daughter Lyndi and seeing this extremely deep crystal clear pool and the fish that occupied it . .

I suspect that a real turning point for me was the time Barry called and said he had sold his last copy of the Master's Guide and there were no more anywhere to be had . . from that came this bindered book that was printed on heavy paper so that there was information for those that did want to make there own . . and then . a video series . . and teaching classes  . . and an internet email repeater  . . and more gatherings .  . wow what an adventure for myself and the kids as they grew . . . if I were asked the how and why of it all I would have to simply say . . it was the great people that I met that encouraged and assisted in all the above . . the list gets long . . well now many years later the kids are grown and onto other adventures . . and I have slowed a bit . . perhaps realizing that there are other great people involved now and it is their turn  . . . meanwhile . . I again fish with a bamboo fly  rod  on  my  favored  Section  13  Creek  of  the Jordan . . and there is the fabled Hex Hatch on the upper Manistee where I now have a shed in the woods . . and I have the memories and good friends that share the enthusiasm of making and fishing bamboo . . .

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