Bamboo Tips - Contributors - Groth, Darrol

< Home < Contributors < Groth, Darrol

In 1996 I sobered up subsequent to having sold my soul for a while in order to move up the corporate ladder in the mental health care profession.  It's very ironic that such as the "healing arts" can be so cutthroat.  I had long since given up on fly fishing and fly tying, having grown up in Wyoming/Colorado and having spent the last part of my formative years fishing salt water in Pomano Beach, Fla.  Being drafted in the Vietnam era I wound up in North Texas after I got out of the service and went to work here as a children's therapist.  My brief stint in Administration taught me that money was not so important and that I was not mean enough.  So I went back into the "trenches" to work with kids.

No longer drinking to occupy my time I decided to get back into fly fishing.  I dusted off my fly tying kit which still contained hooks at .75C a box and a then legal Condor feather.  I also began to collect fly fishing books.  Being addictive, soon "How To" books weren't good enough - I liked the Lore and Literature as well.  Soon just books were not good enough - they had to be First Editions,  then signed, First Editions.

My quest for books led me to the Rodmaker's List and Bill Fink when he was selling his library in 2002.  I began to correspond with Bill and amazingly (to me) he took a shine to me.  Of course we didn't communicate long before the talk turned to bamboo rods.  I never thought I could afford a decent rod and knew I was incapable of making one as I had screwed up every home repair and craft project I had ever attempted.  Before long I intimated I might want a rod and again amazingly, Bill told me to name my own price for one of his!  Later when It came, a nice little nodeless, Penta 3 wt. with Garrison appointments, I had never seen anything so perfect and beautiful.  I was hooked.

Bill began to encourage me to make my own but that was unthinkable.  I got some books, most notably George Barnes' (which I called Gizmos Galore) and knew it was impossible.  In a few weeks, I had just returned from fishing and there was a long cylindrical package waiting.  Inside were some horribly dog legged strips and instructions for a 2 Strip Quad with the order: Do it!

That first one took 80 hours but it wasn't half bad.  Except nobody had told me that Bill sort of eschewed cosmetics, so it was a long time before I showed it off at a Gathering - but I was really hooked then and on my way.  Not long after, Mark showed me the Nunley method for splitting and I made my first Hex under Tony's watchful eye.  This rod is a Garrison 209 with the G-man's own silk (compliments of Hoagy) on it and danged near perfect.  Later I attended Catskill where Bill, George and Tom waggled it and pronounced, "Yup, that's a 209."  It was also signed by Hoagy.  That was 35 rods ago.

It's hard to explain but making rods and getting to know all the wonderful people associated with bamboo has not only given me my life back but also made that life so much more worth living.  That's why I will always do everything I can to help some one who is starting out and I will never be able to repay 1/10th of what it has given me.  I know many feel that way and I just feel so comfortable with every one.  Like feeling like a zebra in a herd of horses for all those years and finally finding a herd of zebras to belong to.

Site Design by: Talsma Web Creations

Tips Home - What's New - Tips - Articles - Tutorials - Contraptions - Contributors - Search Site - Contact Us - Taper Archives
Christmas Missives - Chat Room - Photo Galleries - Line Conversions - The Journey - Extreme Rodmaking - Rodmaker's Pictures - Donate - Store