Bamboo Tips - Contributors - Myhre, Larry

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I'm Larry Myhre. I've been a member of the the list for less than a year, and wish I had joined it much earlier. Reading it is definitely a high point of my day.

I built my first bamboo fly rod in 1977, planing it out on a borrowed Herter's non-adjustable planing form and binding with a Herter's binder. A rod building friend loaned me the stuff and provided me with a culm of Herter's cane. There were no books in print at that time, but once I got my hands on McClane's "Fisherman's Encyclopedia," I was set to go. I remember shaking that culm and telling my wife, "There's a bamboo fly rod in here somewhere and I'm doing to find it." Approximately 150 hours later, I found that rod, a seven-foot Orvis, six weight with the taper measured from another friend's rod. The nickel silver ferrules were purchased from Orvis for $7.25. During that year and the next I made six rods before having to return the borrowed equipment. Then, for the lack of an adequate planing form my bamboo rod building languished until 1998 when I bought an adjustable form, built a Garrison binder and went to work. I've built nearly 50 rods, mostly fly rods but also casting and spinning.

I retired two years ago as editor of the Sioux City (Iowa) Journal, a seven-day daily newspaper, after an 18-year stint. Beginning in 1973, I wrote outdoors as a sideline to my other jobs there, and now serve as Outdoors Editor producing a full page each week and editing an outdoors tabloid published every other month. I've done a fair amount of freelancing for various magazines over the years as well. I also work with a friend who has an outdoors television show which is aired on stations in the upper Midwest. We do a fair amount of traveling, mostly in three or four states to do shows which also provides fodder for my outdoors page.

When I home, I'm planing cane in the basement while my wife of 45 years, Fran, is upstairs pursuing her hobby of sewing in a room crowded with sewing machines and sergers.

Like most builders, I began making bamboo fly rods because I couldn't afford to buy one. Now, perhaps $10,000 later, I have more bamboo rods than I can fish with. But, as Garrison said, "There's just something about bamboo that gets in your blood."

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