Bamboo Tips - Contributors - Sobota, Jim

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My name is Jim Sobota and I am from Onalaska, Wi (just on edge of the really good limestone spring creek fishing of SW Wis, NE Minn and NE Iowa).  I am a retired Mathematics Professor who still works part time off and on.  I have been interested in fishing for the past 60 years or so and fly fishing for 15 years.  I was a tournament bass fisherman for 10 – 12 years then I spent part of my last winnings on a new Orvis Graphite fly rod.  I became interested in bamboo when I inheirited a 9’ South Bend from my Father- in- law.

I made my first Bamboo fly rod with the help of John Bethke in 2003 just after retirement.  I was amazed that I was able to do it.  I spent my life in academics, never doing any type of work with my hands.  Others speak of music, and musical instruments.  My skills there consist of mostly being able to punch the little triangle button on various devices.  I really feel out of my league. But I plunged ahead.  I finished #’s 18 and 19 this spring.  I have been tinkering with convex taper ideas from Harms / Whittle’s  Marinaro book.  This stuff really works!

I have been a list member for 6 or so years and I have attended several Gatherings (Greyrock twice, SRG twice and CRR last summer) and I plan on continuing to attend.  I met many really good people and learned a lot from them.  It has been especially nice to meet people I have been reading about.  I try to keep up with the list postings each day, but am behind a little now that so many people are responding. Great idea Harry!

Some of the fine memories from the gatherings have been drinking beer with Peter and Graham on the banks of the Manistee waiting for the bugs to show (they never did) , and sitting around a campfire with friends after CRR sharing 12 year old Macallan (my retirement took  a big hit  so I can’t afford the 18) and smoking a nice cigar.

I enjoy traveling and fishing new places, In addition to going to Gatherings, I try to make at least 2 trips West to fish each summer, once to the Black Hills of South Dakota and once to Montana (the Slide Inn) and Idaho (Silver Creek) with my son.

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