First, I would like to thank the Outdoor Blogger Network (Rebecca & Joe) for organizing such a great experience. Second, a huge thank you goes to Jason and Julie Zicha of Fall River Fly Rods for creating and contributing such a beautiful piece of equipment for the OBN fly fishing community. I also want to thank Montana Fly Company and Rio for their generous contributions to the rod's grand journey around the country.
On with the story...
If it's any indicator of how busy we've been lately, the rod actually arrived on a Saturday while Kelly and I were out of town. So, I had to take my little claim card and go pick it up at the post office on Monday. The lady at the post office seemed terribly confused and had some difficulty finding the package... let's just say it took her "a little while." As I saw her fumbling through the odd lot of packages in the back, a large black PVC tube caught my eye. I said without hesitation, "that's it."
|The tube is taller than Kelly.|
Mike of Dry Flies & Fat Tires sent the tube on its way adorned with a sticker from one of his local fly shops, and I followed suit by adding something from my neck of the woods too. I hope everyone keeps that going as it tours this great land of ours. Mike also did exactly what I had envisioned for our time with the rod. He took the Fall River rod to experience the finest wild fishing that his state has to offer- Rio Grande Cutthroat in New Mexico's high country.
Kelly and I did our best to emulate that type of experience in Alabama. Considering we only have one year-round trout fishery in our state... and it is entirely unnatural... we introduced the Fall River rod to some of the finest warmwater fly fishing our state has to offer- Redeye Bass in Little River Canyon, Spotted Bass in the Cahaba River, and the wonderful variety of fish to be had in Cypress Creek.
We made it our goal to try and land as many species with the rod as we could... our own little contribution to the traveler's history. I'll let the pictures do most of the talking here...
|Rock Bass (Ambloplites rupestris) at Cypress Creek|
|"Puttin' the wood" to a Smallie.|
|Smallmouth Bass (Micropterus dolomieu) at Cypress Creek|
|Redbreast Sunfish (Lepomis auritus) at Cypress Creek|
|Longear Sunfish (L. megalotis) at Cypress Creek|
|Largemouth Bass (M. salmoides) at Cypress Creek|
|Little River Canyon|
|Green Sunfish (L. cyanellus) at Little River Canyon|
|Redeye Bass (M. coosae) at Little River Canyon|
|Redeye Bass- the "Brook Trout of warmwater game fish"|
|Bluegill (L. macrochirus) at Cahaba River|
|Redeye Bass (M. coosae) at Cahaba River|
|Alabama Spotted Bass (M. henshalli) at Shades Creek (Cahaba R. tributary)|
In total, we landed nine species from three of Alabama's finest streams. These are truly wild fish in their native waters, and I couldn't think of any more fitting pursuit with a bamboo fly rod... at least not in Alabama! (There may be a little debate about the Redbreast being indigenous... but you get the idea.)
We had a great time hosting the rod, and we were honored to be part of such a unique history in the making.
This was not my first experience with bamboo, but it was my first with a newly crafted rod. My bamboo rods are antiques (but sadly not Leonard or Payne)... and are somewhat clunky by comparison. I must conclude by sending my compliments to Jason Zicha for crafting such a fine fly rod.
Job well done, sir.