Modern Old School

It never ceases to amaze me how interesting the history of fly fishing is. The more I learn about the past, the more intriguing it is to fish with rods from the past. Another person who also shares this interest is my friend Craig.

Craig and I went on an outing recently to get back in touch with some of the roots of fly fishing; but with a modern twist. I decided to fish my single hand 6/7 wt James Reid Saltwater 88 bamboo rod; and Craig fished his 5 wt Kabuto fiberglass rod.

I have developed an affection for fishing bamboo fly rods and was fortunate to meet James Reid, a young bamboo rod builder from British Colombia. What interests me the most about James is the fact that although he builds bamboo rods with traditional time tested tapers, he also likes to tweak and test rods for the modern era. The rod that I fished was initially called Cutty 88 designed to target 12 inch sea run cutthroat trout on the beaches; but James beefed it up for me to handle stronger saltwater species.

Craig on the other-hand, has developed a fondness for the feel of fiberglass. One of the crowning gems in his collection is a Kabuto rod built by Yasuyuki Kabuto of Hokkaido, Japan. Yasuyuki is one of the most highly regarded fiberglass rod designers/manufacturers in Japan.

This particular day was perfect for fishing our light weight rods with low winds, low tide, and sunny weather. What made the day even better was small trevally found all over the flats that were willing to put a bend in our rods.

I was able to successfully test a bunch of streamer pattern tied on a #8 Mustad C47SD shrimp hook using arctic runner fur sent to me from my good friend Raf.

I tied flies in various colors and when the fur got wet, it became translucent which the Trevally found absolutely irresistible.

We fished all over the flats and landed a bunch of cool fish. I was fortunate enough to run into a school of lai (queenfish). It had been several years since I last caught one of these fishes and was thrilled with landing them.

I even got an ulae (lizardfish). It always amazed me that although small, these fishes aggressively strike the fly. I would definitely hate to be a small baitfish if lizardfishes are around.

Craig was able to land a trumpet fish.

We ended up trading rods later in the day since I wanted to test the Kabuto fiberglass. What I found out was the rod casted like a dream. Traditionally, fiberglass rods have had the stereotype of being really slow and lacking power. However, I did not find this to be true with this rod. What a wonderful rod! I may just have to keep my eye out for one of these.

It was a very fun day of fishing and to top it off we were blessed with landing a ton of cool fish. -Dean

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