Bamboo Tips - Contributors - Alexander, Doug

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I grew up on Shadow Lake where we swam, rowed, sailed, ice skated and fished.

A few years ago I was fishing with my brother, who is a commercial fly  fishing guide and outfitter on the Deschutes River.  The question came up, did we remember the first day that we had a fly rod in our hand?  Huh. My earliest memory of the fly rod was the fact that it handled differently than a spinning rod and always be careful on the back cast so as not to get your hook or fly into the trees but I could not remember that eventful day.  It was always there for us kids to use. When I continued my education in West Virginia the students I first met spin cast and since I had this background followed suit. Eventually I grew tired of spin fishing and wanted more.  One year for Christmas a friend gave me the movie A River Runs Through It and that gift brought me back to the fly rod and begged the question - Why oh why did I ever leave it?

This led to fly fishing trips, fly tying and my building graphite fly rods. On one fishing trip a friend shared a bamboo rod that he recently inherited. As a rod maker I was surprised at its good looks and casting ability.  The time was right for me to move on from graphite and this led to my purchasing Bamboo Rod making books - lots of books.  Finally I felt ready to start building some equipment and purchasing the rest so I could start that first rod.  I visited Golden Witch, talked to those guys, purchased some bamboo and started on a Jim Payne 101. I was very pleased with the results and so were my friends.  They encouraged me to build more and this led to looking at different kinds of  tapers. Forty some rods later this led to designing tapers which is where I am today.

The interesting thing is I still have the first fiberglass fly rod that I used as a kid and the action of my tapers closely resembles the action of this first rod.

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