Bamboo Tips - Contributors - Ezerski, Victor

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I would like to introduce myself, Victor Ezerski, Damascus, Md. I grew up in a small Pennsylvania town by the name of Monessen. I fished with my dad using a spin casting rod and reel for trout. In 1969 I moved to Hyde Park, New York. I became friends with some fly fisherman and they sparked my interest in fly-fishing and fly tying. I purchased my first book on fly tying by Helen Shaw and began my attempt at fly tying. My first flies were very simple, but still a fly tied by me. I became friends with the owner of the Four Seasons Sport Shop in Wappinger Falls, New York and we began to fish together. I purchased my first fly rod a Fenwick 8 foot for a 7 line. At the time, the cost of the rod was a fortune for me to spend. The shop was also, where I saw my first bamboo fly rod. One year later, I purchased my first bamboo fly rod a Cortland 444 LTD. 7 foot for a 7 line. I still have the rod. A friend of my wife introduced me to a 92-year-old gentleman, James Knight who was a fly fisherman and fly tier. James was limited in going fishing because he no longer could drive. James had not tied flies for many years because of his eyesight. James and I fished together. The first time I took James fishing. He just walked around the pond probably reliving some past moments and memories. He made only a few casts but seemed happy. James taught me a lot on fly tying and his special techniques he had used, the tools and what materials to buy and how to use all of it. He gave me a Tournament Caster by Leonard. He said it was a gift from him to repay for the joy he had with me fishing. We continued to fish together till I moved to Maryland a year later. I continued to frequent new and used bookstores, flea markets, and fishing shows, etc. Always looking for books, rods, and materials anything on fly-fishing and fly tying. At the present time my book collection and fishing memobolia are quite extensive, 40 years of collecting. At a fishing show, I purchased a book on The Bamboo Rod by Claude M. Kreider. I decided to build my own bamboo rod. I did not realize all the complicated steps necessary, the tools and material required. The desire of learning the art of building a bamboo fly rod was an unfulfilled dream for many years. Years ago fishing at Big Spring near Newville, Pennsylvania I met Al Medved who is a rod builder. Al and I spent many Saturdays discussing rod building and Al was very helpful in many ways. I began to get closer to building my rod and learning all the difficult steps for a novice. Through Al, I attended the 2001 Rod Gathering in the Catskills. The gathering was a terrific opportunity to observe an actual rod being built and all the steps involved. I purchased 2 culms of bamboo. Now I had the bamboo and some tools but still needed help to start the actual building or a rod. A few years later, I met Jim Downs also a rod builder. He taught me the necessary steps to begin my rod. The gluing of the sections together etc. My bamboo rod was finally beginning to become a reality and was ready to be heat-treated. I put the reel seat, ferrules, guides, and handle and finally my masterpiece was complete. It was a long process and many delays but a wonderful feeling to have built my first bamboo rod. While web searching for rod building materials it enabled me to talk to other rod builders. I spoke with Scott Bearden who suggested I contact Mark Wendt. Mark offered a lot of help that added to my knowledge of rod building. Mark invited me last year to the FYAO at the Gunpowder River. A group of guys meet on New Years Day to fish and talk about rod building. Just an enjoyable day. I also met another rod builder Kurt Wolko who sold me 5 additional culms of cane. Now we work together in the same office. This is just a summary of how my quest to learn and enjoy the art of bamboo rod building, fly tying and fly-fishing began.

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