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  • Wednesday, May 22, 2013

    Dirty Stuff

    Happy Anniversary
    just another stick of grass ???
    Mismatched cork, Water spots, Jordan Seat, Simple Walnut, Casts Great, Catches Fish

    .. Time was when utility was dismissed in favor of aesthetics.
    .. Discounting utility for 'the pretty' is still a fairly common practice among fly fishers. Pretty fish, pretty flies, pretty cast, etc.
    .. Members of the cult of Arundinaria Amabillis can be heard extolling the beauty of: grain, finish, craftsmanship, taper, uniformity of joints, etc. Oh, by the way it's possible to catch fish with it too.
    .. The Orvis "99" rods sneak under the radar of pretty fishers. They look just like a conventional Orvis Impregnated Rod, (from a distance.) But upon closer inspection cult members dismiss the rods as substandard. Water spots in the bamboo are accentuated by the impregnating process, (ugh, dirty stuff.)
    Serial Number - Duh
    .. Red thread wraps scream abomination to the cult members that extol the aesthetic value of the dark brown thread that is "properly" used for the Orvis rods.
    .. The NINETY NINE is a commemorative model. It was introduced in 1955 to commemorate Orvis's 99th anniversary. It's price point was below that of the then existing Battenkill models.
    .. The quality of  bamboo, tapers, and construction is all the same. It just wasn't as pretty. There were water spots. You could see, infrequently, some small amounts of joint glue that barely was visible. It had Super Z ferrules, etc. Just not pretty. It catches fish though.
    .. The 99's could be had with one or two tips and persisted in the Orvis offerings through 1966. This old friend is a late iteration and just had a birthday: April 1965, made by George Reid and Calvin Skinner. It's a fairly rare eight foot model with one tip section. It casts a 7 weight line and weighs a hefty 4 3/8 ounces. It catches fish just fine.
    .. If you are not overwhelmed by pretty, this model can be had for, (in American Dollars,) far less than the pretty rods. It catches fish with the prettiest of them.
    .. Orvis bamboo rods, (all of them, even the pretty ones,) are sturdy and meant to be fished. The lower grade rods feel just like a bamboo rod should feel. If you find one that matches your casting style, and can appreciate it's wonderful utility rather than it's pure beauty it can be had for a song in today's market. If you 'collect' sticks these are not for you. They catch fish.

    .. More dirty stuff. The Madison River in Yellowstone National Park is gaining a bit more color. We've had some blessed cool weather and some slow and soaking rains. The west side rivers are at, or below, their seasonal norms and still in the early runoff stage.
    .. We suspect that they will all provide catching possibilities for the opening day this coming weekend. We're headed into the park on Thursday and Friday. We shall return with a final and late update. Check the sidebar links to feather merchants for the appropriate flies.