• PARTNER: PROTECT YOUR WATERS
  • Go To: THE FLIES OF YELLOWSTONE
  • Go To: YELLOWSTONE FISHING WEATHER
  • Go To: YELLOWSTONE FLY FISHING MAPS
  • Visit: Moldy Chum
  • Visit: The Horse's Mouth
  • Visit: Chi Wulff
  • Visit: Parks' Fly Shop
  • Visit: Montana Cowgirl
  • Monday, December 16, 2013

    'Twas A Grand Time

    A PAUSE IN MAINTENANCE
    Recalling A Major Upheaval
    revolutions on all fronts
    F. E. THOMAS
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    .. The first 1/3 of the twentieth century was a period of extensive change in the fly fishing scene; both world wide and in North America, (Andrew Herd calls it the "Quiet Revolution.")
    .. The "short rod," innovative subsurface techniques and flies, perfection of the hexagonal bamboo rod, a revolution in reel quality and function, and the popularity of the pastime, all led to a burst of fly fishing imagery and presence in the popular mind.
    Eustis Edwards
    .. Trout rods shrank from 11' or 12' to 9' and less. Salmon rods lost as much as 8' down to 10'.
    .. The mass merchandisers got in on the act: Sears Roebuck & Co., J.C. Penney, Montgomery Ward,  and the big sporting goods stores peddled fly fishing to the masses. It was a glorious time.
    .. Rod builders proliferated and the strangle hold of the Central Valley in New York was broken, (by  the 4 rebels - Thomas, Edwards, Hawes, and Payne.)
    .. Great rods were built and great fishers fished them. Mundane rods were built and fishers fished them. Mass production of bamboo rods skyrocketed and they were everywhere. So were fly fishers.
    .. Yellowstone National Park was an early adopter of the mentality that fly fishing should be popularized. Fishing, fly or otherwise, became a significant goal of the park managers. Stocking and breeding programs within the park indiscriminately provided fishless streams with fish. Fish from Germany were introduced. Fish from Scotland were introduced. Fish from New York and Tennesse were scattered through the park. Even California fish were imported and farmed for distribution. So too, in fact, were some of the native trouts. [For an excellent synopsis of this origin of 'Trout Shangri-La' check the note by John Byorth.]
    Eustis Edwards
    ..There are millions of bamboo rods from this era floating around North America and the world. There are thousands of excellent rods still being fished. There has been an interesting resurgence of interest in bamboo in the recent past - and continuing today.
    .. We enjoy the reminiscences of bygone days while tending to our tackle. The dispersal of knowledge from New York to the rest of North America is a seminal event in the history of bamboo fly rods.
    .. Thomas, Edwards, Payne, Hawes, and others provided us all with an opportunity to experience great rod design. Rod makers today are proud of their recreations of the cherished tapers from the revolutionary period - rightly so.
    .. Our own reflexes and muscle memories were developed during the great transition from bamboo to fiberglass during mid-century. We've always had trouble with graphite, boron, and other higher modulus pieces.
    .. We cherish our old glass and bamboo sticks. Rubbing on them calls forth a genie that transports us back. Back to our youth. Back beyond then. Way back. Winter is a good time for this.
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    EUSTICE EDWARDS

     ED PAYNE
    H. L. Leonard