Lundbreck angler hand-crafts flyfishing rods 0
Though many area anglers will tell you the calming effects of fly-fishing on a special spot on the river, for one area fisherman, crafting his own bamboo rods has given him a unique connection to his favourite pastime.
Arne Andreasen, owner of Lundbreck's Alberta Rose Anglers, has been building his own bamboo fly-fishing poles for nearly ten years.
"This is more of a traditional way (to fish) and for me, it's more of a relaxed way, which appeals to me and a small group of us," he said.
In 2002, Andreasen traveled to Portland Maine where he took a fly-fishing rod building class. After build his first rod, he's never looked back; to this day, he has constructed nearly 50 rods.
"(Fly-fishing) is something I've taken up in my adult life," he explained. "I had fished with my parents, but it was always a family outing, not a fishing trip."
First getting into fly-fishing with the more modern fiberglass and graphite rods, Andreasen has moved back to an older style of fishing-with springy bamboo rods.
"First of all, it's the creativity," he said, referring to the crafting aspect he enjoys. "It's rewarding to be able to take something raw like that culm of bamboo, split it and then end up with a finished product you can actually enjoy fishing with."
While bamboo fishing rods used to be a mainstay in shops around North America, manufactures stopped building bamboo rods after the advent of fiberglass and graphite after World War II.
"It's a craft that was almost lost," Andreasen noted. "Now it's become a bit of a niche. It's not for everybody. A lot of the rods these days have to be longer, they have to be faster and stiffer, all this high tech stuff."
Bamboo rods, according to Andreasen, have seen a resurgence, as seen by the gatherings held across North America, including the Corbett Rodbuilders Gathering in BC.
Today, he said there are hundreds of people in North America who use bamboo for construction, but not all too many rods are built. One rod, he explained, takes nearly 45-50 hours to build from start to finish.
"Most of the people who buy bamboo fly rods really appreciate the craftsmanship and the amount of labour that goes into it," he said.
From his basement workshop, Andreasen showed this reporter the ins and outs of creating a bamboo fly-fishing pole.
According to him, a surprising amount of science goes into the actual casting process of a rod.
"There's a little bit of physics involved in the mechanism of casting and tightness of the rods," he noted. "Different rod weights cast different weights of line."
Though Andreasen said there's no perfect fishing rod-as all different styles of water require different poles-he said he's built a certain rod that he's enjoyed.
"It's six feet, nine inches long and it takes a three weight line and I've made it in three sections," he said, noting it's perfect for fishing the upper Old Man River.
Andreasen said he feels proud when people take his handcrafted rods out onto the rivers and catch fish and tell him what they've caught on their day out.
"A lot of people say I don't want to break it, but it's meant to be used and enjoyed," he said. "Don't just hang it on the wall."
Though fly-fishing poles come in all shapes and sizes, there's something about traditional methods of fishing that Andreasen knows he enjoys.
"I'm out there to enjoy the day," he said. "I don't have to catch monstrous fish and don't have to cast a mile. I'm just out there to relax and catch some fish and enjoy nature."