Monday, April 6, 2015


It started as a curiosity before it became a fascination then tumbled into an obsession.  I would occasionally search Ebay for all things related to fly fishing and  I clicked on Bamboo rods when I saw them.  Some were priced high while others low, some were dull while others seemed to glow.  While at Great Waters one year I found myself standing in front of a man who was selling them.  In jest I asked, "Are you trying to bamboozle me?".

I was satisfied with my graphite rods.  The more times I cast them the better they seemed to get.  This was a hobby that I had fallen in love with but there was still so much more to learn.  The better I became the more I wanted to know.  The more I knew the better I became.  The cycle was not vicious it was awesome and I was really starting to blossom.

In my Ebay searches one seller always seemed to stand out.  That seller was Zhus Rods.

"From the land of the legendary Tonkin Cane comes Zhus Rods. Since 1996, Zhus Rods has been building quality bamboo fly rods in the traditional hexogonal, 6-strip style attributed to, and developed by H.L. Leonard and other legendary rod makers such as Garrison, Payne and Cattanach. Each culm of Tonkin Cane is personally inspected and hand-selected so that only the highest quality bamboo goes into making a Zhu's Rod. Each Zhu's rod is inspected for quality and warranted with a 100% SATISFACTION GUARANTEE!

We produce bamboo rod for 20 years,has experienced work team, in the production of good quality bamboo rod.
Our excellent quality and favorable price products sell all over the world.
Now we in the EBAY sales, is to get more fans can buy our products.

Many buyers are surprised we bamboo rod quality excellent price concessions.
EBAY buyers 100% fair is my positive feedback our quality guarantee,

Please be assured that purchase!"

I don't know if it was their excellent command of the English language that convinced me of their merit or their myriad of positive reviews.  One thing I was sure of was that they were the only maker of bamboo rods and blanks that I could actually afford to buy.  This made my decision very simple.  It wasn't long after I made my choice to buy a blank from Zhus when I received the news that I had been waiting for.  I had won the auction!!

A couple weeks later there was a long pvc tube on my doorstep.  I was so excited!
When I took the pieces out of the tubed I was glad the were intact.
 They were perfectly straight and without blemish.  I couldn't wait to finish them.

A long time ago I remember hearing that the folks at the Thorne Bros/Fly Angler in Blaine had a service where they would assist you in finishing your fly rod.  While I was up there in December I remembered telling Bucky about the bamboo rod blank that I had just purchased from China and my plans to have them help me finish it.  He listened intently to my story and when I was finished talking without hesitation he stated, "You're better off just having us do it for you.".   "Fair enough", I thought so about a week or so later I dropped the blank off and dictated to Rob what I wanted the rod to look like when it was done.

 My main requests were to have the name BAMBI written in hand lettering near the base of the rod and for each guide wrap to be different colors of the spectrum.  Kind of like a rainbow.

During the winter the rod shop at Thorne Bros is extremely busy producing some of the best ice fishing and musky rods in the world.  I knew Bambi was in good hands and I waited patiently for the call.

On Saturday I traveled to Blaine to pick Bambi up.  As I handed over the fat stack of cash I wondered to myself if I had made a huge mistake.  While I have heard some people rant and rave about how much they love their bamboo rods I have heard just as many complain about how soft and worthless they are compared to graphite.  One thing I knew for sure was that Bambi looked absolutely beautiful with her name written on her and the multi colored rainbow thread wraps.  If for some reason she didn't cast well she will surely look great on my mantle at my palatial country estate!

Taste the rainbow!

I was feeling somewhat ill on Saturday but when I arrived home I couldn't help but to string Bambi up with some genuine silk line that I had also purchased from Zhus's.  The silk line was only 11 dollars.  It doesn't get much cheaper than that.
After getting her ready we made the trip over to Rice Creek in nearby Moundsview.  I was still pretty nervous about what it was going to be like as I tossed out some line for my first cast.  I threw the line behind me for my back cast and then thrust my arm in front of me for my forward cast.  For a split second nothing happened.  And then something beautiful happened.  With power and grace Bambi tossed that line out in front of me and it rolled out perfectly onto the water.  I put her in the right position and she did all the work.  Bambi along with Foxy and I walked the banks of Rice Creek casting and smiling for the next hour or so.  Every cast was better than the one before.  I was so happy.

The End
Eddie Rivard Fly Fishing is now on Facebook 

Thursday, April 2, 2015

Sunny Side Up

Taylor and I had planned on fishing southern Minnesota on Wednesday and on Monday he had already started plotting.  While fishing on bright sunny days is not ideal conditions for catching trout there are ways to tilt the odds in your favor if you have a positive mind.

One way to tilt the odds in your favor is to fish with the right flies.  Recently an event was held in Wisconsin called Cozad's Driftless 1Fly competition and when the the dust settled my friend Ger Moua and his team AZN came out on top.  I knew that if I was going to have success on Wednesday I should find a way to get my hands on Ger's fly pattern.

I was only able to find one photo on the internet of Ger's fly and it wasn't very clear.  Here is that photo.  I inserted a red arrow to indicate what fly was Ger's.

I knew I was going to have to have a little more to go on than that photo so I worked up the courage to send Ger a text.

Here is a better look at the photo Ger sent.

And a little zoomed in.

At this point I felt like I had enough to go on so I made the trip up to the Fly Angler in Blaine where I was relieved to find they had the hooks I needed.  I don't know if size 8 was the right size but 8 rhymes with great so whatever.  They also had these special slotted tungsten beads because I remembered from the past that Ger likes his flies heavy.  It looked liked the abdomen had some blue as well as some green so for that I picked up some blue and green Flashabou.

Well needless to say I tied my ass off Tuesday night.  I felt pretty good about my flies and I was ready for Wednesday morning.  Since Ger mentioned that he hadn't come up with a name for them yet I decided that for now I am call them GerOneImos .

Wednesday morning came quick and Taylor picked me up as the sun was making it's appearance for the day.  While I am always excited for a day of fishing I was really looking forward to meeting up and fishing with Driftless Fly Fishing Legend Ryan Frick.  There are few people more familiar with the streams and rivers of the Minnesota Driftless than Ryan.  I always think its cool when super awesome people decide to be my friend.
Ryan decided that our chances for good fishing would be best on a larger river with slightly stained water.  The last place you want to be fishing on a sunny day is a crystal clear spring creek.  He also thought we would score some nice shade because the river that we went to had high cliffs.  High cliffs near the river = shade deliver.  Well it seems like Ryan was right because I caught my first trout of the day on my 7th cast.
 I was so happy.
 Those who are loyal readers to my blog will recognize the significance of this triangular stone.
 When I caught up with Taylor and Ryan I found myself in a beautiful place.
 The water flowed downstream.
 Ryna caught a nice Brown Trout on the streamer.
 He was so happy.
 Rub a dub dub I caught a chub.
 The trout we caught were all fat and happy.  Especially when we released them.
 Another fattie.
 Taylor was using a Czech Nymph style fly as well.  This one is modeled after a Flashback Hares Ear,
 Hold the trout far away from your body if you want to make it look bigger for the photo.
 I love stands of White Pines.
 I must have seen Ryan catch about 10 fish throughout the day but I am sure his total was more than double that.
 What a nice one!
 Later on we traveled to a crystal clear spring creek.  The fishing was very challenging.  I'm glad we spent most of the day on the big river.

The End

Eddie Rivard Fly Fishing is now on Facebook

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