My long experience as a fly fishing writer simply tells me that the maker who goes fishing a lot makes good rods. That should be the golden rule. Gary Howells fished for three months a year. Per Brandin leaves his home for Atlantic salmon fishing, saying bye-bye to his logbook filled with a bunch of back orders. Bob Summers fishes trout with his wonderful fly rod, but also fishes perch and walleye for his dinner table. Glenn Brackett once was a fly fishing guide in Montana before joining Winston. They all love to fish and keeping busy fishing.
That may be the way they kept up their motivation for the simple but hard routine of their work that forces them to concentrate. But more important than that relaxation aspect, makers learn things while they fish. They may find the rod is good for casting short, but no good for mid-range, or find it difficult to land a big fish. Bamboo rod making is not a mental game, but an endless game of trial and error.
It is widely known that Jun Yokota fishes almost every day during the season. He is fortunate to be born in Nagano which is surrounded by high mountains and big rivers.
*This article was extracted from “Mostly Bamboo” by courtesy of the author.