Welcome from Japan

December 19, 2010

Well I’ve always had a number of customers from Japan who have been interested in bamboo, but I was recently lucky enough to have Dr. Todd Larson, the publisher of Whitefish Press, owner of the Classic Fly Rod Forum, and authority on all things relating to fishing history, pen an article about me for the Japanese magazine “Furaino zasshi“, which I’m told roughly translates into the “The Fly Fishing Magazine”.

Here is a screenshot of a preview of the article – you can click on it to go to the web portion

It was a pleasure to work with Todd on this, or at least to help out with the process (who am I kidding, he did all of the work!).

I’m pretty shy by nature, so I have to admit that I’ve often approached these kinds of things with some trepidation. At a basic level having someone write about you is flattering of course, and I guess I’m no less immune to flattery than anyone else. But it’s also a little nerve-wracking, and for an old rodmaker like me there’s the worry that the result will mostly be a puff-piece.

This worry is a justified one since most articles about bamboo rodmakers tend to follow a familiar recipe: mix one part lone holdout of a tradition, two parts nostalgia for an earlier age, three parts fawning over the rodmaker himself, and you’ve essentially got the basics for a standard piece on any bamboo rodmaker, the kind that makes most of us cringe. Moreover most of these sorts of articles are not terribly interesting, in part because many of those who write them simply don’t know that much about bamboo or fly rods generally.

This couldn’t have been different though. Todd is a very knowledgeable guy who asked great questions, knew a ton about rodmaking history, and has an obvious understanding and appreciation for the craft. I hope I’m not embarrassing him too much by saying all of this, but you get the idea. The bottom line is that this was actually a lot of fun to do.

Lastly, it’s also great to see that bamboo rodmaking is alive and well in Japan. From what I’ve seen over the years the interest in fine craftsmanship in Japan has been consistent and growing, and aside from America I probably can’t think of another place where there is more appreciation for it.

Anyway, I guess all of this is merely to say that if you’re finding your way here from Todd’s article, welcome and I hope that you enjoy this site. Come back often.



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