Saturday, March 30, 2013

My Bamboo Fly Rod, a Can of Worms and the Sentimental Nature of it All

My class was on March 3rd and through all of the ups and downs...I successfully made another bamboo fly rod without crying impaling anyone.

About a month before my class, I sent out an email asking for advice concerning my new bamboo fly rod.  I asked Oyster clients to help design it...I did was my fault.  I'll own it here for all to scrutinize.  I asked for your input and I heard you all...loud and clear.  A lot of you.  I opened the metaphorical can of worms.

There were so many heart felt, well thought out responses.  Thank you. Of course, I also received the obligatory ridiculous responses as well (you know who you are...Richard Rones). 

There were so many responses related to donating my rod...point well taken.  But, there is one complication concerning that plan...I don't have my own trout rod.  I borrow, steal and plead.  Bill has never had the time to build one for me (or himself for that matter...have you seen his beat-up rod?!?!) so I opted to make a bamboo rod for myself.  Donating a rod?  I thought hard on this one...Next year...

I normally only write one of these blogs if I have a"moment"

Here was the unexpected inevitable revelation I had while sifting through your responses about designing my rod:  The bamboo fly rod is a sentimental thing and I personally take this for granted.  Life has a way of blurring the lines between pleasure and responsibility regardless of what you may do for a living.  It's almost a relief to be reminded by YOU that I am surrounded by our future's history (yes, that makes perfect sense to me) of craftsmanship not only at Oyster but also by the legacy that each rod crafted by our students carries on for generations.

Each hand crafted bamboo fly rod has a story.

Each story is unique.

These stories live on for future generations and allow us (as the makers) to leave a piece of ourselves with those who will only know us through others and what we leave behind...

So, here was my final choice for the rod I made this year...
Technically the rod is a  7' 9" 6 weight, very dark flamed with clear wraps with a medium fast taper.  It is one of Bill's favorite rods to fish and make for Oyster clients.

Now,the real details:
I built this rod for my daughter, Veronica Flower Oyster.  The story I want to leave with her is this:
She is strong.  She will bend but not break. Her pedigree is strength. 

"Find your grace through Strength"

wrapping day ... single homage on right before varnish
This rod's story is strength.  

These single turn wraps are an homage to our family.  There are four wraps (pink, red, orange and green).  The Pink and Red represent my mother's arduous battle with cancer and heart disease. The Orange represents my brother's kidney cancer as well as his relentless survival spirit and the Green is for Bill's father.  Bill's father died in 2003 of Appendix Cancer.  Green was his favorite color (there is not a color to represent this rare cancer).  Bill's father was the epitome of strength and courage.  He changed lives and was undoubtedly the toughest human being I have ever met.   

Finally, because Veronica and I both feel that we are Mermaids doomed to walk the earth (don't judge me), Bill engraved his best yet.  It's my opinion.

Simply class was FUN!  My Aunt Terry from Seattle was here again as well as our dear friend Kathy and her friend (and now ours) Cathy.

I can not resist sharing my top 5 insights during my class week:

1.  We need to update our waivers.
2.  Don't wear white on day 2 (this was advice from a February student as well...point taken)
3.  Listen to Bill
4.  Wrap in clear!!!
5.  A small amount of blood never hurt anyone (see #1)

Fire and Ice Trout!,  Hunter's devotion to fly fishing and pizza, Kara loves my crown

A few other notables over the past month or so...Blue Ridge had the annual Fire and Ice Festival.  It may or may not surprise you that I was crowned  Ice Queen during the festivities.   I will say that it came as a bit of a shock because I thought to be the queen of anything, you must first leave your office?!?!  The picture above is my assistant (Kara) who was a wee bit more excited than myself about the crown.   I hear this honor requires that you ride on a float for the 4th of July parade...hopefully, this will be overlooked.

Also, Oyster was fortunate enough to be in a few publications. A few regional magazines were kind enough to mention us in addition to Worth and SW Georgia Magazine.  These publications are a refreshing source of information in our digital age.  Nothing can replace the touch and feel of print (I graduated from the UGA's Grady College of I really do mean this).

Humbled, Happy and Blessed