Saturday, October 3, 2015

This Guy...And The Bandit

Right before leaving for a long weekend in Charleston a few weeks ago, a package arrived from New Zealand from Swift Fly Fishing with the much anticipated Bandit inside.  It was perfect timing as I had a date with a shark just a few days later and the Bandit (fortunately) whooped it in the end.

I thought I would circle back to the making of the Bandit and highlight the work of Trevor Bourne who was brought on staff of Swift Fly Fishing earlier this year as "Master Rod Maker".  You may remember Trevor from this out of this world Epic 580 build from late last year.  It ended up being a job interview in the wierdest sense and soon after Trevor was off to New Zealand with a new job.  How cool is that?

This short bio on Trevor first appeared in the Swift Fly Fishing newsletter...

"Who is this man of intrigue & mysteriousness? 

Why it’s none other than our new Head Rodmeister Trevor Bourne.  Trevor is responsible for the fantastic Epic fly rods you see appearing in places of prominence all over the world.

Our Master Rod Maker, we found Trevor languishing under a Pork Pie in the UK and quickly extracted him back here to the land of Milk and Honey.

Trevor is one of life’s extremely clever bastards. Skilled rod maker, top notch fly caster, angler and accomplished guitar player, Trev is a huge asset and core member of our team." 

Carl and Trevor had a little bit of fun in teasing this build on social media and I'm not sure Ol' Woody could  have handled Mr. Shark.  I'm glad that they sent the Bandit instead.

Every aspect of the Bandit build was just flawless and Trevor went all out with Titanium strippers (with Japanese SiC inserts) and YLI silk ghost wraps with signature one turn trim mid foot.  A beautiful beast.

I've spent a ton of time with the demo Bandit that I had for the past six months and it's been all over the place with me.  I wasn't so sure that a short ten weight would get much use but it's quickly become one of my favorite go to fly rods for all the big fish big fly trips from carp to redfish to shark.  This stick has a lot of tricks.

The Epic Rod Tube in natural glass looks impressive online but in hand these rod tubes are lightweight and so good looking.  I typically don't get overly geeked about rod tubes but these are exceptional.  Your Epic deserves one.

Enjoy a few more photos of Trevor hard at work and the results of time in the rod shop.

Trevor...thanks for all your hard work on this build.  It is a much cherished (even if I already abused it) fly rod in my ever growing collection.

Visit the Swift Fly Fishing Blog for their take on the Bandit build which provides more on this build.

Want your own Bandit?  You can pick one up as a Blank, Ready To Wrap Kit, or let Trevor have at it with a Studio Built Fly Rod.  You won't be disappointed any way.

H&H Outfitters - #FLATSTEELIE Contest

The peeps at H&H Outfitters are always keeping things fun and off beat and their latest contest centers around #FLATSTEELIE and it's easy to play. 

All orders that include a STLHD item will receive a #FLATSTEELIE and an opportunity to win some stellar gear.

H&H Outfitters breaks down on how to play...

"Here’s the deal. From now until Dec 11th every order that includes a STLHD garment will get a Flat Steelie and you could win some seriously rad stuff!  

All you gotta do is cut out Flat Steelie and take him with you.  Anywhere really, fishing of course but, you could take him hiking, cycling, camping, hunting it doesn’t matter.  Take a photo with Flat Steelie and hashtag “flatsteelie”. 

On December 20th we will choose three winners. The crazier the photo the better!  Prizes are listed below.  Extra points given for coloring Flat Steelie or dressing him up.  Good luck and don’t forget to hashtag!

1st Prize = A Temple Fork Outfitters NXT 8wt rod and BVK reel! Plus $50 instore credit with H&H!
2nd Prize = $50 instore credit with H&H!
3rd Prize = Free H&H hat and Tee of your choice!"
Visit the H&H Outfitters website and remember to use "TFMRAD" for 10% off your order.
Good luck and let's have some #FLATSTEELIE fun.

Friday, October 2, 2015

6 Good Reads

Hurricane Joaquin is spinning out in the Atlantic Ocean and the only thing that seems for certain is that we're going to see quite a bit of rain this weekend.  So if you're caught inside this weekend as well, here's a half dozen good reads to keep you occupied for a bit.

Ol' Alex sure does know how to wrap up a trip and his latest post is no exception.

I grew up reading tattered copies of Field & Stream and lately have circled back with a print subscription (something for the children and I to read together) and check in on the website often as well.  Fall is in the air and there are some great outdoor hacks in this article.

Mr. Smith goes on an anniversary trip to Belize with Mrs. Smith and comes back learned up on "The Girlfriend Hand"...  Happy Anniversary?

If Tom Hazelton's name is atop an article, read it.

On any trip home to Michigan there is a copy of "The Nick Adams Stories" tucked in my bag to reread.  Hemingway had an interesting connection to Northern Michigan and this article is worth a read.

Steven Brutger took advantage of the T.F.M. Fly Rod Loan Program and wrote up an excellent post on demoing the Swift Fly Fishing Epic 476 with a few sharp images included.

Enjoy the weekend and if you're anywhere near the Est Coast, try to stay dry.

Exterus - Fall 2015

I've been keeping an eye on the fellows at Allen Fly Fishing and along with doing more of their manufacturing in the U.S.A., their latest unveil is the fall line up of their apparel brand, Exterus Outdoor Development.

I have a couple pieces of Exterus apparel to demo and the Meridian button up shirt is especially nice.  Great fabric, feel, and fit.

Check out the Exterus Outdoor Development website to see their entire line up.

Thursday, October 1, 2015

The Blue Halo Crew Goes Exploring

The boys from Blue Halo went off on a couple big adventures lately with photographer Derek Olthuis and along with loading up a mix on the Blue Halo Blog, Cortney Boice sent a mix to share here as well.

I'm ready to hop on a plane with a grip of glass fly rods, a couple clicker reels, and camp on a sandbar to catch some grayling, char, and trout.  Who's with me?

Check out the Blue Halo Blog for more and also check out the website as they recently loaded up and are restocked on blanks and completed fly rods.


Wild salmon are important for so many reasons and more has to be done to protect the places that they thrive.

Support the work of the Wild Salmon Center and take a few minutes to watch this video.

Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Graywolf Rods - King Of The Epic 686

There is a lot of Graywolf Rods and Swift Fly Fishing talk around here and for good reason.  Shane Gray puts a lot of thought and talent into each of his fly rod builds and the Epic blanks are some of the greatest contemporary glass blanks being rolled right now.

Something that has surfaced just recently is that Shane has built more Epic 686 fly rods than any other custom builder by a long shot.  Shane is built over 60 Epic 686's and the amazing thing is that no two builds are exactly the same.  He brings something different with each build. 

Shane's a man of few words and let's his over sized tell the story but did provide this quote for the post...

"I like to build anything EPIC.  I love the company and the quality of the product.  It's also a big plus that Carl and Jeanie are outstanding at customer service."

The great thing is that Shane's never done and there's always a steady stream of Epic 686 blanks in the rod shop ready to be wrapped up.

Check out the Graywolf Rods website for more information and follow along on Facebook for the latest shop news.