Metolius Bamboo Rod and Fly Fishing Festival in Camp Sherman, Oregon

This past weekend we attended the Metolius Bamboo Rod and fly fishing festival in Camp Sherman, Oregon. It was a great event, packed with fly fishing experts from around the state. Fly tiers from the local FFF chapter, Central Oregon Fly Fishers, were on hand to give fly tying tips. I learned a really slick way to finish a small parachute fly from Jerry Criss of Tailing Loop Flies.

Metolius River Bamboo Rod Fair

There were a few fly fishing book dealers, including Rod Bonacker of Black Butte Books — a Sisters, Oregon bookstore that specializes in Pacific Northwest fishing and hunting. He had a nice selection of authors I was interested in, including Roderick Haig-Brown and Russell Chatham. Bonacker offered some advice for fly fishing book collectors: “Buy the best condition books you can afford. 90% of the value is in the dust jacket. It’s good to spend time picking up the classics, but find some contemporary authors you like — authors like Steve Raymond, John Gierach and Jim Harrison have gained value.” You can email Bonacker with your fly fishing literature questions.

We also spent some time with Chet Croco, rodmaker and owner of Bellinger Fly Rods. “The reason bamboo is still popular today, despite all of the graphite, is because it has a certain feel that can’t be duplicated by a manmade material,” Croco said. We interviewed him in the video below about the history of the business:

Bellinger, a bamboo rod company based in Albany, Oregon, specializes in finished rods as well as components and tools for bamboo rod makers. The photos below show Croco’s work — a custom bamboo rod for the 90th anniversary of the Camp Sherman Store, with a hippo tooth reel seat! Seriously. Hippo tooth. Doesn’t get more badass than that.





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