Tuesday, June 29, 2010

goddard caddis

it's a dry heat

like a fucking oven
backyard thermometer pegged

so yesterday's national high was 123 at death valley
I got that beat

going to church

have we seen this before?
it remains one of my favorite places
though I'm more than a little bit concerned
about low flows and snowpack

looking closer at this fine shot 
(courtesy of s. rath)
I'm fighting that fish left handed - wtf?

Saturday, June 26, 2010

the skinny

I was asked to post this response to yesterday's state of the craftsmanshit address #7

I'd like to preface it by saying that I love mike shay like a brother and would never post or say anything that would sully his good name and that I owe him a debt my mere gratitude cannot fulfill...

Mike, I don’t quite know why you felt it your duty to write all that, but I guess you feel it your civic responsibility. Fine. Maybe there is some animosity towards me, fine. I really don’t know.

What I do know is that if someone google’s my name, they are apt to come across what you wrote. What you wrote can directly affect my ability to earn my measly income.

I’m not saying what you wrote is wrong, in fact from your point of view it is correct and so I place no wrong doing on your part.

You think you know the whole story, but in fact you really know only a part of it, much like rod making.

Before I go any further with this, I want to state clearly and distinctly, that I place the blame for all this squarely on my shoulders. No one else’s.

I was approached by the then owner of SS to provide the “grand prize” to a winning contestant of a writing contest. I considered that an honor. I accepted.

At the time I accepted, there were 20 names ahead of SS’s winner.

Shortly thereafter, SS changed hands.

The new owner, “N”, wrote me and told me he held me to no further obligation as the deal was with the previous owner, and no entries had been offered up as of that time. He was quite gentlemanly about it. I don’t have the letter handy but essentially I told him “a deal was a deal.” I would honor the original agreement.

The original agreement was made quite clear to me. The owner of SS would take no responsibility for making, producing or otherwise providing the prize for the winning contestant. The deal would be between me and him.

So, with 20 (+ at this point) customers I write the winner ( or maybe he wrote me) and let him know the lead time on delivery. He (the winner) seems agreeable. If he wasn’t agreeable there wouldn’t have been much I could do about it other than bump 20 good folks that were ahead of him and I wasn’t about to do that.

So what I have before me is what I consider a golden opportunity!

The chance to make any rod I wanted to my own specs. It doesn’t often happen.

I decided what rod I wanted to make this fellow and down the list was another guy who wanted the same rod.

When I came to that guys name I planed out an extra rod while the forms were set.

Now all things aside…planing out a rod doesn’t take an hour. The culm has to be chosen, cut, flamed (in this case), nodes staggered, strips cut to length, nodes pressed and straightened, nodes scraped and sanded and enamel removed and sanded. THEN I plane the rod out. Then one glues it up, sands it, buys the ferrules and sets them, buys the cork and glues the rings on and then shapes them into some sort of grip.

I had a considerable amount of time and out of pocket cash tied up in the winners rod.

There are still many rods ahead of this good fellow.

When I ran into a lull, I began wrapping the blank. Things picked up again and I went back to work on rods that were ahead of him. The blank half wrapped sat on the bench.

Time marches on as it always does. The blank sat there for a good amount of time.

In the meantime, the winner starts writing other people about not getting his rod. I feel like shit about it.

Then, things get worse. Things go sour at home and I start looking for a new shop and home. That took over a year. Nothing much at all gets done in the shop that year and certainly not on this rod. Nuttin’ got done. Survival kicks in and you just do what you have to, to survive. I hope that none of you who reads this ever has to go through this.

I want whoever reads this to understand…I wasn’t putting off my deal to the winner, I just needed to make sure I would be OK tomorrow. I still am.

Now in all fairness…you, Mike had offered (more than once) to finish out the rod for this good fellow. I flatly refused time and again. NO rod that was coming from me, out of this shop, was going to be finished out by another.

I signed the lease for the new shop in sept 2008. A freaking day later, the insurance companies crashed, banks began falling by the wayside and huge companies laid off or fired millions of workers.

Folks that still had their job and folks who were deathly afraid they were next on the chopping block, thought their job would be next.

Everytime I contacted the next guy on the list they simply cancelled their order.

I lost 5 years of names on my board. I never took a deposit on an order until I actually started the rod. No one coughed up any dough when I needed it. ALL those orders just disappeared and dried up. I lost five years of work practically overnight.

I was hanging on by a thread, a thin damn thread!

Mikey, you know this! You came and fed me more than once!

I was living day by day, hand to mouth and really still am.

Someone pays my rent for a month or keeps my lights on for a month, guess whose rod I’m working on!

So now I have the time to finish the winners rod, but I simply do not have cash in hand to buy the remaining components. Pure and simple.

SS changes hands yet again.

Apparently the winner cries and complains to the new yet old owner.

The owner writes me and tells me that the winner wants him to pick up the blank from me and send it to him. The owner shows up one Saturday (quite some time ago) and picks up the blank and I bid it farewell. I stripped off the wraps I had put on it ( they were dirty and loose after sitting for that length of time) and taped the guides I could find onto a piece of tape. They aren’t the guides I was going to put on. They aren’t snake brand but...at this point I don’t care. I’m no longer giving away 50 bucks worth of premium guides but I think I did throw in a 30 dollar agate. Maybe I didn't. So what…

So anyways…I’m sorry if the winner feels I was putting him off.

I wasn’t, but I’m sure it seemed that way to him. I hope he never suddenly becomes poor overnight. I hope he never gets evicted from his home and place of work, twice, and I hope that he is able to finish out the rod to some sort of fishable condition and hooks a nice one on it.

In the meantime…I’m working brothers!

I’ll work even if I live under one of the two bridges in AZ.

I learned to do things without power and if I have to I can make a freaking rod with zero electricity! I think…

Love to you one and all,

Mike Shay, Bonnie the dog, Callie the cat


hairwing biot pmds

Friday, June 25, 2010

state of the craftsmanshit address #7

yes, sadly it seems, ye olde rod shoppe is closed for the summer
we cannot continue w/ the grunt work in
 this oppressive heat
hell, we can't even golf in it anymore
(it sucks getting old, but sure beats the alternative)

the shoppe is a mess
main workbench covered in shit odds and ends
gluing and turning bench covered in corkdust

there are a handful of rods, split and staggered awaiting nodework soaking and rough planing
but that's on hold until cooler temps in fall

flies are all tied for the summer season
and the boxes are finally properly organized
I like that and wonder why I waited
 so long to do it
the random nature of those boxes previously was perplexing and frustrating

perhaps, here I shall editorialize on the latest smallstreams drama
since I'm forbidden from doing so there
and tired of whining elsewhere
and this issue only pertains to me indirectly...

several years back I don't remember exactly when
brother mike shay agreed to make a bamboo rod for the winner of the annual writing contest
I was a judge and the winner was nearly unanimous
who it was is neither here nor there 
though he does play a central role in the ensuing drama

shay built the blank wrapped it and it languished on his bench awaiting rewrapping
and taking a seat on the bench as there were paying jobs to complete
completely understandable no doubt

prize winning blank photographed by rj love 4-6-10 in congress, az

time goes on and on while the intended recipient of said rod begins to get impatient
the impatience leads to accusations of deception etc
again that's neither here nor there
and again entirely understandable

since the contest ran and winner was decided the site has changed hands twice
original owner and sponsor of the contest decided to take matters into his own hands
probably after persistent haranguing 
so he takes possession of the ferruled blank
apparently stripped of its wrapping and guides
and will deliver the prize tomorrow
meeting the recipient halfway
leaving all parties satisfied apparently

my aching ass

this is total halfassery
I am not blaming senor shay at all
circumstances beyond anyone's control forced his hand
I do blame the original sponsor who shall remain nameless
though you can prolly figure out who I'm talking about easily enough

said sponsor is fully capable and fully equipped to have finished the rod himself 
and honoring the spirit and expectations of the contest and prize
instead he will deliver the unfinished blank to the winner of the contest
who lacks the skillset and training to finish the rod himself at his own expense
though he fully intends to do so

at his own expense
sponsor has all the components necessary to finish the rod on hand
he also has a shop equipped to wrap and varnish the rod and install the reel seat
something that he could have finished in two weeks time tops
yet he chooses not to

and that is halfassed bullshit
there may be more to this story than the sides of it I have heard
and I'm sure the culprit feels justified in his actions
now that the matter is out of his hands and halfassed resolved
I disagree

the spirit of the contest and integrity of the parties involved including smallstreams.com
have been compromised
and that is the bottom line


Wednesday, June 16, 2010

tubed up

r u ready to wrock?

I think this was my three hundredth post
I think I'll jrink a beer or twelve!

erin hills

erin hills to host 2017 u.s. open
maybe I should add it is in rural wisconsin
down the street from where I grew up

additional beautiful pics here:

Sunday, June 13, 2010

matamoscas fini

this came out very nicely
louro faia reelseat insert

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

slowly but surely


an assload of nymphs

soft hackles and winged wets


Sunday, June 6, 2010

state of the craftsmanshit address #6

shee-it that rod's plastic
and that's a can of bud!

more to follow...
rest assured.

Saturday, June 5, 2010

playing again

3pc 6ft 3wt cattanach taper
named "matamoscas"
varnishing wraps and nearly ready to dip

last rod until fall

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

on a roll

that shot was pured though unfortunately two putted for par
nine iron

apparently john wayne owned this property
which makes me wonder just what he was thinking when he bought it

going deep

dimitri going for broke

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

dynamic latency



loco mofoco in an authentic terrorist hat

way past parallel - I don't suspect he knows his swing is this big though the results are

dr. ej

there is something about the dynamic latency of shots of the golf swing that I find appealing
perhaps I should take more?

chicken and ribs

holidaze grilling