It began on a 15 degree below zero February day in the year 2015.
It came to fruition at 52 degrees mid June of the same year.
Jim selected all the parts and pieces necessary to build his latest fly rod. An 8 foot #5 line in 3 sections. Blue Halo out of Salt Lake City produced this one in a transparent bright blue color. Two colors of thread in Forged Steel & Iron Ore for the wraps. The spectacular hardware supplied by Jim’s good friend Michael & Susan McCoy owners of Snake Brand Guides. Black nickle guides top to bottom set off a reel seat like no other. Dyed Buckeye burl with fine rope edge, black nickle trappings topped off with a custom cork grip. YUP! easy on the eyes, but from Jim’s past he knows, “pretty does not make good”. (We’re talking horses here) Not until he loaded a classic older CFO reel with the ultra slick Orvis HD line did he find just what a jewel he had created. Slow, and I mean ULTRA-SLOW and wet noodle soft makes his new stick as much fun as you can with your clothes on. Jim refused all spring to even consider putting anything on that line with weight. No streamers, no nymphs. Waiting for the optimum weather, water, hatches and time to pack in a couple of hours so there was no chance of catching anything but THE Montana state fish: Oncorhynchus clarkii or, a Cutthroat. Catch he did. Elk wings, Stimulators & Adams were all it took for the endless numbers of fish. Clear, cold mountain water with gorgeous, unspoiled views supplied the setting. What a beautiful place (no I will not divulge) to test drive a new rod in the quiver. Like many avid anglers Jim prefers to tie most of his flies and do a rod-build in the dark, cold winter months. Preparing, anticipating, looking forward to the short time frame we get to sling line and poke fish on top. Does it get any better? Look where we live. Look where we get to play. Wake up with a smile and go to bed with a smile. If that is not your routine you are not enjoying what our good Lord has given us.
written by: JIM STEIN Director of Schools, CrossCurrents Fly Shop.