Lost Zac - the Meandering Boo Boy

Photos and Meditations on Fly Fishing in Southwest Montana and wherever.....

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Testing the four-piece wonder and five-sided whomper

Posted by on in On the Road Blog
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I have not fished for three days during the past two weeks. And they were a sad few days. Ok, dry your tears and I'll continue to describe a couple days I got some fishing done.

A little while back, I got to float a river with Scott Anderson of Montana Fishing Company. He is the outfitter I will be guiding for this season, and being that we both love Sweetgrass bamboo and fish, we thought to spend a couple days testing rods and waters. I primarily fished the prototype four-piece, six weight rod that Glenn and I have been working on. It turned out to be a smooth-casting, powerful and sensitive rod. It will be the perfect traveling rod and available this season from Sweetgrass.


Getting ready to launch, and hanging loose. Or, that was the size fish Scott caught. 


Check the bend on my back-cast! As a rod designer and maker, I pay lots of attention to what the rod and line is doing most every cast. Fishing is as much enjoying the outdoors as it is enjoying your equipment. We hooked up with many fish on this day, primarily swinging wet flies. Once Glenn gets back from fishing this rod in the Bahamas, we will discuss any changes that we need to make, and get to the second round of prototypes. Might mess with the ferrules a bit...

And later that week, I made it to another great river, but waded around some islands. I used my three-piece pent with the five-weight tip, and had a great time fishing midges, and stoneflies. I had some luck in the surface, but most the fish were feeding on midge pupae just below the surface, so that's what I fed them!


Ariell watches as I show her how to catch fish on midge pupae. It was an over-cast day that varied from calm gray to blustery gray, that ripped whitecaps on the main channel. I stayed on a side channel, and fed flies to rising Rainbows most the afternoon.


"Look at this fine Rainbow trout! Can I eat it?"


Even though Ariell could have eaten this little beauty, we released it, hoping that it will grow a bit larger. I was not able to get to all the water I planned to fish, as we were surrounded by other anglers (weekends are not the best time to fish alone...), but I stayed on my side channel and landed around eight fish with the Sweetgrass pent, while none of the other six anglers that worked around me caught a thing, with their silly graphite sticks! It's all in the grass, eh. It's all in the sweet, sweet grass.

Then it rained really hard and blew harder and harder.

In Wild Waters,

Zac Sexton

The Meandering Booboy
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Bamboo fly rods are the most mystical fishing instruments ever fashioned by craftsmen. In fact the craftsmanship of these rods surpasses their usefulness. They have become collectable objects of desire. The Sweetgrass rod company, staffed by the legendary Boo Boys, combine several decades of rod-making expertise to craft some of the most artful rods found astream. It is Glenn Brackett and his quads, as well as Jerry Kustich's pent. rods that lead many bamboo enthusiasts to Twin Bridges, driving Hwy. 41 with a smile on their face.

In 2005, I made this journey to meet the Boys. They have gone out of their way to help me in bamboo rod making, fishing tips, and life in general. Jerry even invited me to sleep on the shop floor, when a snowstorm loomed over the Tobacco Root mountains, and I planned on camping out. They are always so giving!

Through the years I have been lucky enough to help in the shop, splitting bamboo, sanding nodes, sweeping the floor and other miscellaneous jobs. The Boys have always made me feel welcome, and at home. I have learned much about the magic of bamboo, and get to try out different rods every time I visit. I've only broken one, so far.

During a recent conversation, Dave Delisi and I, talked about the revised web site and other shop news. I love to write, and fish more than I do much else. I've tried to work, but it just doesn't work out that well. I am usually found wading meandering streams, casting cane (or one of Sam's wonderful carbon fiber rods) – if I am found at all. Given my propensity to fish, and tell tall, adventurous tales, Dave and I thought it might be interesting to post stories on the Sweetgrass site, to keep visitors coming back to the shop – either online or in person. We cast the idea to Glenn and Jerry, who were happy to go ahead with the project.

Therefore, I am happy to announce my official designation as the Meandering Boo Boy, and will be posting weekly blogs on the Website. The blogs will cover my adventures astream, casting Sweetgrass cane. They may be short, amusing stories, details of life in the shop, or just a pictorial from a recent fishing trip.

My name is Zac Sexton, and I am from the Bighorn mountains in northeast Wyoming. There, I started casting my dad's old fiberglass fly rod at age seven. By 12 years of age, I was fishing that rod for Bass and Bluegill in a nearby pond. It wasn't until age 15 that I actually caught a fish with a fly rod! At 17, I bought my first bamboo fly rod from an antique shop, and managed to entice many trout to bite my offerings. I was smitten with bamboo rods from the first time I laid eyes on one.

During my formative years, I worked at a local fly shop, tying flies for it at age 16, and guiding anglers by 17. In college I restored several old rods, and managed to get published in a few newspapers and magazines. I wrote for the University of Idaho college paper, as well as an outdoor column for the Lewiston Morning Tribune.

After college, I traveled around the country – fishing for the most part. I made my first bamboo rod, starting from the culm, in 2006, and am still busy working on my own rods, as a hobby. I currently guide outdoor and fly-fishing trips for the Rock Creek Cattle Company, outside of Deer Lodge, Mont., and fish on my days off. I look forward to hearing from Sweetgrass fans, and hope you enjoy my stories.

Comments

  • Guest
    Chase Friday, 22 June 2012

    Great blog Zac! I've enjoyed watching your show on com-cast here in Eugene, Oregon. I'm just getting into fly fishing and I can easily say that your show was great influence on me getting into the sport. Hope you keep doing this a long time! Maybe someday a bamboo rod will be an option for me (financially) but for now Im just one of those silly graphite stick using dudes who's not really catching much :-) Take care and happy fishing, Peace - Chase

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