Friday, March 12, 2010

A Cautionary Tale

In the shop I tell the cautionary tale of Mark Shamburg to enthusiastic beginning fly fishers...much the same way veteran sailors of old would weave stories of Davy Jones to young deck hands. I usually break out my "Shamburg" warnings once the newly committed inquire about fly tying classes. I warn them that being excited about fly fishing and spending a lot of time on the water is still a fairly socially acceptable way to pass the time and derive a sense of happiness and fulfillment. And, to be fair, tying your own flies is viewed as kinda neat at its best, and only mildly weird at its worst. But, as I warn, this is the precarious edge of reason. Once you take up fly tying with the same gusto that you have taken to takes only one slight misstep or falter in your self control to send you to the depths. "Mark Shamburg's Locker" if you will...

Mark spends a ton of time on the water and yes, ties his own flies. And builds his own fly rods. Split cane rods, not graphite "assemble on the weekend" kit rods. And machines his own reels. I guess all that is left is to start raising his own silk worms. Pictured below is one of Mark's latest babies...a 7 foot, 9 inch 5 weight paired with his own 3 inch Vom Hofe style reel. Oh, and a nice brownie taken on the Yampa River. So, in the end, I guess the moral of this story is: Be Carefull! This thing can quickly consume your life! And is impressive only to the ignorant or equally weird. By the way...we at the shop think it's pretty friggin' cool!

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