The Fine Bamboo Fly Rod: A Book Review and More

Kirkfield, Stuart – The Fine Bamboo Fly Rod: A Master’s Secrets of Restoration and Repair – Colorado Springs, 1999, Cork & Cane Press, 2nd Edition, Hardcover, Dust Jacket, Brand-New – Signed.

When I write a post about a book, I’m usually reviewing a children’s book.  Today, however, I’m going to talk about a different type of book…one for people who love bamboo rods and fly-fishing. 

When I met my husband over 48 years ago, neither of us knew anything about fly-fishing.  In fact, in 1969, we went fishing on the Gibbon River in Yellowstone National Park and saw a sign in the river that read, “FLIES ONLY” and we walked away wondering how someone would catch and kill the flies and attach them to the hook.

As soon as we got home, my husband began to research this “fly-fishing” and soon was “hooked” himself.  To make a long story short, he was so intrigued with the mystique of fly-fishing, he studied everything about it that he could find and soon was refinishing bamboo fly rods for prestigious companies like Abercrombie and Fitch

In 1986, he wrote a book on the subject, The Fine Bamboo Fly Rod: A Master’s Secrets of Restoration and Repair, which was published by Stackpole Press.  This book has become “the bible” for people who want to know how to restore or repair their cherished bamboo fly rods.  Many of these treasures are passed down from generation to generation and are valued at many thousands of dollars…so it is very important to be able to fix the problems that may occur with age and use.

Inside the book you will find detailed instructions and close-up photographs on:

  • Making the assessment…what is wrong and what you need to do
  • Stripping the rod
  • Guide and wrap placement
  • Varnishing the wraps and rod
  • Cleaning the cork
  • Installing a new grip
  • Repairing broken tips
  • Repairing hook digs
  • And more than a dozen additional topics

Gerald J. Mullen’s brilliant photography has captured every step in each process and helps even a novice understand what needs to be done and how to do it.

Of course, for the person who wants to restore or repair a bamboo fly rod, this is an awesome book.  It also has great value for anyone who is interested in the history of bamboo fly rods and the spiritual attachment that anglers have for them.  The book is beautifully written and even someone who is not into fly-fishing will enjoy reading it.

Father and son make a great fishing out, Mr. Trout!

I’m thrilled that my husband has agreed to offer his book on my website.  I’ve done several posts about how fishing with young children is a wonderful intergenerational activity.  Parents, grandparents and children will enjoy being together in the beautiful outdoors and all can learn from each other.  Fishing provides a great opportunity to encourage children to protect and preserve our rivers, streams and the environment.

If you need some gear to outfit your kids you can go to the website of Take A Kid Flyfishing.

If you want a great children’s book that is a wonderful read for adults as well as kids and that is super cool way to introduce children to fly-fishing and how important it is to take care of our environment, you can go to the website of Olive, the Little Wooly Bugger

Our granddaughter listened with rapt attention to Grandpa's instructions.

            This NEW, AUTOGRAPHED, hardcover copy of bamboo rod restoration and repair is THE BIBLE on this long-kept secret art and is currently priced at $169.00 per copy, with used copies selling online right now in the $200 – $300+ price range.

“Belongs on the bookshelf of every fly-fisherman!” – U.B.K, Hoboken, NJ

“I’m fortunate in that someone very special recognized my interest with a generous gift of Stuart Kirkfield’s book.” – Gerald Buckley, Tulsa, OK

“Craftsmen like Stuart Kirkfield kept the magic of bamboo rods alive.” – Ronald Barch, editor, The Planing Form Newsletter

            Now – as a special promotion for the readers of Positive Parental Participation and my followers on Twitter and other social media – brand-new copies (straight out of the publisher’s shipping carton) are available for only $99.95 each.  A very limited number of copies are being made available at this price.

The holidays will be here soon!  If you have any fly-fishermen (or fisher-women) you are fond of, why not give them something they might never get for themselves.

            Please visit again for my next post…I’ll be sharing some quick fixes for those temper tantrums that sometimes flare up while we are holiday shopping with kids.

3 thoughts on “The Fine Bamboo Fly Rod: A Book Review and More

    • Hi Barb,
      I thought with the gift-giving holidays coming up, it would be nice to do a review of the book and get the word out about it. Every time I look at it, I’m blown away with the unbelievable photos that Gerry took.


  1. What a terrific review… you make me want to learn to fly fish. I’m even tempted to buy the book for keeps sake. It is remarkable the way we come to our life’s work… I love the story behind what made your hubby write this book. Thank you for sharing this. 🙂
    I’m working on catching up again after a hectic workshop week again. 🙂


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