The first time I realized just how influential Cameron Mortenson has become in the fly fishing world, I was attending a Trout Unlimited chapter meeting outside of Canyon, Texas, on the banks of the Guadalupe River. The TU chapter down there is one of my favorite chapters in the country, because those guys have such limited trout-fishing opportunity. That doesn't stop them from loving their river, though, and the Guadalupe is a very respectable tailwater trout destination, made special by the caring group of TU members who work constantly to ensure habitable conditions for trout that actually enable year-round trout production (if not fishing) on this river in the middle of the searing Texas Hill Country.
|The "glass geek" himself.|
Anyway, at the chapter meeting last spring, I noticed a TU member sporting a Fiberglass Manifesto t-shirt, and we struck up a conversation that led to some fascinating talk of hidden creeks bristling with wild and native Guadalupe bass, a species that's on my "to catch" list, hopefully in the coming years, and hopefully on a supple and sensitive fiberglass rod. The Fiberglass Manifesto is Cameron's blog, and over the course of the summer, I noticed a couple other TFM t-shirts out there, the last of which I found on the back of Mike Sepelak of Mike's Gone Fishing ... Again, while chasing trout in southwest Montana.
Finally, in New Orleans, of all places, I got to meet Cameron in person at the International Fly Tackle Dealer show, where a lot of the fly fishing movers and shakers gather each year to gawk over geer and share a drink or two. We chatted briefly over a bowl of gumbo and beer, and promised to stay in touch. This blog post is the first realization of that promise.
Cameron's a self-described "glass geek," a devoted angler who fly fishes with fiberglass, an old-school material that has faded in the minds of the fly fishing masses (unfortunately) with the advent of graphite and all the new materials the big manufacturers are finding ways to fuse into finished rods these days. But glass maintains a following (I am among them). If you like to feel fish on the line and you like a softer, slower cast that makes delicate and accurate presentations, glass rods have a place in your quiver. If you're like me, and you cut your fly fishing teeth on old, bulky glass rods, you also know that nostalgia and fly fishing go together like Brad and Angelina.
Cameron gets the glass attraction, and has devoted his blog to glass and the people who help it persist. As an aside, he's also a husband, a father and a vice police detective. Cross him at your own risk.
Enough chatter. On with the questions: