Anchored Podcast Ep. 156: Hoagy Carmichael on Bamboo Fly Rods

Hoagy Carmichael Anchored Outdoors
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Anchored Podcast:

Hoagy Carmichael is an author, producer, and builder of bamboo fly rods. He has written 5 books on fly fishing including, A Master’s Guide to Building a Bamboo Fly Rod. Growing up as the son of one of America’s most cherished songwriters, Hoagy is no stranger to the pressures of passing on legacies. In 1968, he met bamboo rod builder Edmund Everett Garrison, where he would eventually chronicle the work of one of fly fishing’s greats. You can find this video in the Members section. Sign up today and get your first month free.

Outline of This Episode

  • [4:15] Cancer has taken a toll on his health
  • [7:16] Born and raised in L.A., Hoagy grew up surrounded by show business
  • [10:35] Hoagy didn’t learn how to fish until 1967
  • [21:46] Garrison’s rods were different 
  • [25:17] Hoagy worked on Mr. Roger’s Neighborhood
  • [30:15] He has written 5 books on fly fishing
  • [37:40] Do women really catch more fish?
  • [42:05] Is he a part of the fly fishing industry?
  • [46:07] How would he like to be remembered?

Once he started fly fishing he was hooked 

Hoagy didn’t actually start fly fishing until 1967. A woman got him into the sport, and although she didn’t last long in his life, fishing did. Once he started he was hooked. He loved the solace of the sport. “It was transformative,” he explains. He realized that when he was on the water everything else melted away. He realized there was so much he didn’t know and he became a bit obsessed with learning all he could about the sport. Fortunately, he knew people who knew where to go and what to do and they showed him the ropes. 

Hoagy’s introduction to bamboo fly rods

Hoagy met Edmund Everett Garrison while on the water. Hoagy was fishing with his fancy new reel and he wondered why everyone on the water was checking out an older gentleman’s rod rather than his own setup. Garrison’s bamboo rod was turning heads. Hoagy just knew he had to learn more about the bamboo rods. It took some work, but Hoagy got to know Mr. Garrison who taught Hoagy about the craft of making bamboo fly rods. 

The basic construction of a bamboo rod

Garrison’s handmade rods were the gold standard of bamboo fly rods. Mr. Garrison’s bamboo fly rods were handcrafted and split into 6 tapered pieces. He used 6 equilateral triangles that were glued together to become a hexagon. The pieces were then tapered and sanded. Since Garrison was a mechanical engineer his bamboo rods were meticulously crafted. 

How would Hoagy like to be remembered?

Hoagy is a bit saddened that the latest generation of fly fishers don’t know much about the history of the sport. He attributes that to our ability to receive any piece of information instantaneously. Mr. Carmichael has worked hard to pass on information about fly fishing with his films, his books, and even through fly fishing demonstrations. He strives to teach future generations about the sport of fly fishing. Enjoy learning about this history by hearing it first hand from Hoagy Carmichael on this episode of Anchored. 

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  • Check out Hoagy’s books

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Anchored Outdoors

Anchored Outdoors is an ever-growing network of fly fishing experts who’ve been brought together by podcaster and fellow outdoorswoman, April Vokey.

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