For me, the end of each year is a time for reflection and an opportunity to chart the course for a new year both personally and professionally. What worked…what didn’t…in what areas do I need to improve and how do I keep the saw “sharpened”. The older I get, leaving a positive legacy has become a centerpiece of these contemplation’s. As a mature (aging!) fly fishing guide, I have been able to positively influence some young fly fishers and guides over the years and watch them grow into amazing young men and women…and outstanding technicians of the sport. This is a valuable part of my legacy for this time and aspect of my life.

Like many others before and after me, I started out fly fishing many years ago with a cheap fiberglass rod and Pflueger Medalist reel…caught lots of fish on that equipment. I progressively moved up into rod building and found it rewarding to build a tool that caught fish. But it was in the late 80’s that I purchased my first Sage rod, a used RPL…wow, I finally owned a Sage! I wish I still had that rod, but it vanished somewhere along the way. As a guide, I have built up a state-of-the-art guiding quiver of Sage rods and reels for my clients to use. But many of them have and prefer to use their own equipment. I’m always interested to see what comes out of the tubes. Yes, a fair percentage are a particular color of green, but a higher percentage are Sage rods.

To be , there are a lot of Launch, FLi, VT2, Z-Axis, and SLT rods, but this summer was perhaps one of the best examples of “vintage” Sage rods showing up. I guess I consider the XP to be a “vintage” rod, if for no other reason than its incredibly loyal group of owners and the reliable RPL, like me, the first Sage rod a lot of folks purchased. But the coolest pair of Sage rods appeared on the same trip this summer…an RP and LL. These fellows had fished together for many years and their equipment reflected that. But those rods were pristine when they emerged from the dented/warped rod tubes. They both appreciated my enthusiasm and respect for their rods and it was all I could do to not start swinging them. But at the end of the day, I had to ask them to indulge my desire to cast those things. Still good after all these years…a legacy!

To the point, we are all measured by what we leave behind.

JB is a fly fishing guide on the front range of Colorado, a part of the Sage Elite Pro Staff, and a long time friend.  When not on the water he can be found in his artist studio working on fish and other various metal sculptures.
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