Barder’s Tonkin Tales -Part 2.

The nine bales of Tonkin bamboo I went to Berlin to select a fortnight ago arrived yesterday.

Colin and I spent today sorting through 90 Tonkin culms. The best portion of each one is retained. Uses for the off-cuts include float cases, displaying Chrysanthemums in, making irritating wind chimes from and surprisingly inferior kindling.

The 90 new culms fill the top rack of our bamboo store. The air is very warm and dry up there. The ideal place for Tonkin culms to acclimatize before we make fine fishing rods from them.

The aftermath. A lot of clearing up to do. Alfie, my endearing but exceedingly annoying little dog hates it when he’s not the centre of attention, so he shows off by digging holes the size of open cast mines in which he buries the indescribably filthy tennis balls he finds in the river. Today’s effort threatens to undermine the foundations of the shed next door so we’ve got to fill in in.

When were not burying the dog alive or going to great lengths to seek out and season wonderful bamboo to make rods from, we like to bring to your attention items of fishing tackle of such exquisite desirability and fascinating loveliness that you must think it’s Christmas all over again. In stock are some superb fly rods by ourselves and the late Tom Moran, reels by Chris Lythe and one of ours, a Bernard Venables landing net, a Chris Yates landing net and a leash of superb Chris Yates barbel rods.

Don’t dash off. There’s more. In the next few days, I will bring you details of three more things that may change your lives for the better. An exceptionally early ultra rare B. James & Son Avocet (presented as a Daily Mirror Prize Rod by Bernard Venables) an almost as rare Allcocks Lever Type ‘Mahseer’ Aerial centrepin and the centrepin reel that Richard Walker made for his friend ‘BB’.

While you mull all of this over while trying hard not to succumb to sensory over-load, why not divert yourself this weekend on a river somewhere. The flood waters have largely subsided, springs are running hard and the water has taken on that jade green hue that strongly suggests a big perch or chub is on the cards.

Until next time

Edward Barder and Colin Whitehouse