I wasn't really sure if I'd have anything to blog about this weekend. I spent the whole past week preparing for a couple of tests at school, so fly fishing hasn't been at the forefront of my thoughts. It's never very far off, though! I've always had an interest in hand tool woodworking, being the son of a master carpenter, the love of wood was instilled in me at a very early age. Men like Norm Abrams and Roy Underhill were bigger heroes to me than Wade Boggs and Kirby Puckett. Most of my working life was spent in construction or a construction related field, so now, working on a computer all day, I've been seeking a creative outlet to work with my hands. I've been slowly collecting some hand tools lately, preferably vintage, American made tools, to get some small projects underway. I've got some things in the works, like a fly tying supply organizer, a bench for my patio and a small step stool, but I've been looking for things I can make from wood that are more fishing related. I decided to try making a presentation fly box. Not having a scroll or band saw, and preferring hand tools anyway, I've been searching for an acceptable coping saw. I received a flyer in the mail for an open house at WoodCraft Atlanta and on special, today only, was an English made, wooden handled coping saw that I thought would fit the bill nicely, until a vintage American model can be located.
The open house proved to be quite popular, the parking lot was almost full when I pulled in before 10:00 this morning. The store had some great show specials and discounts, including an additional 10% off your purchase if you arrived before 10am (sweet!). As soon as I walked in I nabbed the last coping saw they had off the shelf and started checking out the demonstrations.
The list of demonstrations for the day was pretty extensive: offset woodturning, bowl turning, scroll saw use, band saw tuning, hand plane tuning, hand plane use, and decorative inlay. And those were just the morning demonstrations on Saturday, there were at least as many after noon and also when the show started on Friday. But, the exhibitor I was most curious to see was Brian Richterkessing, from the Lure Foundry.
The listing on the flyer only said "Hand made fishing lures", so I really didn't know what I was going to find. As it turns out, Brian lathe-turns large, hardwood muskie lures following vintage designs and patterns from the 1920's through the 1950's. These stunning lures are all colored using the various hardwood species. Brian doesn't use any dies or stains. As Brian says, these would make great display pieces for the cabin or lake house, but they also catch fish. Each lure is tuned to match the swim patterns of the vintage lure they're based on. Brian is even experimenting with different densities of the hardwood to get the lures to swim at different depths!
When you purchase a lure from the Lure Foundry, it comes packed in a hand made, hardwood display box padded with burlap. There is also a multi-lure box if you purchase more than one. Or the granddaddy of the group, the Ultimate Tacklebox, a hand crafted box that holds a minimum of 24 of these big predator catchers. If that's not enough for you, the Lure Foundry also crafts wooden rod tubes and traditional style floats with the same care and attention as the lures.
Brian let me take some pictures of his lures at the open house, so I'll just let them speak for themselves. If you're interested in seeing more, or in purchasing from the Lure Foundry, you should check out his website, LureFoundry.com. I hope Brian doesn't mind, he's inspired me to try to make one of these lures for myself. While at WoodCraft I picked up a couple pieces of hardwood to give luremaking a go. Keep watching the blog, I'll post some pictures when I get it finished up.
Tight Lines and Happy Fishing,
|A three piece set of vintage style Muskie lures made of Redheart and American Holly.|
|A finished lure, three blanks, and a box lid in progress.|
|A single lure in it's presentation box.|
|The Ultimate Tackle Box, three cedar lures and you can see a rod tube to the left.|
|Some awesome looking floats in their presentation box. I may have to try making one of these boxes too!|