Premium Fly Rod Blanks made in the U.S.A.

If the price is just a little out of your reach for one of the finest fly rods in the World?  Build your own!
T. L. Johnson Rod Company is now making their fly rods available in blanks.  The cost is half the finished fly rod price.  That’s right… You can buy a T. L. Johnson Emerger 2 fly rod ($375 finished) blank for $187.50.  Even if you use high end components, you can build it for under $300.  The LX, L2X, LL, SL2 and SLP blanks are $342.50 also.  Again, finish it yourself for $450 – $500.
Most U.S. rod manufacturers build most of their blanks in the U.S., but their low end models have blanks that are built overseas and then assembled in the U.S.  Unlike other manufacturers, Terry Johnson doesn’t put his name on his import line.  His Fish Creek fly rods are built overseas to his exacting specifications and are great casting and affordable, but are sold under the Fish Creek brand.  If it has the T. L . Johnson name, you know the rods are made entirely in the U.S.A.  Terry has his own shop where he builds all the blanks for his T. L. Johnson brand.  His patented high-modulus graphite, using exclusive carbon helix uni-directional construction techniques, creates a blank with superior hoop strength as well as improved response.  His exclusive ferruling system reduces section to section flat spots, swing weight and has a smoother load transfer. T.L. Johnson’s commitment to the highest quality is apparent in his entire collection.

Purchasing a T.L. Johnson rod buys you a certain exclusivity not available with the more popular U.S. brands.
Treat yourself to possibly the BEST rods Made in the U.S.A.
The quality of his rods are putting the fly fishing industry on notice. “Build it right or stay home.”
This is T.L. Johnson country!

Contact me if you have any questions regarding availability.

Tight Lines————-<*))))><
Larry Snyder
Phone: 303-755-2105

Denver Metro – Project Healing Waters Fly Fishing

Denver ‘Project Healing Waters Fly Fishing‘ wants to expand what we can offer our Disabled Veterans this coming year.  I’m asking anyone, in the Denver area, who would like to volunteer their services, time, expertise (whatever you’ve got), to meet us at the Rock Bottom Brewery, County Line Rd and I-25, next Tues, December 29th at 6:30 After 3 meetings, we are considering holding a Pro-Am Fly Fishing Competition.  Details are to be worked out, but some things decided are to have a Fly Casting competition and auctions on Friday and Saturday evening in mid June and then the Fishing Competition featuring 10 rafts floating the Colorado River each with a Professional from local Fly Shops and an Amateur fisherman on Sunday.  Media rafts with representation from ESPN and local TV stations covering the event.  There will be auctions with products from Fly Fishing manufacturers all to raise money to send our soldiers on Fly Fishing trips as well as teaching them how to tie flies and fly casting.  This weekend event will culminate in either Vail or Silverthorne, CO.

Let’s brainstorm what we can offer our soldiers and how to best achieve some lofty goals for 2010.  One thing we want to try to implement is rod building.  We just received a donation of about 70 fly rod blanks from Terry Johnson of  T.L. Johnson Rod Co. to start our rod building classes.  We’ll throw some other ideas against the walls and see what sticks.  Let’s show all those guys who have given a part of themselves, so we can enjoy freedom in this great country, that we appreciate them and have their health and well-being in our hearts.

If you want to help out this year, contact me so we can get you involved.

Larry Snyder
Phone: 303-755-2105

Fly Fishing – from “Bust” to “Boon”

Last week, I got up at 5am to drive 135 miles to fly fish for Kokanee Salmon (a landlocked cousin to the Sockeye).  I left Denver around 6:45, stopped for coffee in Woodland Park and was fishing on the Dream Stream (a short stretch of “Catch and Release ” water on the South Platte River between Spinney Mt. Reservoir and Eleven Mile Reservoir) in South Park, Colorado by 8:30.

The air was cool and the wind was calm.  The Kokanee should have been plentiful and range from 16 to 20 inches.  They should have been easy to spot in the river as during the spawn, they turn dark red.  I wanted to be challenged by these hard fighting acrobatic fish, so I decided to use my 9’0″ 3 weight Elkhorn 4 piece Traveler fly rod and Elkhorn T-1 fly reel.  I tied a red San Juan Worm onto my 5X tippet and then tied another foot long piece of 5X tippet to the bend of the hook and added a pink salmon egg fly to the end of that.

I had parked at the second (of 3) parking areas and started fishing downstream.  It wasn’t long before I was concerned about having a successful day.  I saw no salmon in the water and only caught a couple of small 5 to 6 inch brown trout on the salmon egg.  The air was warming and the sun climbing.  The number of fishermen were increasing as the morning wore on.  I decided to work my way upstream from the parking area and came across a 20″ brown trout lying dead along the edge of the stream.  A gorgeous fish that had the misfortune of being caught by someone who doesn’t know the proper way to revive a big fish after exhausting it in battle.  It gave me pause as I pondered the 3 weight rod I had chosen.  It’s one thing to have fun exhausting a salmon that will be dieing soon after spawning but these big brown trout and rainbows that are there to feed on the eggs of the salmon need to be revived and released properly.  I had a T.L. Johnson SLX 9’0″ 5 weight fly rod and Stone Creek M60 fly reel in the car, but I was already a quarter mile upstream and decided to continue with my chosen gear.  I knew I had to do everything right if I was fortunate enough to hook up with one of these monsters.

As I worked my way up stream, I talked with a couple of fly fishers who said they had seen a group of about 8 or 10 salmon in a hole about a quarter of a mile farther up, so that’s were I headed.  The farther I went upstream, the more crowded the river, so I decided to stop at a deep hole by a bend in the river.  As the morning neared end, the wind started to pick up.  I could see some fish moving around in the deep water and thought they looked dark enough to be salmon. As one cast drifted below the fish I was seeing, I had a strike.  My first rainbow trout of the day.  A nice fat 12 incher on the egg again.

After trying to cast a double fly rig into the wind with a 3 weight fly rod, I decided to cross above the hole and fish it from the other side.  I also replaced the dropper egg pattern with a size 16 buckskin nymph.  A few casts later, I was into a big fish.  With the 3 weight fly rod doubled almost in half, I put as much pressure on him as I could.  He cleared the water with a mighty jump and I saw it was a big brown trout.  I layed the rod over to steer him to the slack water along the edge and was finally able to grab the tail of the 20″+ beautiful male with kyped jaw.  He was fat and heavy. As I tried to remove the barbless hook of the busckskin from his jaw, a might shake of his head broke the tippet. I slid my other hand under his belly and lifted him out of the water for a photo.

Remembering the dead trout, I had seen earlier downstream, I took all the time this great fish needed to revive, holding his head facing upstream to let the water wash through his gills.  Water moving through their gills is like air breathed into our lungs. After a minute or two, I felt the pulsing in his tail strengthen.  Finally with a powerful shake of his body, he pulled away from my light grasp and swam back into the hole with my fly still in his mouth.  I tied a pheasant tail nymph on as the dropper and resumed fishing.  A Second big fish took the fly.  Fighting equally hard and on a big jump, I saw it was about a 19 – 20″ rainbow, but before I could bring it in and release it, it performed it’s own “long distance” release.  My philosophy is… fly fishing is all about “perpetrating the fraud”.  If you can get a trout, especially big trout, to take an artificial fly, it’s a successful catch.  Several more casts and I was into my second 20″+ brown trout.  Another nice fight, another safe release and I turned a “bust” salmon fishing day into a “boon” trout day.

Tight Lines———-<*))))><
Larry Snyder

Quick trip to the Big Thompson River

Big Thompson River

Big Thompson River

I’ve been devoting all my time lately to marketing my website and ignoring what caused my to create it.  It’s been too long since I put on the waders and strung the line through a fly rod.  So, I got up this morning, way to late for a good day of fishing, and decided to head up to Loveland, CO and fish the Big Thompson where it comes out of the Canyon.  I’ve never fished this stretch before and didn’t know where to go or what to expect.

It felt good.  I did a little fishing and a little catching and some little fish, but it felt right.  I need this more often.  I consider an eight inch Rainbow and a trio of six inch browns a success any day.  The big ones, when I get them, are a bonus.

Maybe a trip to the Colorado River or the South Platte later this week!

T.L. Johnson Rods – what people are saying

TL Johnson Synergy Glass

TL Johnson Synergy Glass

If there were a picture of perfectionist in the “fly rod” dictionary, it would be of Terry Johnson.  I will be writing a full Product Review on T.L. Johnson Rods and his new Reel soon but for now, Terry Johnson is coming out with several new models and reworking some of the old to “freshen up” his already fantastic line.  Here are some quotes I’ve been finding on-line. PAULRITTEN wrote: “Just picked up a new TL Johnson rod and figured that I don’t see many reviews of these that I’d add mine… Anyway, I took it up to the mountains this weekend in search of trout…. The rod is a new one, but is the old style (green blank). I have no idea if the new colored blanks coming out have a different action
Admittedly, I prefer newer glass rods to the classic Fenwicks, Silaflex’s, etc that have so many benefactors, so please keep that in mind. I find the classic rods to be a bit “thick” and this rod is definately not that. This rod is fast! Quite a bit faster than my Diamondglass 8′ 4 weight (my favorite of the line) or or event the 6′ 5 weight. I’d actually put it up there with my Winston WT graphite rods. In other words, exactly what I was looking for image
I had the rod strung up with a TT4 line and was able to cast amazing distances although it load as closely as the Diamondglass 4 weight. Still, the area I was fishing is just covered with little pools (20 – 30′ long) followed by a small drop-off to the next pool. I was easily able to stand in the middle of one pool and work the next pool back to front even into a Rocky Mountain wind.
There were numerous little brookies and cutts that were about the length of my hand and the rod certainly did give some “life” to those fish, but was in no way overpowered by the 14″ brookie either.
In my mind, this rod is perfect for the mountain west – short, powerful, able to cast quite a distance, and able to handle wind. If you prefer a rod that loads more quickly, this probably isn’t it (maybe uplining it would work?) – but for out here in Colorado I think it is my new go-to rod.”
swampsavage wrote: “I have one on the way… looking forward to receiving it. The reviews have been great and it may well be my “go to” rod for Appalachian blue line streams. Got plenty of 4, 5, and 6wt lines (WF and DT) to try out on it. Hope to be giving reports from the Cherokee Nat’l Forest and Smoky Mtn Nat’l Park next year, God willing.” Pocono wrote: “I’m considering purchasing an 8’0″ Synergy SG rod from Terry Johnson. Conceptually, I like the idea of using graphite in the butt section to give it a little more power and to keep the blank profile thinner. Does anyone have any experience with this rod/blank? If so, I’d appreciate hearing from you before I go ahead and make the purchase.”
gearboy wrote “Pocono, Check the post by PaulRitten in Fishing with Fiberglass about a TL rod. I’ve only ever heard great things about any of his rods. They don’t get mentioned much here and not sure why.”
Pocono wrote “Thanks for the feedback. When I talked to Terry he said that he was making the Synergy SG with E glass, not S glass. He also has a new blank color; which he’s calling buck. He was going to send me some pictures of the new blanks (he described the color as similar to the old Phillipson eponite blanks), but I haven’t seen anything from him yet. It’s the 8’0″ 4 wt. that I’m interested in.”
Mountainshark wrote “Pocono, you will not be disappointed in any of the TL Johnson rods. I have the 8′ 5 wt, 7’6 4/5 wt, and 7′ 4 wt, all of the rods cast great and have the look and feel of the high quality glass rod that they are. The work, service and knowledge that comes out of his shop is second to none. The 8′ 5wt is one of my favorite rods when I hunt big fish, it performs like glass, but has power down deep in the butt section when it’s needed. The 4 wt’s are wonderful dry fly rods for the rivers and streams I fish here. So far, I have not had a single complaint from anyone who has used one. I’m not sure why some guys get hung up on the fact that there is graphite in the butt section. To me it seems like not buying a modern car because there is plastic parts on it.”
PAULRITTEN wrote: “Mountainshark:….. I agree – his workmanship is second to none. I have been lucky enough to see in person his entire line of rods and he will soon be making me a graphite 7wt to replace a Winston that I just can’t get comfortable with (although he doesn’t know it yet…). His service is unbelievable as well – how many builders will hand deliver a rod to you after apologizing that it took 2 weeks instead of 1 to get your rod done (due to a family emergency I might add). Add to that the fact that his blanks are rolled in his own shop to tapers that I find outstanding, and what’s not to like? When you compare his prices and rods to those of the big boys – no comparison in my mind. I’m sure Steffen and others are the same, but it seems like Terry gets overlooked a bit.”

Well folks… that’s just a teaser on 1 of Terry Johnson’s products, the Synergy Glass SG Series.  I’ve fished his graphite Synergy SLX and have never had a rod that can cast into the wind with the ease of this rod.

MORE TO COME…. I’ll give you a rundown on all his new products as soon as I have all the details.. you can see what’s currently available at Fly Fishing CRAZY.

See you on the BACK CAST!
Tight Lines————-<*))))><
Larry Snyder
Owner: Rocky Mountain Web Connection, LLC

Fly Fish Addiction Blogspot needs to be in your bookmark list!

CRAZY about fly fishing?  The owner, author, fly fisher and inspiration for and is the real deal and, no doubt in my mind, he is CRAZY about Fly Fishing.  I had the opportunity to have coffee with Tradd (TroutDawg) Duggan this morning.  We talked about fishing Colorado, Alaska, Michigan, Montana, Yellowstone National Park and even Patagonia.

We discussed Fly rods and Fly Reels.  I showed him some examples of products I have on my website by Elkhorn Rod and Reel, T.L. Johnson Rod Company and Stone Creek Ltd. and we discussed fly fishing gear, whether it’s to fish for small stream trout, salt water fishing, or monster trout and 20 pounds of tackle busting muscle packed into a huge, ugly carp.  The passion is for the fight, not always the beauty.

I came away from this morning’s meeting with the perception that Tradd is one of the best resources for fishing the Colorado Rocky Mountains. He has the passion to fish two to three times a week and still find the time to write blogs about his trips.  I’ve read many of his blogs and although I recognize many of the areas he fishes, he has fished places that most of us dream about.   Visit him at and see for yourself. He’s one of my Fly Fishing CRAZY buddies and I look forward to fishing some of the streams and lakes in Colorado’s Rocky Mountain National Park with TroutDawg. Watch for further updates.

Tight Lines——–<*))))><
Larry Snyder
Owner: Rocky Mountain Web Connection, LLC
Fly Fishing Crazy