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Camp Water

Camp water is close to home. Here you will find information on stuff happening here in the shop and on our local waters. You'll also find our weekly newsletter feature, Trailer Trash Thursday, a fun collection of fly fishing videos, perfect for a midweek distraction. If you don't get the newsletter, be sure to sign up today!

Winston Bamboo Rod Shop Destroyed

Joel La Follette - Tuesday, May 09, 2017
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Montana Standard Photo
Winston Rod Company Press Release
The R.L. Winston Rod Company suffered a great loss in history, tradition and the best bamboo rods on the market on Sunday morning, when the Winston Bamboo shop caught fire. It is suspected the fire resulted in a total loss of property and equipment, valued at over $1 million. Fortunately, no one was harmed and no damage to surrounding property occurred.

The fire took place exclusively at Winston's Bamboo shop. Our Boron/Graphite facility and Bauer Fly Reel operations run separately and business hours have not been affected.

More than the money, the fire feels like the passing of a cherished family member. Countless hours through many hands have shaped the fine bamboo rods that have passed through the now charred doors. It is not surprising the emotion Winston rods is feeling, and the healing process will take time. But, as we grieve, we also look to the future.

The R.L. Winston Rod Company has been in business for almost 90 years. A fire will not impede that history and continued growth, as we move forward. Every situation has two sides. We will choose to look at this as an opportunity and continue our passionate drive toward the future. Winston will be rebuilding the facility over the coming months and we hope to have operations running by the end of the year. It wont be easy, but this fire represents a great opportunity to reinforce our time-honored traditions and get back to our storied roots.

To our customers, we apologize for any inconvenience, but know that by 2018 we will be back up and running stronger than ever. Don't hesitate to place your orders now, knowing that the same quality with a heightened sense of place will be available again soon. We hope that you will follow us through this journey as we build the next chapter of the company's history!

Thank you for the initial out pouring of condolences and support! For more information please contact us, at or by phone at 406.684.5674.

R.L.Winston Rod Company Acquires Bauer Fly Reels

Joel La Follette - Thursday, May 05, 2016
This past Friday it was announced that the R.L.Winston Rod Company of Twin Bridges, Montana has acquired Bauer Fly Reels of Ashland, Oregon. This news caused quite a buzz in the fly fishing world, but what does it mean?

Well, it means that we can expect quality fly reels to continue to be produced by Bauer Fly Reels. I talked with Jon Bauer last week about entering this new phase of his business and both he and his wife, Barbara, seem excited about the future of the company. For now, things will continue as normal with both companies running independently. Bauer Fly Reels will still be produced and assembled here in Oregon. Eventually, we may see final assembly of these popular reels moved to Big Sky Country to be closer to Winston’s home base, with production remaining in Oregon.

I think Jon is looking forward to focusing on the design aspect in the years to come and handing off the day to day business operations. To those of us who love and fish his reels that means the innovation and design that has been a trademark of this Oregon based company will continue well into the future. It also means I may be able to get Jon to take me fishing again…

My personal opinion is that there are not two companies in this industry that are better matched. Both have raised the bar on quality fly tackle over the years and I expect them to continue that trend under the guidance of the R.L. Winston team.

Read the official release from the R. L. WInston Rod Company here.

Trailer Trash Thursday Funky Hat Edition

Joel La Follette - Thursday, April 07, 2016

While doing the normal search for great films to share on Trailer Trash Thursday I came upon this. Now, at first I thought my friends at Winston had brought out a new rod and forgot to tell me, but Josh 2.0 explained it's all about the hat. A hat. Who would have guessed that a  baseball cap would have a name, much less a whole video. Wow. It must be a cool hat. I think I'd better order some.

The Winston SE by Coal Headwear from COAL HEADWEAR on Vimeo.

Clipped Tying Contest Report

Joel La Follette - Wednesday, October 21, 2015
The feathers have settled and the judges have deliberated over the creations produced by the 2015 "Clipped" participants. It was an exciting contest with the playing field leveled by a change in the rules and the abundance of cake induced high energy. In the end, the results showed that you can't bet against the young guns of fly tying. George Marshall and Ian Wildermuth once again rose to the occasion and took home the top prizes with George edging out Ian by just a few points with his stunning Stonefly imitation. Jeff Hollamon rounded out the top three with his stylized Steelhead pattern and promises to share his secret of success at a future Tyer’s Table.

While all of the competitors had to deal with my collection of off-the-wall secret materials, the big surprise of the day was young Madison Tipps who seemed unfazed and very focused throughout her tying session. Madison scored a spiffy new Nautilus Reels T and trucker hat for the Woolly Bugger Award as the youngest entrant in the event. While it may take awhile for her to grow into the T-shirt, she's on her way to challenging the guys in next year's contest. If you want to see the future of fly tying, take a look, it’s right here.

In the celebrity division, Bill Black of Spirit River (our material sponsor) made a valiant effort to take home the glory and bragging rights, but fell short as Eric Neufeld of Raging River Sales garnered more popular votes and took the trophy. When Eric isn’t on the semi-pro fly tying and rodeo circuit he’s changing the world as our Simms/Winston/Nautilus/Airflo/Echo/Umpqua rep. Our thanks to both of these gentlemen and all of the competitors for making this year’s “Clipped” contest a big success. Let’s do it again next year!

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