• Black Dog Fast Action, Freshwater, 4 piece
  • Black Dog Fast Action, Freshwater, 4 piece
  • Black Dog Fast Action, Freshwater, 4 piece
  • Black Dog Fast Action, Freshwater, 4 piece
  • Black Dog Fast Action, Freshwater, 4 piece
  • Black Dog Fast Action, Freshwater, 4 piece
  • Black Dog Fast Action, Freshwater, 4 piece
  • Black Dog Fast Action, Freshwater, 4 piece
  • Black Dog Fast Action, Freshwater, 4 piece
  • Black Dog Fast Action, Freshwater, 4 piece
  • Black Dog Fast Action, Freshwater, 4 piece
  • Black Dog Fast Action, Freshwater, 4 piece
  • Black Dog Fast Action, Freshwater, 4 piece
  • Black Dog Fast Action, Freshwater, 4 piece
  • Black Dog Fast Action, Freshwater, 4 piece
  • Black Dog Fast Action, Freshwater, 4 piece
  • Black Dog Fast Action, Freshwater, 4 piece
  • Black Dog Fast Action, Freshwater, 4 piece
  • Black Dog Fast Action, Freshwater, 4 piece
  • Black Dog Fast Action, Freshwater, 4 piece
  • Black Dog Fast Action, Freshwater, 4 piece
  • Black Dog Fast Action, Freshwater, 4 piece

Black Dog Fast Action, Freshwater, 4 piece

$699.00

The Black Dog is a tribute rod to our black lab Montana.  Montana is estimated to have been present in the shop for at least 4500 fly rods.  For the Wing Shooter or the Dog Lover this fast action fly rod with Labrador Retriever with folded paw engraved on the gun stock walnut reel seat is a must.   Montana lived to be 15 and her favorite color bandanna was red...  and every Black Dog fly rod comes with a red bandanna and black flannel rod bag.  She would never get tired on a day of fishing, and was always ahead of you on the trail.  So just like Montana, this rod is a stout fast action.  

Each Black Dog is made custom, so before or during the ordering process, please reach out to JP to talk about what other custom attributed you would like on your fly rod. 

Just email JP Right Here....  

jpross@jprossflyrods.com

 Please note that the black band on the grip is just a rubber shrink wrap and can be easily removed. Also note that the we do not discriminate, and we love all Labs...  Not just Black ones. 

 I’ve got a fishing partner and I’m lucky to say that she looks as good in waders as she does when she cleans up and wears high heels. Her wit is as sharp as her hooks and the occasional glance can convey more than 1,000 words for most people. She is adoringly cute but can lambaste the river or the fish that got away before it landed in the net with an unabashed string of curses that would make a grizzled old sailor blush. It’s simply her way and who she is…

We often fish a few hundred feet apart when it’s just the two of us on the water and we communicate by an old mountain holler, a “whoop” to be more blunt. Usually when one of us hook up a fish or it can be a simple “I’m ready to move up the river and I won’t see you for a while because I’m in the zone so don’t bother me”. Like I said it’s simply her way and who she is. She can say a lot in a simple “whoop”.

I could certainly take a minute to tell you about the time when we were fishing The Williams’ fork in Colorado and heard the tell tale “whoop” that she had a fish on. Of course, I was a couple hundred yards downstream (and by the whoop I knew it was going to be a good one) so I ambled my way out of the water and up the stream bed only to be greeted with swear words that rode the wind down to me and filled the beautiful Colorado river canyon with the angst and anger that a slow net will provide a fisherman. She’s beautiful though.

Now, I’m not a gear whore who lusts after the newest and shiniest tool that comes on to the market. As a matter of fact, until just recently I carried an old school two- piece 9’ 5 weight and reveled in the pieces of our shared fishing history that told tales, had a soul, or was at least 50 years old. I like the older things that my father or grandfather would have used. That was until recently.

My fishing credentials are terrible—I have no photos of me landing a lunker and I haven’t fly fished my whole life as I came to it rather late (about 35) when my body had amassed too many injuries from climbing , hockey, and other assorted dumb deeds of my youth. When faced with another shoulder surgery and the potential of keeping me out of the woods I turned to fly fishing to slow me down and keep me outside. At first, that’s all that fishing was to me: an excuse to get outside. BUT. And that’s a really big butt I have had the opportunity to fish a few rivers because I travel for a living. Idaho, Montana, New Hampshire, Vermont, North Carolina, Oregon, Kentucky, Tennessee, Colorado, etc… And in the process of traveling, I have covered a fair amount of water. With my old fashioned two piece and my beautiful bride who, by the way, manages to demurely land the bigger fish on almost every road trip we take, we travel the back roads with solely the promise of new water and gas station coffee to inspire us.

I certainly have pictures of her with huge fish but none of my own. I’ve come to learn a few things a long the way but most notably it is the sense of enjoyment and contentment that I found when I poorly try to entice a trout, with terrible technique, to take one of my flies. The zen is standing outside a pool with rising trout with a fly rod. The anti-zen is when none of those trout find my presentation or bug to their liking, leaving me feel less than the outdoorsman and provider for my family than I consider myself to be.

And that is a bit of a stretch—I don’t really put that much weight into fishing. Most days.

A few months ago I was able to make the acquaintance of one JP Ross who happened to make Fly Rods out of his shop near the Adirondacks in New York State. Like I said before, I appreciate the older things and the conversations about carbon fiber and guide metallurgy go way over my head. JP has taken his engineering background and has placed it squarely in his passion to build a better fly rod. Me? I can talk a little bit about how it feels in the hand and how it responds to different casts and that about exhausts my knowledge on the subject…

But I can tell you that this new fangled rod is crafted with an eye for detail that rivals the details of the things that I have that are old and true. He does as much to create a heritage rod as the English engravers did on old side x side bird guns, the strength of a stitch in a 50 year old hunting jacket, or the taper of a bamboo rod that I once had the pleasure of fishing. As a matter of fact, his work is stunning. The rod he built for me includes some endearing features: feather inlays on the shaft that are based on the upland game birds that I love to hunt, an honest to god agate stripping guide set in blued silver, engraved reel seats in exotic woods. He took the time to etch a mayfly on the butt cap and the gold folding hook keeper is like a trigger on the shotgun as is the hammered look of the hardware on the reel seat. Another feature that he put on the rod was to brilliantly put the canter slightly off center on the strip guides—it loads the line remarkably faster which allowed me a bit more distance and finesse when I was reaching to put that fly on the pool on the side of the ripple. Did I mention that the pole was actually based on a picture of my big headed but loyal yellow lab?

In an effort of full disclosure please let me tell you that I’m not that fancy and have never had anything quite as nice as the rod that JP built for me. Sure, I’ve gotten to fish with other rods (shall go nameless) but I can tell you that from the very first ten minutes of casting this sublimely elegant fly rod became an extension of an heretofore unknown ability to cast. A simple flick of the wrist made my mends nicer, the line loaded so well that I was casting another 10-15’ farther and was able to lay the fly down nicer than I have ever done before.

I’ll let some one else who knows a lot more about the technical details tell you what the rod is about but I can tell you that I will be handing this rod down to my kid when the cork is worn and tempered by time and water.

It was exceptionally cold that first day that I fished that rod (18 degrees on a very cold Laurel River in the shadows of the Western North Carolina Mountains) but time seemed to pass pretty quick. And I wish I was able to give you an idea of how the rod responded with a fish on but, alas, I was skunked that day. Typical fish story for me.

We didn’t fish for every hour of daylight we had available as we normally do. After all, we had a cabin nearby that had a fireplace in the main room and a bottle of KY bourbon in the cabinet and it wasn’t long before I heard the soft “whoop” of my frozen wife. I knew this “whoop” to mean: “I’m cold, my fingers are frozen because you forget to give the hand-warmers before we left the house and you are too engaged in that new rod to see me up river suffering and not catching any fish”.

I would love to send you a picture of the rod if you like. Or my dog. I have plenty of those. But don’t ask me to send you a picture of my wife. If you ever meet her on the river you will know exactly who she is.  

 

Sincerely Joseph Lloyd, proud owner and field tester of the first "Black Dog"

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