I have been building and thinking about landing nets for over 25 years and have developed my own jargon to describe my nets, often with a story connected to the person or event that inspired that design.
As you look through the galleries of past nets and currently available nets, you may see the color and wood of one net that you want to combine with the handle and hoop of another. Feel free to contact me and discuss your ideas. Together we can create a new story.
Buying one of these nets is meant to be fun, not frustrating, please feel free to contact me if you have questions. My nets typically start at $220 and vary in price with the wood selected and the complexity of the added features.
THE CLASSIC STYLE: A time that never was
As I acquired nice rods, finely made reels and good friends over the last 40 years, I found that fishing wasn't a game of numbers but a game of memories. When I made my first net I found another pleasure. This was the first style of the first landing net that I made. I thinks it looks like is belongs on a classic English trout stream. I find no historic record of very elaborate nets from that earlier time, but there should have been. This landing net's "traditional" hoop shape is modified from a classic Valentine heart. I think of as my Classic handle and hoop. It is a very good selection for general trout fishing.
All my nets feature a soft nylon catch and release bag or may be fitted with a ghost bag with a slightly larger hoop, as a custom option. All nets are signed and numbered. They feature my unique epoxy finish to enhance and protect.
CANE CLASSIC DESIGN
Lyle Dickerson produced some of the finest cane rods made anywhere, in the state of Michigan. A little known fact is that he made fly fishing nets as well. I had the privilege of inspecting one of his creations. This hoop shape was inspired by that opportunity. This fly fishing net style is available in a variety of wood combinations and hoop sizes. Nets may feature a soft nylon catch and release bag or may be fitted with a ghost bag, as a custom option. All nets are signed and numbered. All net are finished with a multi-coat epoxy finish.
While fishing out East on the Beaverkill, I had the pleasure to meet Tom and his son casting fine bamboo rods and sipping good scotch. Tom brought out piece after piece of historical fly fishing memorabilia to share with me. They wanted a landing net with a slightly rounded traditional sized hoop and a shorter handle for ease of carrying. During that conversation we designed this landing net style. The hoop is 12 x 10 inches with a handle of 8-10 inches. Shown in Texas ebony and birds eye maple. This fly fishing net is available in a variety of woods. All nets feature a soft nylon catch and release bag or may be fitted with a ghost bag, as a custom option. All nets are signed and numbered.
HIGH MOUNTAIN MEMORIES
I was fishing a high mountain valley with a meadow stream when I found a small elk antler. It was somebody's reject, with saw marks and broken tips. To me, I saw the makings of memories. The day had been spectacular with flashes of sun and thunder. I had the valley to myself for one special day of risk and reward. Since that first landing net I have use the same method to make others, using deer, elk and caribou. All are finished with my unique epoxy finish. All my nets are signed and numbered.
THE FRIAR'S FRYING PAN
Father John reminisced about a landing net he purchased in a small shop in the East when he as a younger man. He loved its circular shape but the trout net and the fly shop are now only memories. Together we designed this fishing net. This is a great landing net for small streams. The hoop is about 9 x 10 inches, its shape became the basic for my Tenkara style nets. Shown in walnut with a 10 inch handle. This fly fishing net is available in a variety of woods and handle shapes. All nets feature a soft nylon catch and release bag but maybe fitted with a ghost style net bag in a larger hoop size. All nets are signed and numbered.
THE GB SPECIAL DESIGN
For 20 years GB carried a paper pattern of an old broken landing net he had seen while fishing in the Adirondacks. During a conversation, he told me the story of this broken trout net and his pattern. This fly fishing net is the result of translating that paper pattern into wood. The hoop is elongated was 14 x 8 inches. This fly fishing net is available in a variety of woods, handle shapes and hoop sizes. All nets feature a soft nylon catch and release bag but may be fitted with a ghost bag, as a custom option with a slightly larger hoop size. Finished with multiple coats of epoxy. All nets are signed and numbered.
IMAGES OF AFRICA: A Custom Landing Net
This style was inspired by a trip I made to South Africa. The animals and the land had colors of warm browns and tans in the dry season that I had not envisioned. This net is my attempt to capture that feeling with the Zebrawood and Texas Ebony in the handle and hoop. The blocks of Black Palm represent the patterns seen in the animals and are used to form the center of the handle.
The net is finished with a deep epoxy finish. All my nets are signed and numbered. Shown with a nylon catch and release bag but may be ordered a custom landing net with a slightly larger hoop to fit a ghost style net bag.
THE WESTERN HANDLE STYLE
Sometimes friends come and go too quickly. Mark had been in Grand Rapids only a year before he was moving back to the West with his family. He wanted a modern style handle with an angled handle butt and this unique handle shape was conceived. He liked the red box-elder lumber, as he was reminded of the streams he fished in the west. I have added a couple other examples of how the handle can be altered. This handle can be combined with a variety of hoop sizes and shapes. My nets are priced starting at $220.
WIND IN THE WILLOWS HANDLE: Designs From Nature
Mother Nature gave me this design. There was a curved intrusion in a beautifully grained piece of walnut. I was intrigued and cut out a handle following its shape. The finished landing net reminded me of a willow bent by the wind next to a favorite trout stream. I continue to look at boards to find grain that follows the curved lines of this handle. The net has a deep epoxy finish to enhance and protect.
This fly fishing net style is available in a variety of woods, hoop shapes and sizes. All nets feature a soft nylon catch and release bag or may be fitted with a ghost bag, as a custom option. All nets are signed and numbered.
ORVIS SPECIAL EDITION FLY FISHING LANDING NET
Can't believe it was more than 15 years ago. Driving through Vermont I stopped in to show my fly fishing nets to a friend at Orvis. He was impress by my work and requested a special edition trout net with birds eye maple and black walnut. These nets were customized with a deer antler handle end and a scrimshaw of a dry fly. Only 30 nets were made for the edition. Each landing net was signed and numbered.
Friendship runs like a river of light through our lives. My friend has pasted away and I miss him.
You are walking down the river and there in the bottom of a pool you see a trout, it rolls and drifts. How did that fish just disappear? As I have grown older I enjoy looking for and fishing to working fish. If I am successful I like to pause for a moment to really try and see the individuality of a fish before I release it.
Now I look for wood and figure where I can see an image in that piece of lumber. I have added just enough detail so you can see it too. The trout for each of these nets is drawn and inlaid by hand. No lasers or computers were harmed in the production of these nets.
The handle is birds eye maple selected so the tones in the wood enhance the inlay. There is a limited accent of walnut for contrast. Each fish is individually drawn, then incised and inlaid. I started with a brown trout and have added a brook trout and rainbow trout to the mix. The nets are inlaid with brass, wood and colored stone. The net has an epoxy finish and is available with a nylon bag. A ghost style bag is available as a custom order with a slightly larger hoop. Each of my nets are signed and numbered before leaving the shop.
A design I enjoy making and sharing. Please send me an email about your special order. Typically priced $375-400.
During my life time we have lost American Ash and Elm to invasive species. I build these nets to remember and reflect on how much the forest of our country has changed over so little time.
American Chestnut trees were the giants of the primeval forest in North America when first settled. Under these trees the ground was so shaded that man and animal could pass freely. This forest was lost to a fungus invading from Asia in the 1890's. From the barns and houses of the 1800's and early 1900's, boards of this wood are recovered for re-use. In addition a young tree will push up from the roots left in place, only to be killed by the same disease. This lumber is part of the American soil and heritage.
During my life, I recall the street lined with large American Elms as they canopied over the streets of my childhood. Those trees were lost to another invasive beetle and fungus. This lumber is from the trees that were lost on the farm of my youth.
The style of this landing net may vary but the wood selection remains the same. This wood selection is available in a variety of handle and hoop shapes. All nets feature a soft nylon catch and release bag or may be fitted with a ghost bag, as a custom option. The nets are finished with a unique epoxy finish. All nets are signed and numbered.
SMALL IS IN THE MIND
There are those that will walk extended distances and climb mountains to find a small stream and the hidden gems that live in the pools of crystal water. In these streams a fish is measured by beauty not inches. I make these small landing nets with a hoop 25 to 33 inches circumference and about 14 inches to 22 inches long. Finished with multiple costs of epoxy. This style of net is available as a custom order in a variety of woods and shapes. Nylon catch and release bags only.
AMERICAN TENKARA STYLE, a smaller net for elegant fishing.
There are conversations that introduce you to a whole different world of ideas and view point. A call about building a net introduced me to the Japanese style of Tenkara fishing. I have admired Japanese design and their respect for hand craft. I hope this design reflects that aesthetic.
The common element for this style of nets is the 9 x 9 inch hoop. (32 inch circumference hoop) and longer handle. The handles which are slightly longer than the typical Western trout net, is about 12-14 inch in length. This landing net is good for protecting the tip of a bamboo rod as well for Tenkara style fishing.
This fly fishing net style is available in a variety of woods, hoop shapes and sizes. These nets feature a soft nylon catch and release bag. I find that ghost style net bags do not work well in smaller net frames. All nets are signed and numbered.