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Clam River Classics

Welcome to Clam River Classics, home of The Planing Form newsletter. My name is Kirk Brumels and many hours of my childhood were spent exploring the natural wonder of the fields, forests, rivers and lakes of northern Michigan. One of my favorite spots was the Clam River, a classic brook trout stream that drew me into the art of fly fishing and has yet to let me go. Mornings, afternoons, and evenings on the Clam River provided an environment so complex in beauty that it simplified life. Plying these waters as a young boy, started me on a lifetime love affair with fly-fishing and all things related. 

Over time, I began to develop an interest in building and making fly rods to fish with. I started with fiberglass and graphite, but about ten years ago, I was fortunate enough to be mentored in the art of making split bamboo fly rods by Ron Barch, an instrumental figure in the craft and art of making split bamboo fly rods. Ron is a teacher, presenter, advocate, and ambassador for the craft of making split bamboo fly rods. He was the editor of The Planing Form newsletter for 25 years until his retirement in 2014, at which time I took over the editorial duties of the newsletter.

Clam River Classics, as a business name provides a respectful tip of the cap along with a nod of appreciation toward a trout stream and a mentor where bamboo excels. Both are classics in my world and I am proud and humbled to offer The Planing Form newsletter as a resource to those who make and enjoy split bamboo fly rods.