“If split cane fly rods are the spiritual height of fly fishing, then the R.L. Winston bamboo rod shop approaches a mystical place. A Mecca for the few who find their way to Twin Bridges, Montana, most anglers only hear rumors of bearded rod makers bent over benches, illuminated, one would suppose, by a magical ray of Western sunlight. Until now, the heart of their discussions and the secrets of their techniques were only the stuff of conjecture and dreams. In A Wisp in the Wind, rod maker and dedicated fly fisher Jerry Kustich invites us through the rod shop door and bids us welcome. We meet the craftsmen we’ve only imagined, free thinking rod makers with humor, dedication, and lively conversation, immersed in the business of beveling cane strips and committed to the ideal that each of us, every angler, is going to have to fight for the future of every trout. As much a celebration of a life spent fishing, enriched by both the solitude and the company found there, as an observation of the lessons learned from halcyon kingfishers and elusive bull trout, Kustich takes us steelheading in British Columbia, spring creek fishing on Poindexter Slough, and late winter fishing on the Bitterroot. We travel along through the history of the Winston Company – of Lew Stoner, Robert Winther and their successors. We face the inevitability of the passing of eras, of people, and wild places with an activist’s hope. We ponder slowing the clock as precious moments seem to race by, faithful friends and family slipping into our dreams. And we consider, why bamboo? What is a “bamboo kind of day”? Any angler, with graphite or cane, who has found peace in the simplicity of a line well cast or a moment beyond the reach of time, will understand the quest and understand the greatest truth: the journey is the goal. A Wisp in the Wind is a journey well worth taking.”
—Kathy Scott, author of Moose in the Water/Bamboo on the Bench and Headwaters Fall as Snow
“Quietly but fiercely independent, free from the commercialism that cloaks the fly fishing world like a fungus, and full of a dozen key skills — from a remarkably fresh look at bamboo rods and fine bamboo rod-making to shrewd reading of the water — Jerry Kustich gives us a book that sings and sticks.”
— Nick Lyons, former publisher, and author of Full Creel and Spring Creek
“Jerry Kustich is a unique and honest voice in fly fishing today. A Wisp in the Wind is the saga of how one man mixes the art of crafting fine bamboo fly rods, a lust for fly fishing, and his personal and urgent message to preserve our North American trout. Through it all and with good humor Kustich comes up with a lifestyle that’s as close to living the dream as you can get.”
— Ed Engle, author of Splitting Cane and Fly Fishing the Tailwaters
“This book is about those things worth passing on to another generation: fine bamboo rods, clean rivers, and the courage to live creatively. Underneath a Zen-like calm that runs through A Wisp in the Wind, it is clear that Kustich is
willing to fight for those things he holds dear. I recommend the book to anglers concerned about their legacy as well as to those concerned about their inheritance.”
— Jay Nichols, Managing Editor of Fly Fisherman
“More than any other sport, fly fishing has a rich ore of stories running though it. Many of our contemporary writers come close, but don’t touch pay dirt. There is, I suggest, too much intellectualizing from men and women who fish little and write much. Jerry Kustich, in person and in his books, is the real thing. His words are forged in deep relationship with water and the fish that live there, true to the sport of fly fishing and to the joy that all of us find there. In A Wisp in the Wind, Jerry is at home and you will be as well.”
— Tom Helgeson, editor and publisher of Midwest Fly Fishing
About the Author
Jerry Kustich has worked at R.L. Winston Rods for twenty-one years. He authored At the River’s Edge and co-authored Fly Fishing for Great Lakes Steelhead with his brother, Rick.
Ebook available in two formats: Kindle and Epub.