Dawn Holbrook? - Fly Fishing Forum
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Old 04-15-2003, 11:44 AM
OC OC is offline
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Question Dawn Holbrook?

Dawn Holbrook made cane rods out of his home on Green Lake, in Seattle in the 60's and early 70's from what I have found out so far. Also from what I hear he made a lot of 9 footers for Steelhead. Does anyone know anything about his reputation as a cane rod builder or where I may find more info?

May have a chance to pick one up soon from a friend who knows nothing about fly rods so I don't know as yet what he exactly has.
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Old 04-15-2003, 06:10 PM
marketic marketic is offline
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hello, OC,

In the late seventies I was fishing a 14 ft. double handed cane Sharpe's "Scottie" up in British Columbia and broke it while fighting a steelhead on the Skeena.

It broke at the ferrule of the mid-section and it made a sound I'll never forget. I was crushed, not only because I broke such a beautiful rod but because as some of you may know, a Sharpe's Scottie double hander fitted with ferrules instead of the usual splices is quite rare and I knew that finding a new mid-section would be out of the question.

I had pretty much written the rod off until I heard about a gentleman named Dawn Holbrook who both made and repaired cane rods.

Long story short, I tracked him down to his house in Mountlake Terrace and he completely refurbished the rod. He miked out the broken midsection and made a replacement, using the original ferrules. If you saw the rod, you'd never guess the mid-section was a replacement. He wouldn't accept cash. I finally gave him a Pflueger Supreme baitcaster as barter trade. I still use the rod on special occasions but at 23 ounces, it has to be a real special occasion, especially when I put a 4 1/2" Brass Faced Perfect on it. A good way to get bursitis when you flog that package all day.

The people that steered me in Dawn's direction said he made wonderful cane rods but admittedly, I never got a chance to try them. When I looked him up again to get one of his rods, he was no longer with us.

I think either Harry Lemire or Bob Stroebel told me about Dawn as in those days, he was a member of their fly fishing club. I'm sure those guys either have one of his rods or have used them and I'm sure they'd be happy to fill you in. Good luck!
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Old 04-15-2003, 06:56 PM
wrke wrke is offline
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Wonderful story. Thanks.
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Old 04-16-2003, 12:53 AM
flytyer flytyer is offline
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Look up Alec Jackson, he is lives just a little north and west of your neck of the woods in the town on the top of the lake one town west of the freeway (this should point you to the proper locale). Alec used to fish with Holbrook and quit possible had or has one of his rods. And if not, he can probably tell you about them and tell you who to talk to for more info.

Harry Lemire can also help you and he lives just up north of you inn the town just past where I-405 joins I-5. Look him up and give him a call.

Bob Arnold did some fishing with Holbrook and remembers the rods as being very well built with a nice bamboo action. As far as Bob knows, they were never well known nor very common, altough Holbrook had a reputation of doing nice work and producing nice rods. Bob is pretty sure that Glasso fished with one of Holbrook's rods because Glasso and Holbrook were friends.
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Old 04-16-2003, 10:54 PM
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loco_alto loco_alto is offline
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cool story indeed. very nice.
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Old 04-18-2003, 08:56 AM
OC OC is offline
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Thumbs up

Thankyou for the info guys. I will ask Harry and Alec next month about Dawn's rods. I bet I can get a wealth of info out of those two and some great stories too.

Marketic, great story! There were some truely classy folks in fly fishing in the older days and there still is. Hope the winter fishing has been good to you between floods.
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Old 04-26-2003, 07:32 PM
Varden Varden is offline
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Dawn Holbrook

Contact Mike Gallavan at mfgallavan@attbi.com He inherited all Dawn's rod building materials and old tonkin cane. He worked with Dawn building rods and still makes them on Holbrook tapers. He should be able to tell you anything you need to know.


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