A Part of Bamboo Fly-Fishing History is Gone

A Part of Fly-Fishing History is Gone. Winston Rod Company in Twin Bridges burned down early Sunday morning May 7, 2017. Firefighters were still cleaning up the scene at 8 a.m. “ Winston fly rods suffered a great loss in history, tradition and the best bamboo rods on the market Sunday morning when the Winston Bamboo shop caught fire,” said Winston General Manager Jeff Wagner. “It is suspected the fire resulted in a total loss of property and equipment, valued at over $1 million. More than the money, for Winston, the fire feels like the passing of a family member. “The Winston rod company has been in business for almost 90 years. We will choose to look at the opportunity this creates and drive toward the future. Winston will be rebuilding over the coming months, we hope to be back in operation by the end of the year. Glenn Brackett also famously left Winston Rods and with former Winston employee Jerry Kustich started Sweetgrass Rods, located at 501 N Main Street in Twin Bridges. All of these important icons in Montana’s bamboo rod tradition got started in this one little shop on Main Street, Twin Bridges.

The building that housed the original R.L. Winston Rod Company in Twin Bridges burned down early Sunday morning May 7, 2017. The fire department was called at 3:30 a.m., and the building was totally engulfed when emergency crews arrived. Firefighters were still cleaning up the scene at 8 a.m.

“ Winston fly rods suffered a great loss in history, tradition and the best bamboo rods on the market Sunday morning when the Winston Bamboo shop caught fire,” said Winston General Manager Jeff Wagner. “It is suspected the fire resulted in a total loss of property and equipment, valued at over $1 million. Fortunately no one was harmed and no damage to surrounding property occurred. More than the money, for Winston, the fire feels like the passing of a family member. Countless hours through many hands have shaped the fine bamboo rods that have passed through the now charred doors. It is not surprising the emotion Winston rods is feeling, and the healing process will take time. But, as we grieve we also look to the future.

“The Winston rod company has been in business for almost 90 years. A fire will not impede that history and growth forward. Every situation has two sides. We will choose to look at the opportunity this creates and drive toward the future. Winston will be rebuilding over the coming months, we hope to be back in operation by the end of the year. It wont be easy but it is a great opportunity to…

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