Have you noticed one of your GBF fishing buddies carrying a beautiful laminated wooden landing net and asked him or her where they bought it, only to have them respond: I made it?  Well, you too can make a net to be proud of.  For the eighth consecutive year GBF member (and former Treasurer & President) Art Hawkins along with member Michael Kaul will be conducting several series of Net Building workshops over the winter months. There will be a signup sheet at GBF’s January general meeting.  Cost of the workshop is only $25.00.

Michael and Art will be conducting multiple net building workshops in Art’s woodshop in Orangevale between January and April. There are three net styles and several varieties of hardwood from which to choose. All components including the hardwoods, net bag, molds, and tools will be provided.

Each workshop series consists of 3 sessions of approximately 2 hours each for 5 members per series:

• First session: select style of net (trout, catch & release, etc), wood varieties, and handle shape. Then assemble and clamp pre-soaked wood-strips for bending in molds Art will provide.• Second session: glue up the wood frame components.

• Third session: scrape and sand the constructed net. Art will power plane your net and groove its edges and you will drill holes around its edges for later threading to mount the net bag.

Sessions usually occur late afternoons and early evenings on weekdays and occasionally on a Saturday morning.
At the conclusion of the clinic participants leave with an attractive wooden net frame and a net bag.  The net frame needs to be finish sanded and sealed with spar varnish before mounting the net bag.  If purchased at a fly shop these nets would cost up to $100.  GBF members have built nearly 200 nets in this annual clinic.

Numerous members have attended a second clinic to build a different style of net.  If the clinics are oversubscribed preference will be given to those enrolled in the Golden Trout program and first time participants.

These annual workshop series meet during the winter months at Art’s woodworking shop on several consecutive week nights or Saturdays to (1) select their trout or catch & release net pattern and hardwood strips (like walnut, birch, etc)and begin the first steps to glue up the pre-cut and soaked wood strips and clamp the net frame and handle into the molds Art has on hand. Then (2) at the second meeting the excess glue is scraped off and Art’s power planer and router makes short work of forming the wood, getting it ready for the student to drill holes around the frame for eventual installation of the net. Finally (3), the students take the unfinished net home for sanding, finishing, and net installation. The result is a beautiful handmade flyfishing net that is both useful and a work of art.

The photos below show attendees and Art Hawkins (who owns the workshop) doing just that. Instructor Mike Kaul provided the knowledge and techniques, Art supplied the power tool expertise, and everyone had a great time.  The resulting nets are first-class fishing instruments and beautiful works of art!
Net Building 1 Net Building 2 Net Building 3
Net Building 4 Net Building 5       Net Building 7