Orvis The Golden Eagle


Little Orvis was some 27 or 28 years old.  He could not remember exactly how old.  But it did not matter.  His owner had taken good care of him and he had the strength of his youth.  Fall had arrived in Colorado again.  Orvis loved September and October especially.  Fall meant his owner would take him out on fishing adventures.  He could stretch his wings and fly like he was supposed to again.

While Orvis was the smallest of his kin, he was by no means a light weight.  He could handle an 18 inch fish with the best of his bigger brothers.  He knew that he could handle a larger fish, but he had not been lucky enough to get one in the 20 plus category yet.

Even though he was the shortest of his line, he could throw a tight loop and a 9 foot leader with the best of them.  An accurate roll cast into small pools or a river tension cast under the overhanging willows searching out the trout lurking there.

Yes fall was always fun for Orvis the Golden Eagle and his owner. They prowled the pools, riffles, runs, seams and undercut banks of his owner’s favorite stream, Bear Creek west of Denver, Colorado.  Orvis was most happy though when he was fighting a fish for his owner. They made a good team. His owner knew the stream and Orvis could fight the fish. One day in July 2006, they landed and released over 100 fish.  The best day his owner had ever had fly fishing.

By now you have probably figured out Orvis the Golden Eagle is a fly rod.  The Golden Eagle series of fly rods was one of the last fiberglass lines made.  About 1980, graphite was starting to become the material of choice for rod manufacture.

But my some 27 or 28 year old rod is still a sweet fly rod to use.  At one and 7/8 oz  and 6 1/2 feet long, it was one of the lightest fiberglass rods made in the late 1970’s.  Today I use it with a SciAngler System II reel and a 4wt DT fly line.  It will throw a 9 foot leader including a 2 or 3 nymph rig easily.  It roll casts accurately and is a true joy to use on a small stream in gin clear water.

Orvis Golden Eagle Fly Rod Facts:
We sold the fiberglass rods from about 1972 until 1980.  The rod was available in lengths 6-1/2′, 7′, 7-1/2′, 8′, 8-1/2′ and a 9′.  All of the rods were 2-pc. with one tip and we made a Golden Eagle spin rod with 2 tips.  That’s about the only information I have on the Golden Eagle rods.  Unfortunately they didn’t have serial numbers like our bamboo rods do for tracking, so I wouldn’t be able to determine when your rod was built.  There may be a four digit number on the rod blank just above the handle that gives the date of manufacture, but I can’t be sure. Again, thank you for your inquiry.

Jason Reid
Technical Advisor/Technical Team Leader
Orvis Rod & Tackle

Thanks to Jason Reid for the information on a sweet Orvis Fly Rod.  Who said old fiberglass rods are not any good.  I must be getting old.  Waxing nostalgic over a fly rod.

Marshall, Editor