After purchasing a Leonard petite 3 wt bamboo fly rod in 2000, Kelley went on a search for it’s missing agate stripper guide. A referral led him to Lon Blauvelt, and the following four hours of enthusiastic conversation about bamboo fly rods resulted in Kelley attending Lon’s split bamboo fly rod building class.
After that class, Kelley started assisting Lon with his classes, absorbing remarkable knowledge of the needed skills and art of making bamboo fly rods as well as learning how to teach others. In 2006, Kelley purchased the rod building class business and continues to further his knowledge of flyrods, the art of building them, and associated products.
"Over many years, I have had the pleasure of getting to know some wonderful artists whose medium is the bamboo fly rod. Some have kindly tried to help me learn how to make such a rod, but it took Kelley Baker to teach me how to plan and complete my first functioning cane fly rod. Kelley's patient teaching, "hand-on" mentoring (from using a propane torch to sharpening and positioning plane irons, splitting cane, achieving the taper for the desired action, through heat-treating, gluing and finishing the rod, to my first cast with me fly rod), integrity and hard work with each student will reward your effort. You will achieve the dream of making your own fly rod at his rod-making course. Bring your camera and journal so you can write your own book. Kelley Baker is a gifted teacher who will go the "extra mile" for a student or friend. The week spent in Kelley's course was one of the best of my life."Dr. Earl Fleegler,