New Fly Rod: Part 2 – The Product


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On Thursday of last week one of my dreams finally came true, my custom fly rod from JP Ross Fly Rods arrived.  After watching the UPS guy drop it on the ground twice I waited with bated breath as he brought it inside the office and prayed JP wrapped his products well.

As I opened the box my hands shook with anticipation of not only the fly rod but the ‘goodies’ that JP had said were in the box.  The following photographs were taken at the Blackfork Inn in Loudonville, OH, my favorite Bed & Breakfast or onsite fishing!

The above picture features a JP Ross hat (an awesome piece of swag), a size 16 Blue Winged Olive CDC Thorax Dun, and a one of a kind item.  Because some of my novels and short stories feature Knights Templar, JP was able to hand draw the shield that was designed for my first novel on to the cap for my rod tube.  No one else will have this item and I love it.

The quality of this rod was so far above and beyond what I expected I can’t even begin to rate it. The components are exceptional, JP as a person and builder is exceptional, and the overall look and feel are truly exceptional.

If you are going to have a custom rod built, do yourself a favor and check out JP Ross Fly Rods before you pull the trigger.  Selection and pricing is incredible along with their customer service.  At one point JP emailed me to apologize for taking so long but he was nervous about hand drawing the shield on the end cap but he wanted to make sure it was perfect.

Overall I’d give this rod a 10+ out of 10 (though I hate rating it).

Wonderful job JP and I look forward to getting another one someday!  We’ll have to hook up for some fishing up there one weekend!

Tight Lines,

Ben Rogers



Things Change!


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I was supposed to take the kayaks out with Beth LaFond tomorrow, but to my surprise we got an offer from the Blackfork Inn to come up to Loudonville, OH for the weekend. Unable to turn down an offer from our friends, the owners Todd & Cheryl Brown, Beth and I are now going to be headed up there for a weekend of fly fishing!!

Two of my favorite spots for brown and rainbow trout are located in the area along with one of our favorite restaurants, The Mohican Tavern. If you are ever in the area make sure you stop in!

I’ll also be testing out my new fly rod mentioned in the previous post on here from JP Ross Fly Rods. It’s a Beaver Meadow 6’6” 2wt that I’ve been dying to get out on the water. It’s outfitted with an Orvis CFO from Mad River Outfitters, Lefty Kreh Triangle Taper line and an Orvis braided leader for turning over those dry flies.

Hot damn, I can’t wait!!

New Fly Rod: Part 1


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As you have seen from the posts I’ve had a rough two years.  The last event was my mother’s passing in December.  One of our last conversations together was about me fishing since my family had always been into golf.  She said that she understood why I had given up the game but was curious as to why I had chosen fishing.

I explained that it wasn’t so much about catching a fish and that in all honesty that was a perk, but it was being out in nature away from modern society.  The ability to see wildlife in it’s natural habit with no computers, tv’s or radio was very alluring.  She was so happy for me for having found something that actually brings me some modicum of peace.  One of that last statements she said to me was to never stop fishing as long as it brought me joy.

That was the point where I decided to purchase something special.  I had rods and the kayaks but now it was time for something really out of the ordinary, a custom fly rod.  I shopped around and talked to friends, read books and did my general research.  At first I was going to purchase a custom bamboo rod until I really thought about the price tag.  For a good custom bamboo rod it would be around $3000.  A little steep in my book.

I finally stumbled onto JP Ross Fly Rods and became entranced.  The first thing that tickle my interest was his use of the Templar Cross in his logo and the explanation of that cross located on his website at  I investigated the type of rods he makes and found one that tickled my fancy, The Beaver Meadow.  This was a small stream and creek rod that would be perfect for trout and smaller smallmouth bass here in Central Ohio.  The pricing can’t be beat either!  JP makes a 5’ 2wt fly rod that is almost unheard of!  One of the things that Beth and I have been seriously consider is traveling into the Appalachians and Adirondacks to fish native trout and this rod is MADE for that!

As for the details of the rod and my experience working with JP, I’ll be reporting that in the second part of this three part series which will probably be released tomorrow night.

Now let me leave you with a short video about JP Ross Fly Rods:



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Deep inside the murderous and steamy bowels of Hell, my sanity has gone missing.  It went out for lunch on a playdate with my conscience one day and never returned leaving me to fend for myself in this over-obsessed realm.  At first it was just the self doubt creeping in, but after time the flood gates opened allowing every dark piece of me to grab hold.

As I said, self doubt got in first.  Am I a good father?  Am I making the right decisions for myself and my daughter?  What should I do now?

Next it was the self loathing.  I’m fat.  Why don’t I have self control?  What the hell is wrong with me…

Then the paranoia.  Everything people said and did came off as being aimed directly at me even though they could have been talking to someone else.

How do I know all this?  I got a mental cablegram the other night that said in bright neon letters.


Monday my friend.  Monday is that day that I start my battle with Satan, Lucifer, or whatever you want to call him to regain my sanity.  If I have to put on a fire suit and walk into the dank intestines of the underworld to find it, I will.  Nothing will stop me in this mission.


Time & Wounds


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Foreword:  Not a self pity post.  (I hate the fact that I have to say this.)


Nearly two and a half years ago I lost my father to cancer.  As you can imagine this was a very traumatic event but what made it worse for me was that my father and I hadn’t become close until later in our lives and that was cut short.  Watching my father waste away over a period of five to six days was horrible.  It opened a very deep wound inside my soul knowing that my dad would not be there for me anymore to share in laughter and sadness.

At this point I finished my first novel, Faith & The Undead and took care of my Mom who was not familiar with taking care of herself.  My Dad had done that for her and unfortunately masked much of the dementia that my mother was experiencing.

Not much later my wife and I split making me a single father of an adorable baby girl who I love very much.  Through out everything she has always been my shining spot of joy.  Without a house I had to find someplace to lay my head and my dear friend Beth LaFond stepped in making that possible.  I now had a roof over my head and someplace for my daughter to visit and stay.

But as with anything life struck again.  My mother had a fall where she laid on the floor for what we now think was roughly thirty plus hours in her townhouse.  She spent nearly two weeks in the hospital and then about three more in rehab.  Knowing that she could no longer live on her own my brother, sister, and I made the decision that Mom needed assisted living.

This worked well for a little bit but the dementia/Alzheimer’s struck with a vengeance causing my mother’s body to forget how to chew and swallow food.  Doctors weren’t sure what to do and one day a nurse from the assisted living facility called me in tears because he didn’t know what he could do to help.  I asked him to call a squad and I’d meet my mother at the ER.

After nearly getting arrested for going after a very stupid (I do NOT use this term lightly) physicians assistant my mother was admitted to the facility where we learned of the Apraxia that had developed in relation to swallowing.  With a mother who had very few lucid moments my siblings and I discussed amongst ourselves that options that the doctors provided: a feeding tube or no feeding tube.

We read through my mother’s living will multiple times and worked with the staff in the Palliative Care section of the hospital to determine that my mother did not want the tube.  After reaching this conclusion luck would have it that Mom became quite lucid for a day and was able to tell us multiple times that she didn’t want the tube.

Off to hospice we went where it took roughly three weeks for my mother to pass to the other side into my father’s arms.  Many times I thought I felt my Dad in the room with us waiting for Mom.

Now I am alone in Columbus, OH.  Just me and my daughter.  The only blood family I have here.  I’m close to my two siblings but they live down south and we just don’t get to see each other as often as we’d like.

Through all this I quit blogging (mostly), quit my podcast (completely) and haven’t written a damn thing.  I have so many wonderful stories started that now collect dust on my desk.  I wish I could finish them because I want to share them with you so much.


I guess this turned out to be more of a factual confession that I expected but for those of you that didn’t know what was going on or where I disappeared to, you now do.


Severe the head or destroy the brain!!!!


Ben Rogers