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"If you start looking at it for profit," he says, "there's a spirit of it that disappears. My goal has always been to build rods: to do it continuously, with passion and purpose."

And do it he has, though you would never hear it from him. Annette McLean, long-time friend and current Winston Production Manager, calls Brackett "a humble man who holds true to the tradition of craftsmanship in bamboo rod making." To many, McLean says, Brackett is a "point of reference" for those who seek art in an industry that so often works in direct paradox to what it allegedly values--solitude, quality, subtlety.

As a fisherman, though, Brackett didn't always value the latter of those qualities.

"I used to do the trophy thing," he says. "But after I'd fished hard>for thirty or so years--Alaska, Argentina, you name it--I just stepped back, looked at the fish, and said, 'Come on, give 'em a break.'

"I think we've done a terrible injustice to the fish as a creature," he says. "I mean, the whole gamut of wading and floating, being on the water every day all year--I don't know why the fish just don't go on strike!"

Did this realization come to him because of what you learned as a fisheries biologist (Brackett earned his Masters in fisheries at Humbolt State in Northern California, specializing in cold water species)?

"Not really," he says. "I guess it was more of a philosophical realization. When I look back, I see fly fishing as a means that has opened up all kinds of doors for me. I've fished everywhere imaginable; I've fished for trout, salmon, carp--when I was in graduate school I caught bats on flies for study purposes. Now, it just keeps me in touch with the things I need for my soul."

After grad-school, Brackett worked as a guide for "a couple of years" on the Madison and the Henry's Fork, living out of the 1959 Airstream camper that now sits in the grass down the road from Glenn's house, serving as a monument to all would-be trout bums in town.

"I never loved it (guiding)," he says, "but I gave it a good shot." Brackett worked mostly for Will Godfrey in the early 70's in the "golden triangle" region near West Yellowstone. Mike Lawson, whom Brackett still visits once or twice a year, was starting out as a guide in the area around the same time as Brackett. Lawson says his friend was "a respected guide who kept mostly to himself."

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