Category Archives: Phil Rispin, Fly Fisher & Photographer

Bug Puppets

Guest Blogger: Phil Rispin, fly fisher, photographer & more, find Phil’s photography here

Have you ever pondered the cost and effort it takes to get a two dollar fly to a place where a trout or other type of fish would consider eating it? Someone in my past referred to flies as “Bug Puppets” and I have adopted the term because it alludes to the need to make the fly look and behave like the food item it imitates, much like a puppet imitates characters in a play. Generally I believe that matching size and color to the food items in the stream is pretty important. However having said that, I wonder at the validity of the statement because we have all used stuff on the end of the line that looks like nothing found in nature. There is a long tradition in fly fishing of producing beautiful flies that are properly called works of art but they look very little like the food items found in the waters we fish. At the other extreme from the artful and time consuming salmon flies are what I like to call “guide ties “or flies that are simple, quick to produce and successful. more…

Phil’s Fly Rod Evolution

Guest Blogger: Phil Rispin, fly fisher, photographer & more, find Phil’s photography here

evolution of the fly rodThere was a time in my life when I wanted just one good fly rod to go with my meager supply of fly fishing stuff. I had lobbied successfully for a Columbia fly fishing vest for a birthday present some time before but a good fly rod was still financially out of reach for my young family. It was a little funny to watch me if you knew anything about fly fishing because up to that point I used an old spin casting rod that was unusually long and I had turned the handle and real seat around to try and get my Dad’s old fly reel closer to the butt of the rod making it look more like a fly rod. This set up worked through University and into my early married life after graduation. I used my Dad’s old rust colored fly line on the reel and to this I tied some monofilament line with a size 12 Adams or a Royal Coachman from Dad’s old metal fly box and I was good to go. more…


Guest Blogger: Phil Rispin, fly fisher, photographer & more, find Phil’s photography here

You are showing your age if you remember the song by Carly Simon “Anticipation”. The lyrics begin with

“We can never know about the days to come but we think about them anyway”.

sceneThese words only give a small hint at the forethought that goes into a fly-fishing trip. For me, aside from studying hatch charts, tying flies, buying new gear that I think will be needed and perhaps going to the extent of building a new fly rod for the occasion, the day dreaming is the most fun. It gets bad enough that I am nearly useless to my employer for about 2 weeks prior to departure, but please don’t tell him. In my day dream I am standing in my favorite stream in Alberta casting to a rising Rainbow Trout that is about 18” long. The walls of the river valley are fairly steep on either side of the river, there is high Cirrus cloud in the blue sky, a cool breeze wafts down the valley and the water is incredibly cold making me shiver just a little in spite of waders and a fleece liner. I’ve put a #16 Adams on the end of a long 15’ leader and tippet; the casting is going well, no tailing loops and thus no wind knots. The water flowing around my knees is so clear you can see every detail on the pebbles at my feet and there is the sound of riffled water just behind me. I wonder if I should be carrying some kind of Bear protection because a sow with a couple of cubs was spotted in this area a week ago. I talked with a Fish and Wildlife officer this morning and they were concerned about fishermen……… wait a minute this is just a day dream. You see I can get carried away. It is often true that the anticipation and preparation for a trip can be just about as much fun as the actual trip itself. Sometimes the trip doesn’t come up to expectations but as often as not it does. more…