The next time you are looking at fly rods think about this. Think about what Temple Fork has done for America, disabled veterans, breast cancer survivors, the Smokies and the men and women serving our Country in Iraq. Then you will be looking at fly rods a little differently.
You probably know the story. Lefty is a good friend of Paula and I. Lefty asked me one day when he was in the shop why we didn’t sell Temple Fork Rods and a week later there was a rack full of them on our shop floor.
I often wondered years ago why Lefty started endorsing a startup company and a new brand with his powerful influence. I thought about why he was sold on Temple Fork rods. Soon enough, I found out why. First, Lefty believed in the value and quality of Temple Fork Rods. Second, he likes and trusts Rick Pope. Without going into detail I can vouch for both Lefty and Rick’s trust in each other.
Rick, who owns Temple Fork visited here with us when Lefty came to the shop a few years ago. I spent a lot of time with him and we became friends. At dinner he, Lefty and I would talk about business, the fly fishing business and business ethics. We talked about why companies and people should give back to our community. We do that, I do that and maybe we do it more because of our relationship with Rick and Lefty. I think Rick has visited Townsend three times, maybe four. I’ve seen him at trade shows. And when I need good business advice, I call Rick. I know his honesty and integrity will guide me forward in the right direction.
Temple Fork was an early founder if not the first founder of the Fly Fishing Club of Baghdad. The company supplied rods and reels to our soldiers who were and are serving our Country in Iraq.
Temple Fork created their Casting for Recovery equipment and donated the profit from the sale to the cause. Temple Fork donations have paid the cost for women to participate in Tennessee CFR events and retreats in other states.
Rick, his staff and the company got involved with Project Healing Waters, an organization that teaches veterans who have been injured in combat to fly fish and tie flies. That organization is catching on and growing thanks in part to Temple Fork. People from Project Healing Waters had a booth and attended Troutfest 2009. You probably saw them but I bet you didn’t know about the Temple Fork connection.
So I was not surprised when I called Rick and asked him to help us with Troutfest. He said yes without even thinking about it. He paid to have Lefty Here from Baltimore, Rick and two of his staff came here from Dallas, Texas and Kent Edmonds drove up from Georgia. And new to the Temple Fork staff is Bob Clouser. He joined Temple Fork after Rick agreed to help us so Bob’s expenses were paid for by Renzetti and Little River Outfitters.
What a commitment! Temple Fork was represented at Troutfest by six fine people. Rick didn’t know much about Troutfest until I called him so I guess he trusts and likes me too.
And, I’ll tell you something else, something you probably never thought of. All of these people like visiting here because we are all so friendly. Rick and Lefty commented on that a long time ago and they still do. If you come to East Tennessee you are going to be treated well. They like that. But at Troutfest they got a huge dose of our Southern Hospitality. That really makes me proud to live here and when friends visit they enjoy their visit very much.
If you look at the Pro Staff at Temple Fork it is really amazing. Lefty Kreh and Bob Clouser are two of a handfull of the most well recognized fly fishermen in the world.
Kent Edmondson is a hero around here especially in the smallmouth bass enthusiast crowd. He invented the Stealth Bomber and is a frequent visitor to our Message Board. He is our Temple Fork sales representative and also guides clients fly fishing for bass and other species. He is a talented guy.
Of course you have heard of Jim Teeny. Jim is on the Temple Fork Pro Staff and has his own signature rods in the lineup. Mike Kinney and Bob Meiser are the Spey Rod and casting experts on the Temple Fork staff. Temple Fork enjoys a large spey fishing following for their equipment.
You can probably tell I'm a big fan of this company and the people. As a dealer I can vouch for their dedication to customer service whether it is me or you.
And what do we think about TFO fly rods. Well, first we sell the heck out of them and order weekly to replenish our inventory. Second, Paula and I have six of the Professional series, a 12, two 9's, a 7, 6 and a 5 and one Bluewater rod.
Troutfest would not have been close to the success that it was without Rick and all of the Temple Fork support group. They spent I don’t know how many thousand dollars to support Troutfest and Great Smoky Mountains National Park’s Fisheries Department. Look at the photos to the left. They are all people who represent Temple Fork and all of those people were at Troutfest 2009.
A lot of other companies and individuals supported Troutfest and made it successful. I am thankful to everyone.