Rick Pope Bio
I was raised on a farm in Central Texas – and began pond, creek and river fishing as soon as I could walk. I enjoyed my first experiences with a fly rod (Shakespeare Wonder rod, foam spider and wind-up reel) on stock ponds in the early 60s. I graduated from Taylor High School and Trinity University in San Antonio before moving to Dallas in 1979. Through careers in banking (commercial lending – First National Dallas) and through sales positions with Wall Street firms (taxable fixed income – Lehman, First Boston, Bear Stearns), my interest and participation in fly fishing flourished. I met Ken Whellams, who owned Springbrook Canada in Calgary while fishing the BowRiver in 1980 and our friendship led to many great trips with the likes of Flip Pallot and Lefty Kreh. I also learned a lot about the fly fishing business and in 1995, I purchased Springbrook USA from Ken, which at the time was a wader and fly importing company. In 1997, Ken and I decided to import a few fly rods and Temple Fork Outfitters was born. The last 20 years have been wonderful – working with the likes of Lefty, Ed Jaworowski, Nick Curcione, Bob Clouser, Flip Pallot and others on fly rod design while building an exclusive relationship with our factory in South Korea. Through this, we have vigorously pursued new fly fishers by offering affordable products and by supporting various clubs and programs who share our goal. In 2009, Gary Loomis, founder of GLoomis, agreed to join our design team to help us build our family of “all tackle” spinning and casting rods. While most of our fly fishing rod designers including Lefty and Flip are quick to pick up a spinning or plug rod, Gary certainly advanced our design and engineering. Most recently, Larry Dahlberg and Cliff Pace (2013 Bassmaster Classic Champion) have joined our family, allowing us to focus more on regionally specific rods and actions. It is within the conventional rod market that I see the greatest growth opportunity for TFO. I am a passionate fly and conventional fisherman, a life member of both IFFF and Trout Unlimited, and recipient of the IFFF Silver King Award (for innovation in saltwater fly fishing). I have also been active in hunting and shooting sports. I am a member of both Texas and National Skeet Shooting Hall of Fame, and am a life member of both NRA and Texas State Rifle Association.