Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Bob Clay

My first two handed rod was made by Bob Clay. It was the mid 90's and I was on Skeena Steelhead journey on my way home from Alaska one fall. I stopped to fish the Kispiox and saw a sign that read "riverwatch rods." I walked away with a 15' 10 weight and an old "allcock" reel loaded with a windcutter. Bob was awesome to meet and it was inspirational to spend time in his shop. A bunch of old timers were hanging around playing with bamboo. No, I did not get a cane rod. Mine was a graphite model. I still have it! Turkey emblem and all.

Riverwatch Rods is owned and operated by Bob and Kathy Clay in the Kispiox Valley in northern B.C. Bob started flyfishing the Kispiox in 1971 and later moved there in the spring of 1977. Kathy arrived on the scene in 1977 as well and they were married in 1978. Raising four children and guiding has kept both Kathy and Bob busy. Bob guided through the 80’s and 90’s, later selling his guiding business, to Wilfred Lee, to pursue rodbuilding. Bob continues to guide for Wilfred and when the kids grew up Bob started guiding on the Lower Dean for the Blackwells. Instructing a flyfishing course at the local college has also help pay the bills.
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The Speypages Interview :


Kateri Clay, using a 15 foot Riverwatch bamboo rod won the ladies division in April 2007 in at spey o rama.