I invite you to visit our Dr. Ed Rizzolo Fly Tying Festival the first Saturday of Febuary every year. Two thousand and twelve will be our 20th year and we're aging nicely.
Around our house, fishing was more than just a leisure time activity; it was a way of life. From as early as I can remember, most vacations, weekends and more than a few school days were spent fishing. When I was 14, I salvaged a 9.5 hp Evinrude and when I got it running, strapped it to a skiff and away I went. From then on, I spent most of my spare time fishing the back bays and bayous of the middle Texas coast.
In 1995, health problems sidelined me for a year and in that time my cardiologist requested that I take up a non stressful hobby. So began my career as a fly tier. Like many, I started out with a bare bones kit I found on sale at the local sporting goods store. The kit contained a vice, a few tools and materials and, a booklet with instructions to tie trout and pan fish sized flies, not a great thing for a saltwater fisherman to learn with but, it was a start. My first flies were 1/0 "Hooties". A "Hootie" is a bait fly that consists of a piece of cotton twine tied to a saltwater hook. Well, it wasn't long before the "Hooties" were replaced by Deceivers, Seaducers and Clouser Minnows and eventually, other more intricate patterns. It wasn't long before I upgraded to my first rotary vise, a Renzetti Traveler, joined a club and then bought a rod. After I caught my first redfish (on one of my hand tied Seaducers) I knew that there was no turning back. Most of my fishing time is now spent on the coastal waters of Texas and Louisiana in search of specks and redfish but, I can also be found from time to time on Lake Buchanan, casting for largemouth, white and striped bass.
I am an active member of the Texas FlyFishers, where I am currently the Chairman for the Dr. Ed Rizzolo Fly Tying Festival. Before that, I served 4 terms as the Saltwater Outing Chairman and I am a past winner of the prestigious Sweetened Hook Award. I am also an active member of the Federation of Fly Fishers Gulf Coast Council.