Thanks again for making such AWESOME rods. I thought you might enjoy a picture of the first fish I caught with the beautiful Paul Young Perfectionist taper you built for me. The rod performed flawlessly and handled this 18" brown trout (my biggest to date) like a dream. Thanks Again.
Jim Stone,
Durham, NC

Paul Young Perfectionist Rod

Thought you would enjoy some pictures of the first trout caught on the bamboo rod with the Phillipson Pacemaker taper I bought from you. The first trout I caught was a female measuring 21" and weighing 5 pounds, much to my amazement the rod handled her beautifully, I most likely would have not landed that fish on my graphite rods because of the way she fought, making multiple reel burning runs in different directions, about a 15 minute fight on that one. Then one of the smaller ones (just over 2 pounds, not small to me!) I lost the next one due to my inexperience on the dry fly and a bad hook set.

Fish 1 Fish 2

Then the fight of the day actually came from the big male in the picture, he was 20" and 3 3/4 pounds, took a royal wulf and in one single burning run took all of my fly line and roughly 40 ft of backing, I would of never thought I could play that fish at that distance, but the bamboo worked like a champ, pulling and giving at just the right times. A couple of people around remarked about the beauty of the rod as my expert fishing partner says "That grass is magic." Suffice it to say I'm hooked on bamboo for good, and your rod added a whole new dimension of enjoyment to my outing, Thanks for a truly great rod, looking forward to the next one!

Don Smith - White Bluff, Tennessee

The fish in the following picture is a 27" brown trout caught on the Soque River near Clarksville, Georgia. I caught it on a #18 flashback pheasant tail nymph using a Phillipson Pacemaker taper bamboo fly rod made for me by Jim Mills of Raven Fork Rods. The rod was an 8' 3pc 5 wt. with just the right backbone and flex for catching large fish like this. Jim has made several bamboo fly rods for me of differing lenghts and line sizes - all of which are superb in terms of quality, craftsmanship and casting finess. Bob's Big FishEven though I have many of his rods, we still collaborate on new lengths, line weights and flex capability on rods I hope to have him build for me in the future. All of Jim's rods are great, but my favorite is the 6'10" 2pc 4wt rod that he built for me a few months back. I constantly use this rod when fishing small mountain streams. It offers up just the right amount of delicacy when trying to place those tiny dry flies in the right place under tight cover.

Bob Bagerski - Roswell, Georgia



Jim Mills is a master of the fly rod. In his shop near Cherokee, NC, Jim creates perfectly handsome and wonderfully functional pieces. Then, when he steps into the creeks of the Southern Appalachians, few others can match his fishing skills. Jim built my first flyrod 25 years ago, a beautiful, early-generation, graphite 6 wt. When I destroyed it as a result of grossly improper use (trying to land a king salmon in Alaska), Jim made it look and feel new again. As a gentleman, Jim Mills is one of the most honorable persons I have intersected with. His dependability is unquestioned. Jim’s quality standards as a craftsman are impeccable, and his creations are surprisingly affordable even for the casual angler. Bill Gibson - Sylva, NC

Bill's Big Catch Bill with Alaska Susitna Rainbow

The beautiful fly rod you made for me last summer received its baptism in the big open waters in Mongolia and even for a beginner like me, managed to bring me in some 20+ inch fish! I was pleased as I could be with that feat, but last weekend my lovely fishing rod also brought me in my first trout out of a stream in the Great Smokies.. My dad was an avid fly fisherman, and taught my brother the hobby in the 1960s, but in my family it seemed that fly fishing was a skill reserved for the males in the family…. My sister and I did some spinner fishing, but the fly fishing was just not made available to us when we were kids. Yet I know if he had seen me catch those first fish last weekend, he would have had a big grin of delight to see his daughter’s glee. So thank you for your part in that scenario by providing me with a fly rod, not only strong, limber, well made, and the most beautiful rod I have ever seen…. But dusted with a bit of luck also.

Kristen Hammett, DVM - Waynesville, NC

Kirsten in Mongolia

I recently received my 7.5 foot 4wt Raven Fork bamboo rod and I absolutely love it. I took it to Roaring River State Park in southern Missiouri for its' first time out. I caught several nice fish and the rod handled beautifully. It casts like a dream and makes those delicate presentations flawlessly. The craftsmanship is top notch and rivals rods costing thousands more. The flaming on the bamboo really sets this rod off and will make other anglers green with envy. Thanks Jim for my wonderful rod! Jason Stewart - US Air Force - Omaha, NE

Jason & Fish
Jason's fish

I just received my fly rod. I took it out and put it together; I looked at it. It is absolutely beautiful. The rod looks like a work of art. Thanks so much for your time and effort. I just don't have to the words to say. I will be using it on the Tuck in the spring just as soon as I can get out there.

George McClellan, Wilmington, NC