About me

Bob Colson has been a university professor, a college dean, a business executive, and a partner in a global accounting network.  He retired from his partnership position in July 2010, which provided him with more time than he has ever had for fishing and rod making.  Time and rod making are not the only ingredients for fishing zen, however, so he returned to the academy as a professor in January 2012.  He met classes and produced research again, but his rod production inevitably dwindled. He served as an editor of several scholarly joutnals, including The CPA Journal, Accounting Horizons, The Journal of the Academy of Accounting Historians. He had leadership roles at the American Accounting Association, the Academy of Accounting Historians, Financial Executives International, and the New York State Soceity of CPAs. Between 1999 and 2011, all three branches of the federal government sought his advice related to accountancy policy. As of December 31, 2020, he officially retired from his university position. Rod production is likely to expand.

Colson's association with fly fishing began in 1954, when he caught his first bluegill on a fly tied in a home-made vise at his grandfather's Minnesota fishing camp.  His first trout was from a small meadow stream in Minnesota, Cat Creek, where the angling technique involved crickets and long bamboo poles while standing well back from the small creek to avoid spooking the brook trout. His first fly-caught (brown) trout came from the Straight River, near Park Rapids, Minnesota. His first Atlantic salmon was from the St. Mary's River, Ontario and his first steelhead (lake-run rainbow) was from the Pere Marquette River, both during an unexcused absence in the fall of 1966. He has fished for trout, Atlantic salmon, and steelhead throughout North and South America and Europe.  He developed his light line Spey rods for floating lines fishing with waking flies and small flies high in the water column for Atlantic salmon and steelhead.

His first fly rod to call his own was a Nat Uslan pentagonal rod that required constant repair, which was his entry into cane rod making.  His first experiences in planing cane rods came when he was in his early teens on a Herter's "shooting board" for one of his grandfather's friends.  He did a lot of planing on that 5 foot bait casting rod but did not reap many benefits other than the experience and the gifts of a plane and micrometer, which still play a role in his rod making. 

He was the proprietor for 15 years of the Bob Colson Fly Fishing School.  His schools were sponsored by the National Park Service, the Lake and Cuyahoga County (Ohio) Park Systems, and the Cleveland Museum of Natural History as well as numerous shops and clubs.  He was a founder of The Anglers of the Au Sable and the North Coast Fly Fishers. His friendship with Poul Jorgensen led to the "Poul Jorgensen Fly Tyers" at the Cleveland Museum of Natural History, which sponsored annually a weekend of invited fly tyers. Bob designed and tied the Trout Unlimited 25th Anniversary fly. His fly-tying classes reached more than 2,000 participants between 1979 and 1994. More recently, Bob was a member of the board and exectuive committee of the Catskill Fly Fishing Center and Museum for six years, serving as Treasurer.

Bob has repaired and made bamboo rods since 1975.  Since his semi-retirement in 2010, he has made 8 to 14 rods per year. He is available to talk to clubs about split-bamboo fly rods, fly tying, and the development of fly fishing as sport, recreation, and .contemplation.