Smart Angling Faces: Ciprian Rafan, Co-owner and Sales Director
When and how did you start fly fishing?
My first memory about fishing is from when I was probably around 3 years old. Since then every day out fishing would be the happiest time of my life. I started using flies to catch fish much later. Fishing was and still is my biggest passion…and according to my wife a case of OCD😉.
What is your favourite type of water? You favourite technique?
My favorite would be a small trout stream. Probably because of my background growing up in Romania I’m used to small to medium size rivers with gin clear water.
My favorite technique(s) is European nymphing but if the conditions are right I will switch right away to the more spectacular dry fly fishing.
What do you like about competitive fly fishing?
I will answer by saying that what I have gained from competitions is knowledge. Every time I compete I learn something new about fly fishing and about myself. I truly believe competition is the best way to improve your fishing skills. At the end of every competition, regardless of whether it’s a world championship or a one-day mini, there are no losers, only winners, it doesn’t matter if you bring a medal home or not. You’ll grow your skills and make a bunch of new fishing buddies.
What do you think is the biggest myth about competitive fly fishing?
Some people say that competitive fishing is not “real” fishing… I believe it is exactly the opposite; I truly believe that fly fishing has evolved a lot because of competitions. This is how we get new techniques, new flies and better equipment.
Name three persons that have inspired and motivated you the most in fly fishing?
Now that is a hard question. The strongest influence was my father. He was the first to put a fishing rod in my hands, though not a fly fishing one. In fly fishing it would be my Romanian friend Cristian Linter, the former President of Fly Fishing Canada Jim Iredale and of course my actual business partner Ivo Balinov.
What is Smart Angling for you?
Some people think that Smartangling is my company but I look at it as everyone’s company. It was a concept born from the frustration of seeing too much of inadequately designed and overpriced equipment. Now we try to run Smart Angling as a company where you have the opportunity to stay in touch with the latest techniques and the best equipment: rods, reels, hooks, lines, etc. Whenever you buy something from Smart Angling you buy a piece of us, our passion, experience and knowledge.
More about Ciprian
Ciprian started his fly fishing journey on pressured European streams where catching a fish was a success. This has helped him build exceptional skills and in-depth understanding of river fishing. He is also an advanced lake fisherman.
Ciprian has represented Canada at major international contests including the World Championships in 2015 and the Commonwealth Championships in 2016. He has held various titles at Canadian competitions, including individual gold at the Quebec Championships in 2014 and 2018 and team gold at the 2015 National Championships.