Born in McDonough, Georgia, Rip grew up fishing for largemouth, spotted, and shoal bass in the rivers and creeks in the region. He then moved to the Appalachian Mountains and started trout fishing where he became obsessed with the delicate art of fly fishing the Rhododendron Tunnels in north Georgia. Rip decided to move his passion west, while taking a break from being a heavy equipment operator in rock quarries. Rip has also spent several years training bird dogs and guiding duck hunts in South Carolina. He moved to Wyoming to experience the amazing hunting and fly fishing. He is also an avid whitewater paddler, and is always on the hunt for new areas to kayak. He graduated from Young Harris College with a degree in Outdoor Leadership.