Bend born and raised, I was always immersed in the outdoor culture and lifestyle as a child and it was only a matter of time until I picked up a fly rod. This journey began when I was camping up at Little Lava Lake with my family at the headwaters of the beautiful, and infamous, Deschutes. I remember that I was tossing some of my Dad’s old lures and spoons with a small spinning rod into the current, when a fly fisherman waded down through the opposite side of the river. He was bringing fish after fish to the surface and eventually to his hand with a fly, and instantly I was mystified. What could he be doing? Thankfully, he was kind enough to explain some of the workings behind fly fishing to a young squirt like me on the water that day. The fisherman said that he was using an imitation of a natural insect to attract the fish. Mystery solved. That night I tried to create my own fly out of materials I had on hand; a small twig, spare fishing line, a tiny stinger hook, and some duck feathers. Now what I produced was far from a masterpiece, but it got me excited to learn more and be better.
So I actually started fly tying before I began the fishing part of the sport when I was probably 8 or so. Now I tie almost all my own bugs and it is as big a part of the sport for me as being on the water. I love the feeling you get from being able to fool a wild trout, who has honed its instincts for survival, to eat a clump of feathers you made, on a leader you tied, attached to a rod you built. I believe that is one of the greatest possible joys of fly fishing and can only be topped by doing it again. Chasing this high has consumed all of my free time for the better part of the last decade and don’t see any end in sight to this healthy addiction.
While fishing and tying, I must step outside my body and think about how others, even if it is only a trout, behave and act and the motives behind this. It is good practice for real life, and a good distraction to step away from it as well. I cannot even begin to guess the grandeur of places fishing will take me, but I know I will stay along for the ride wherever the trail ends.View My Website