I’m not sure if I had a choice in the matter but one thing is for sure; this love affair with fishing is in my blood! Growing up in Southern California with five siblings, the motor home was always loaded and ready for the next fly fishing adventure! Most of my earliest memories are of camping and fishing with my family. Whether it was firing up the bass boat and flying across one of Southern California’s reservoirs chasing large-mouth or backpacking into Northern California backcountry, the fishing tackle was always packed and seemed to be the priority. This sport of fly fishing has consumed generations of my entire family! At what age I caught my first fish is a mystery, but growing up in this family I’m sure it was around the time I was learning to take my first steps. I do recall an epic day on the South Fork of the Snake during hopper season throwing dries to cutties at about the age of 8! I was taught to tie flies by my great uncle Barney that next winter and got my first fly rod for Christmas shortly thereafter. Traveling the west I fished more famous trout water before the age of 13 than I have since. Looking back I guess I did have a choice… Playing board games and reading books in camp with my Mom and sisters, or on the water with my Dad and brothers. What would you do…?
My first experience fly fishing the Central Oregon waters was in the mid 80s vacationing and fishing on the Deschutes River and Metolious River. My family moved from Southern California to Bend in the late 80s. I was 14 and my love for the outdoors grew. As soon as I turned 16, I had some freedom and was out fishing a couple times a week. Fly fishing started feeling more like an addiction than a passion. I began my career in the fly fishing industry during the summer of 1998 and quickly realized this was the life I would lead. Rivers had always been my focus but, due to a big fish obsession, the local lake fisheries sparked my interest. I’ve always had a thing for “two handed trout.” Crane Prairie Reservoir is still considered my home water. Over the past 20 years of guiding and fishing the Central Oregon area I have learned a lot and I truly enjoy sharing this passion and knowledge both on the water and in the shop.
My family and I purchased Fly and Field Outfitters in Bend, Oregon January of 2004. In this purchase we had one major advantage… we had toured fly fishing shops across the west over the past 30 years. Somehow mixed with fishing reports and local tactics we had recognized the most important aspect of a quality shop, customer service. That is what we built our dream fly shop on.
My Adventures with a fly rod have taken me to some unforgettable locations; from pristine trout streams in Chile and Alaska, to the crystal clear flats of Belize and Mexico. The greatest lesson that this sport has taught me is that it is all about the adventure. Whether it’s a Redside on the Deschutes or a Permit in Belize, the fish becomes secondary. The adventure becomes the obsession! “Trout don’t live in ugly places.” Fly fishing as a lifestyle forces the angler to LIVE THE EXPERIENCE.
We have all heard people say “It’s in your blood.” That choice in life was made for me. Don’t get me wrong I wouldn’t change it for the world!