Who introduced you to fly fishing?
My father introduced me to a life of fishing, he is a commercial fisherman. He introduced me to fly fishing at a young age, as an alternative to conventional fishing in the bass ponds of the eastern shore of Maryland. Largemouth bass and Stripers were the first fish I targeted with a fly rod. It was Paul FitzGibbon, of Alaska Getaway, who introduced me to the guiding life, and my true addiction to the sport of fly fishing.
Can you tell us a little about your home waters and the fish you pursue there?
We have year-round trout fishing on both freestone creeks and spring creeks. I'd say once of the most unique parts of my water is, sight fishing and stalking wild rainbows, browns and brook trout. Once I get tired of that or need a change of pace, I hook up my drift boat and head out to one of our world-class smallmouth bass rivers. We have an 8 -9 month bass season, so there is always something to fish for.
What's the height of the season for you? What time of year is your personal favorite?
August and September. These months are prime smallmouth bass fishing on the larger rivers and it's all out of a drift boat. April would be a close second when the trout fishing is just picking up and Spring smallmouth is in full tilt.
What are your favorite travel destinations? What's on the bucket list?
Southeast Alaska and the Pacific Northwest are definitely my favorites for both fishing and other forms of outdoor recreation. Central New England is my preference for closer to home travel. New Zealand is on the top of the bucket list along with Baja and the Amazon.
What do you like most about Thomas and Thomas rods? Which rods do you fish?
I love the in-hand lightness of T&T rods, their power and responsiveness, and the matte finishes on the blanks. My favorite rods to fish are the DNA Switch rods and the Exocett 250 SS.
What's your current go-to fly?
My current go-to fly is one of my own, the Double Squirrel nymph for trout. It's a blend of fluorescent threads, squirrel dubbing and mylar tinsel that creates the ideal prospecting nymph profile. And the Feathered Game Changer has been my #1 producing streamer pattern for smallmouth this Spring.
Other than fly tackle, what piece of gear do you find indispensable?
A pair of Costa sunglasses with scratch-proof glass lenses, because I seem to destroy everything I put my hands on. Oh and a lighter and a knife, you never know when you will need those.
My favorite thing about guiding is:
I love meeting new people, hearing their stories and sharing stories. It's obviously a perk that I get to spend every day in some of the most beautiful places, but helping people discover new experiences they otherwise wouldn't have, is by far the most rewarding part of the job. the most rewarding part of the job.
From the angler’s point of view, what do you see as the main value of going on a guided trip?
Regardless of whether or not someone is a well-seasoned angler or new to the sport, it's often an enjoyable experience to have someone take care of the logistics of a trip. A good guide will understand the water, the fish, the access and the conditions so the client can just focus on the fishing. The teaching aspect of working with a guide is probably the greatest advantage. Guided trips give the client an opportunity to learn new or alternative skills and approaches and hear about some of the newest gear. And of course, they untangle all of your knots.
What can new fisherman expect to get out of a guided trip? My favorite thing to teach a client is ...
A new fisherman should expect to learn the basics for the area they are fishing, some general knowledge about fly fishing, and a lot about the water they are fishing. I love teaching each client my way of fishing in hopes that it messes with their own techniques and makes them a better fisherman, or lady :)
What's your ideal lunch when on the water? What do you actually pack?
My ideal lunch is always too much food. Often times in the Summer months the sun can take it out of everyone on the water, so a hardy lunch is always a plus and keeps them in the game all day. My lunch program is a sandwich or wrap (client's choice), fruit, chips, granola bar, and a baked good, all packed into a waterproof Tupperware. I will also have lots of water, Gatorade, and a couple beers in the cooler as well.
What fly fishing blogs/magazines do you read regularly?
I do not do much magazine reading anymore, however, I do subscribe to Eastern Fly Fishing. It is a great magazine with great information. I do sometimes pick up the Drake, Fly Tyer, and Fly Fisherman from time to time. Blogs, I still write my own from time to time, and will occasionally look at others, but nothing in particular.
When I'm not fishing you'll find me:
When I'm not fishing you can find me outside doing something. I love backpacking, and Hiking, so most likely if I'm not fishing I'll be doing one of those. However, I do enjoy sitting on my back deck along the bank of the Yellow Breeches Creek with a cold beer and a book, usually about the outdoors. I also enjoy going to micro breweries or local restaurants in any area that I am traveling.