Who introduced you to fly fishing?
Penn State University, I took a few of the fly fishing courses when I was a student there. There was no single person who got me into this sport, I've instead been fortunate enough to have a few mentors, who are still helping me on my way.
Can you tell us a little about your home waters and the fish you pursue there?
I've been spoiled my entire fly fishing life, as central Pennsylvania is polluted with spring fed, limestone streams. The Penns Creek watershed is famous for its entomological diversity and the persnickety wild brown trout that thrive on it. More recently, I've been pursuing smallmouth on the fly. Who can complain when all of this is in your back yard?
What’s the height of the season for you? What time of year is your personal favorite?
Our peak season is dictated by our hatches, which come en masse during the spring months of April, May, and June. And although that's tough to beat, my favorite time of year is everything in between. I get to travel and fish, target new species and meet new people.
What are your favorite travel destinations? What’s on the bucket list?
The Pacific Northwest, Hawaii, Portugal, South Korea; there are fish to catch in so many amazing places. I'm also lucky enough to escape to Montana every summer for some down time. I've never considered myself the type to have a 'bucket list', perhaps due to its finite connotation, so next up is anywhere I have the opportunity to go. Fingers crossed that includes the Amazon.
What do you like most about Thomas and Thomas rods? Which rods do you fish?
I love the specificity of each series of rods, there's one for everything I do. I need rods I can rely on, ones that give me the cutting edge in competition and my aide in my performance. I'm then able to use those same rods as tools on the water with clients in ways that helps lessen the learning curve of certain techniques. I fish the Contact series, Avantt, and Exocett. I'm excited to get my hands on the trout spey.
What’s your current go-to fly?
It changes every day, welcome to Penns Creek.
Other than fly tackle, what piece of gear do you find indispensable?
Oh you know, the lyrics to a typical country song, my truck, my boat, and my dog.
My favorite thing about guiding is:
The daily intersection of conservation, education, and recreation that I am able to share with so many great people.
From the angler’s point of view, what do you see as the main value of going on a guided trip?
Getting to see a new place through the eyes of someone who sees it every day. There's so much collective knowledge and experience that comes with your guide. The value is what you're able to take away from that experience, which includes a better or more rounded skill set and hopefully a few laughs, tan lines, and some pictures to make your friends jealous.
What can new fishermen expect to get out of a guided trip? My favorite thing to teach a client is:
The difference between catching three fish and thirty fish is all in the details. We're here to work on those details. But, perhaps my favorite thing to teach is highlighting the importance of observing fish behavior in relation to how we target them and how their behavior is tied to conservation.
What’s your ideal lunch when on the water? What do you actually pack?
A smattering of Central Pennsylvania's finest Dutch cuisine, aka sandwiches, which may be consumed at 11pm after the spinner fall.
What fly fishing blogs/magazines do you read regularly?
The infamous Guide To Life by Jonas Price, daily showings at The Feathered Hook.
When I’m not fishing you’ll find me....
Trekking around The Feathered Hook Lodge with my dog, Eight. Also, beer.