Who introduced you to fly fishing?
My dad was not a fisherman, but his best friend was an avid flyfisherman, and he taught me how to fly cast and fish poppers for smallmouth bass.
Can you tell us a little about your home waters and the fish you pursue there?
My home waters are the Farmington and Housatonic Rivers in CT. The Farmington River has emerged as the preeminent trout fishery in Connecticut and being a bottom really tailwater we are able to pursue trout there 12 months a year. And there are many quality trout there, it’s a mix of stocked, hold over and wild trout of all three species. Not only does it hold a lot of trout, but there are some real quality fish too. The Housatonic is more of a free stoner, so it’s a spring and fall deal for trout there, but it flows through limestone and so has prolific hatches and fat trout. During the warmer months, it’s a very underutilized smallmouth bass fishery, and it coughs up some nice Pike also.
What's the height of the season for you? What time of year is your personal favorite?
Our fly shop Is located on the banks of the Farmington River, and it’s become a destination fishery that is incredibly popular with the anglers. We’re probably at our absolute busiest from April through July. Some of my favorite times to be on the water are when Caddis, Sulfurs, or Isonychia are active, those bugs really seem to get the fish fired up whether you are nymphing, fishing dries or wets. I also like the late fall through late winter for the reduced fishing pressure and increased elbow room.
What are your favorite travel destinations? What's on the bucket list?
Pennsylvania and Montana are both amazing states if you’re a trout fisherman. Eastern PA is only a 3 hour drive for me, and if I go another two hours Central PA has so many top-notch rivers it’s hard to know where to start. The Catskill region of New York has diverse fishing opportunities and is a great overnight trip for me. My bucket list includes the following: the worlds largest rainbow trout in Jurassic lake, fishing for Atlantic salmon and giant brown trout in Russia, sight fishing for trophy trout in New Zealand, and targeting the world’s largest sea run brown trout in Tierra del Fuego.
What do you like most about Thomas and Thomas rods? Which rods do you fish?
Thomas & Thomas has turned into a cutting edge company in recent years, producing some of the finest fly rods out there. My favorite way to trout fish is nymphing, and in particular I love to tight line/Euro Nymph. The Contact series of rods are nothing short of amazing: light, sensitive, quick recovery, and the ability to make a long cast and fish long drifts when necessary. There is just the right balance between a tip soft enough to properly cast, protect the tippet, and play the fish, but with adequate power further down on the rod to land big trout. There are a lot of companies making nice rods for this style of fishing, but T&T is currently the cream of the crop. I am also a big fan of the Avantt series, they are light, crisp and cast beautifully.
What's your current go-to fly?
Trout love Caddis and every trout stream has them, so more often than not you will find me fishing a Caddis pupa or larva as one of my flies. I have a pupa pattern I do that I called the Hare’s Ear Caddis, and it’s it’s lethal everywhere so it’s almost always on my line spring through fall.
Other than fly tackle, what piece of gear do you find indispensable?
And Infrared stream thermometer. I’m always curious what the water temperature is, as it affects where, when, and how I fish. An infrared thermometer gives me an instantaneous reading so I don’t have to wait.
My favorite thing about guiding is:
Currently, I manage a fly shop and don’t guide anymore, but the thing I liked most about guiding was teaching people a new skill and seeing them succeed at it. Their smile would say at all.
From the angler’s point of view, what do you see as the main value of going on a guided trip?
A guided trip can be whatever a person wants it to be: learning a new skill, perfecting an old one, learning how to fish a particular hatch, or learning a new river. It can massively shortcut an angler’s learning curve.
What can new fisherman expect to get out of a guided trip? My favorite thing to teach a client is ...
Knowledge. When I guided, I always enjoyed teaching a client how to successfully nymph. Many started the trip saying they weren’t a fan of nymphing, but after they caught a bunch of fish and maybe a bigger one than they ever caught before, most became instant converts.
What's your ideal lunch when on the water? What do you actually pack?
Chicken salad on toasted rye with Frank’s red hot, a piece of fruit, and a cold ice tea. I always bring some snack type food with me like bananas, protein bars, cheese etc, plus a sports drink like Gatorade so my legs don’t cramp up at night.
What fly fishing blogs/magazines do you read regularly?
Fly Fisherman & America Angler magazines. Troutbitten.com & tacticalflyfisher.com for blogs.
When I'm not fishing you'll find me
Reading about fishing, tying flies, or talking about fishing with one of my fellow fanatic fishing friends.