Brian Chou

Years Fishing?


Years Guiding?


Who introduced you to fly fishing?

Traded guitar lessons in high school with a friend's dad for fly casting lessons.

Can you tell us a little about your home waters and the fish you pursue there?

Here in the PNW, we're fortunate to have a little bit of everything from tiny creeks containing surface oriented wild trout to the mighty Columbia with both anadromous and warm water species. So whether it be swinging two handers for salmon or steelhead, stalking carp and bass on flats or throwing chickens at muskie, there's a lifetime of exploration to be had here.

What's the height of the season for you? What time of year is your personal favorite?

Since our waters don't ever freeze, there's a peak season for something every month of the year. This gives anglers that are willing to adapt the entire year to fish, and something to always look forward to.

What are your favorite travel destinations? What's on the bucket list?

I keep finding new ones every year, so I can't honestly say I have a favorite anymore. I suppose it would be somewhere I haven't been yet? There's a lot of water to survey on this rock, so I get pretty excited to learn a new one when the opportunity arises. Bucket...hmm...maybe a trip to the Alta with my closest friends and family.

What you like most about Thomas and Thomas rods? Which rods do you fish?

I've always appreciated their attention to detail, the balance of feel and power, and that they have stayed the course established from the very beginning. The fact that T&T also offers so many options and works closely with the field, it's no coincidence they have maintained their industry leading reputation for so long.

Given the diversity of my home waters, I feel very fortunate that I get to put various models of the lineup through their paces.
For swinging flies, my sink tip rod of choice goes to the legendary 1307 DNA paired with a Nextcast Zone F1 525. For dry line or near surface presentations, it's hard to find a better rod anywhere than the 1356 DNA paired with any Scandi style line in the 450-480 grain range.
When water levels are low and the target swing water can be covered with a single hander, I reach for the Contact 1086. This is really what I would consider to be a "true" switch rod, given its longer length allowing for effortless spey casting with 15-17' shooting heads or overhead casting and stripping streamers with an integrated weight forward line.
For the majority of my warmwater fisheries, the Exocett SS160 is an incredibly versatile rod for both floating and sinking presentations. Its fast but sensitive tip allows for quick shots to tailing carp, while the stout middle and butt pulls sink tips out of the water effortlessly and gives plenty of backbone to lean on.
My favorite rod for close quarters trout fishing, whether it be tight mountain creeks or sliding a size 2 salmonfly inches above the water below overhanging branches on the Deschutes is the Lotic 7105. Not only for its unique length but that it blends the classic feel of fiberglass with modern swing weight and plenty of backbone to turn the largest trout and deliver hard hitting streamer lines accurately.

What's your current go-to fly?

Anything I have confidence in. Flies that my daughter tied and gifted flies have the highest priority, followed by my own random creations.

Other than fly tackle, what piece of gear do you find indispensable?

The right kind of footwear makes all the difference. Also good sunglasses and my lanyard with a sharp set of nippers.

From the angler’s point of view, what do you see as the main value of going on a guided trip?

No matter how much you read online or in books, there's no substitution for local knowledge and time in the saddle. Not all guides are equal though, so make sure to ask around to see who would be the best fit for a day on the water given your expectations.

What can new fisherman expect to get out of a guided trip? My favorite thing to teach a client is ...

A glimpse into what it takes to confidently pursue their target species. My favorite things to teach my students/clients are that empathy is an angler's greatest asset, and to focus on the learning process and not just the result.

What's your ideal lunch when on the water? What do you actually pack?

Ideal is anything healthy that helps me enjoy my time on the water better. It also happens to be what I actually pack. 

What fly fishing blogs/magazines do you read regularly?

Magazines- Steelheader's Journal, Salmon & Steelhead Journal, The Drake, Fly Fish Journal

When I'm not fishing you'll find me:

Spending time with my family and friends

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