Andy & Lindsay Szofran

How many years have you been fishing?

Many, between the both of us.

How many years have you been guiding?

30+ // 9+

Who introduced you to fly fishing?

At age 10, the St. Louis County libraries piqued Andy’s interest in fly tying and fishing. Shortly after, he purchased his first fly rod and taught himself. Lindsay began her journey with her brothers. From her second date with Andy in the summer of ’99, he became her mentor.

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

The Greater Yellowstone ecosystem had a 1,000-year flood in 2022. Streams that we knew intimately became unrecognizable. A year class of fish was decimated. It is amazing to see the changes, resiliency, and recoveries of the ecosystem. Being involved in the local watershed organization has become even more important.

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

The height of trout season in Montana is summer. When fall arrives, we transition to Oregon and Washington to guide Spey casting for steelhead. Our favorite time of year is the days that we get to spend fishing together. OK, steelhead season is awesome!

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

The best trips are when the dogs can come along. We love road trips. Some of our favorite waters are those that were never on a list, but life took us there. The amazing hatches and size of insects in Pennsylvania took us by surprise, and now we go there every spring. Very recently, we found a fondness for Czechia while there for the Ladies World Fly Fishing Championships. We are so grateful to have had the opportunity to explore and spend a life pursuing fish.

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

A company is not only its product but its culture. To us, T&T is a group of people who are passionate about fishing and equipment in a way that celebrates fly fishing at its purest.

Pursuing fish is a very mindful practice that clears the mind and lets the angler absorb the surroundings and focus on the fish. With appropriate equipment, the rod becomes an extension of the body. The pursuit of fish becomes more pure without hindrance. Holding a high-performance rod with unparalleled craftsmanship makes each moment on the water feel special. The diverse lineup of T&T rods makes it easy for us to transition from different fly fishing techniques or to different species.

In the Czech Republic, a country known for nymphing, Lindsay was so excited to use the 904-4 Paradigm to fish dry flies during parts of the recent Ladies World Fly Fishing Championships.

When A & L are deciding who gets to use which rod for the day, bartering often comes into play over who gets to fish the Paradigm.

Some extra dishes have been washed over the use of a rod.

What's your current go-to fly?

The one that is still on there from yesterday. Neither of us believes, in most circumstances, that the fly matters as much as the presentation. There is a good chance, however, that the fly would be a variation of a hare’s ear, pheasant tail, comparadun, or F-fly. We really like CDC in our flies.

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

A good hook sharpener!

Our favorite thing about guiding is:

Andy finds joy in being rowed down a river by someone he taught to fish!
To witness the raw emotions expressed by individuals catching the first fish, the biggest fish, or just having a good time on the water is a gift of guiding that Lindsay always appreciates.

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

Building confidence through learning so that one can go fish on their own is a great benefit of a guided trip. Those who learn are more likely to continue the sport, get others involved, and hopefully become stewards of the waters.

What can new anglers expect to get out of a guided trip?

Just catching fish is great. However, we both really enjoy teaching throughout the day to engage the angler and give them a deeper understanding & respect for the trout and its environment.

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

Steak and tequila or beer and brats is a fun day choice. For guided trips it varies from chef salad, sandwiches, soups, grilled meats or fried chicken. Drinking plenty of water while outdoors is always important. Iced tea and coconut water are also go to beverages. Oh, and definitely some kind of dessert!

What fly fishing blogs/magazines do you read regularly?

We are more likely to listen to podcasts, which are great for road trips together. At home, we enjoy our extensive library of books on fishing, flora & fauna.

When we're not fishing you'll find us:

With our two Wirehaired Pointing Griffon dogs at our side. (They come fishing too.) We also enjoy skiing, snowboarding, hiking, whitewater boating, bird hunting and photography in the great outdoors. We are known for cooking up amazing meals around a camp.