Craig Buckbee, Burlington Flats, New York, USA

Years Fishing?

50

Years Guiding?

10

Who introduced you to fly fishing?

My father introduced me to fly fishing. Also, I was very lucky to have had two generous and thoughtful mentors: a friend's father started me tying flies and my scoutmaster brought me to United Fly Tyers' meetings. 

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

I have fished the Delaware system for close to 40 years - won over the first time that I witnessed one of it's Rainbows snatch a fly from the surface. The wonder and beauty of entomology plays a huge part in my fly fishing interest. Catskill streams are fertile with bug life, mind boggling at times; to be an interloper in all that is a gift.

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

 Pinnacle:  My inner child makes an appearance when March Browns start popping.  Favorite: Early autumn with it's quieter, calmer pace and the second wave of Isonychia. 

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

So many places, so little time... seemingly limitless.  Few things come close to an expansive, lit up Bonefish flat - Bahamas or Kiritimati. Bucket list is another helping of South America, this time for Golden Dorado.

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

The merging of craftsmanship and action: Form & Function. The new Exocett SS rods exemplify that - especially the lighter line models with their purpose driven action and stealthy handsomeness.

What's your current go-to fly?

Freshwater: "Uncle Fester",  My impressionistic pattern of an Isonychia nymph, with mink collar being the key component. 


Saltwater:  
"Gurgler",  the Gurgler is king.

What can a client expect to get out of a guided trip? What's your favorite thing to teach a client?

Confidence and self reliance. 


My great love is teaching casting, to new and experienced fly fishers.  Witnessing a client have an Aha! moment is unbelievably satisfying - easily my favorite thing. It's a blast to watch a student succeed in garnering a new skill or correct a nagging casting fault. I am very proud to be on staff at The Wulff School of Fly Fishing and an FFI Master Casting Instructor. 

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

Mitten clamps & Coffee maker.

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

It doesn't much matter as long as it involves coffee, black.

What fly fishing blogs/magazines do you read regularly?

Lately I've been reading books: "Trout and Flies - Getting Closer" by Peter Hayes and Don Stazicker  "What Fish See: Understanding optics and color shifts for designing lures and flies" by Colin J. Kageyama. "The Trout's Tale: The Fish That Conquered an Empire"  by Chris Newton

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

Practicing my casting, trying out new line and rod combinations. Standing in front of a painting. Messing around in my woods.