Who introduced you to fly fishing?
My dad introduced me to fishing at a very young age, growing up around my home state of Minnesota and Wisconsin I spent a lot of time targeting species such as Bass, Muskies and Steelhead.
Can you tell us a little about your home waters and the fish you pursue there?
At this point in time my home waters are the South Fork of the Snake River in Southeast Idaho, and the inshore waters of the lower Florida keys. The Snake is home to four species of trout, though the most sought after and my personal favorite to see is the native Snake River Fine Spot Cutthroat. In the keys Tarpon, Permit and Bonefish are the three species I’m looking for the majority of the time.
What's the height of the season for you? What time of year is your personal favorite?
The height of my season in the keys is April and May, and in Idaho it’s June through the first part of October. My personal favorite part of the season would likely have to be September on the South Fork. The weather starts to cool off a little bit, the river gets a lot less busy, fall colors start to show up and the fishing is still really good.
What do you like most about Thomas and Thomas rods? Which rods do you fish?
I was drawn to T&T for the immaculate craftsmanship, and for the fact that all their rods are made to work. For a serious angler looking for a tool they can rely on to get the job done, regardless of the situation these sticks are it.
What are your favorite travel destinations? What’s on the bucket list?
The opportunities that angling provides you to see new places and experience new things through travel is one of my very favorite aspects of the sport. I’ll never turn down an opportunity to see somewhere new with a fly rod in my hand. That being said, my favorite place so far was a last minute trip to Tsimane, Bolivia to fish Golden Dorado in 2021. The highest trip on my bucket list for a couple years now has been Baja to go chase striped marlin & roosterfish.
What's your current go-to fly?
This is a tough question, if I had to narrow it down to one it would probably be a size 8 black and brown Pat’s rubber legs. So far in my guiding career that fly has consistently caught more big trout than any other. A close second would be my all time favorite tarpon fly, the black & purple PBJ.
Other than fly tackle, what piece of gear do you find indispensable?
My waterproof dry bag to keep my cameras & tackle dry and protected.
My favorite thing about guiding is:
Having the opportunity to show people that fly fishing is way more than just catching fish. It’s about the relationships you build, the places it takes you and the endless pursuit of always wanting to learn and be a better angler.
From the angler’s point of view, what do you see as the main value of going on a guided trip?
I’ve been a firm believer for a long time that there is always something you can learn from everybody in the fishing world, regardless of experience level. This translates well on a guided trip, even on a piece of water you’re familiar with. Everyone does things differently in their own subtle ways, there’s a lot that you can pick up from that. A good example of this would be fishing the same piece of water with two different guides two days in a row, it’ll feel like a very different experience based on the way they run their ship. Especially if you’re fishing somewhere new to you, nothing beats local knowledge.
What can new fisherman expect to get out of a guided trip? My favorite thing to teach a client is ...
My number one priority for new anglers in my boat is a positive experience. That comes with a lot of instruction starting from square one to slowly building on skills & technique, as well as trying to instill in people that you don’t need to catch a lot of fish to enjoy your time on the water. Most importantly I do the very best I can to make the day an enjoyable experience so they want to continue fishing.
What's your ideal lunch when on the water? What do you actually pack?
My ideal boat lunch is a nice charcuterie style spread. Fancy cheese and meats with crackers, maybe a little fruit in there. That being said I’ve gotten through a lot of days on sour patch kids and Red Bull.
When I'm not fishing you'll find me
In the off season, probably skiing somewhere around Swan Valley. Past that, I’m on the water or tying flies.