I’m the old dog of this trio. I’ve been fishing all my life–with flies for over 25 years. I learned how to fly fish for trout on the famed Au Sable in Northern Michigan, and for Smallmouth Bass on the (Mighty) Huron near Ann Arbor, where I lived at the time.
I taught myself how to tie using books, and my approach to tying has evolved over the years. It’s a bit different than most–the fewer pieces of feathers and fur I lash onto the
hook, the better. If I can catch a fish using a fly that has just a single material wrapped around the hook–like the Blacksmith–I’m in heaven. And, if I can tie them so that they don’t fall apart after catching a few fish, so much the better. I pretty much tie all of my flies this way.
Why the minimalist approach ? It’s simple, cheap, and fast, so it gets me on the water sooner. It also frees up my time for other passions, like building rods and making landing nets. And when I want some flies that are a bit more sophisticated, well, that’s when I give Josh a call.
I’m lucky enough to live in the heart of the Driftless, which is a region in S/W Wisconsin, N/E Iowa, and S/E Minnesota the size of a small state that was left free of “drift” during the last round of glaciers. The area is chock full of small limestone spring creeks that flow through intimate little valleys of forest and farms. Almost all of these streams support trout, many of them wild, and some even native. And, if you can tear your eyes away from the water, you’ll see or hear deer, grouse, turkey, bald eagles, and more.
When I’m not fishing or working on rods or landing nets, I’m at work as a manager for a large multinational software corporation, or I’m spending time with my wife of more than 30 years and our two English Cocker Spaniels. And when they grace us with their presence, we especially enjoy spending time with our two college-age kids.