1. Why do you guide where you do?
Central Oregon has legendary waters, and I couldn’t imagine a better place to work and live. I am a lifelong Oregonian and we moved to this area in 1980 when I was 11. This was always the spot to come fishing when I was a kid and it still is today. I am lucky to be guiding in areas I fished with my grand parents growing up. Every time I launch my boat in East Lake where I spend a majority of my stillwater days, I think of my family trips there and all the fun I had and how it was my positive introduction to fishing and what I love so much in my life.
2. What is your favorite fish specie?
Without a doubt I love trout the best. I’ve been fishing for trout all over the planet, but I am constantly dreaming of rising trout in local spring creeks.
3. What is your favorite thing about guiding?
Guiding is almost always exciting. I love to catch fish myself, but one thing I’ve learned through guiding is when I have a good connection with my guest I get just as pumped to work for them to catch fish. I also love to have diversity in my job. Each day is new with weather or hatches. Sometimes we choose a new spot to go. Some things are similar but never the same. I also love the time on the water to observe things and learn. You can’t do that when the rod is in your own hands all the time.
4. What is the most memorable trip you’ve guided and why?
Well, there have been some doozies. The time a lady accidentally waded off a ledge into a deep hole and when I pulled her out her husband was furious with her. That made me just want to take care of her so much more.
Another time when I had a guy on a trip with brand new wading boots that was complaining his left foot hurt so bad. The hatch was good so we didn’t want to stop fishing but finally he waded to shore, sat on the bank and pulled off the boot to find all of the packing paper in that one boot still in the toe box. Ouch!
My favorite story of all time wasn’t really a guide trip but I was fishing with my nephew and wife on one of the lakes. We had the chironomid rigs set up and my rig was the hot set up. So after the last fish, I cast out again and set the rod down in the boat and went to re-rig my nephews rod when a fish took my fly and yanked my rod overboard. My wife dove in to the water and swam in after the rod, came back to the boat and let my nephew land the fish. When the trout was released it went belly up and since she was already wet she dove in again to revive the fish which seemed fine to swim away after the loving care Tina gave it in the cold waters of East Lake last summer.
After 30 plus years doing this I have many stories but I believe that is my favorite for sure!
5. What is the funniest thing you’ve experienced while guiding?
I love to tell jokes with my people so there are frequently a lot of laughs with most folks.
6. What makes your guide service great?
I have some of the best crew in the business working with me. We all have terrific boats, vehicles and equipment. We have years of knowledge and experience and we love what we do.
Just for example, I have a 17.5 Alumaweld Talon with a 60 hp Mercury I guide with on the lakes. It is a very safe and stable boat and excellent fishing platform. In the boat I have several complete rod and reel set ups with all the specialized sinking lines we need on extra spools. We will be ready for anything.
When I am guiding the rivers, if it is not a walk and wade on one of my favorite small streams I use a 16X54 Alumaweld drift boat and have all the nymphing rods and dry fly rods set up for my guests. They can come stay here at one of the local resorts and be totally taken care of by me or my staff.
I am also teaching and guiding really specialized niche’ trips. I cover a “Mastering the Spring Creeks” class, a Czech/Euro Nymphing class, a Tenkara only guide trip and I am an expert on the lakes for chironomid, callibaetis and other standard lake techniques.
7. If you had only one day off all year, where would you fish and what fish would you target?
Well, I would hit the Metolius River here in Central Oregon during the green drake hatch for wild Redband trout. The take for the Green Drakes is incredible, usually forceful and splashy rises that are a sight to behold. The drakes hatch twice a year here, in June and again in September but I would pick the June Drakes because they are bigger and most exciting to match.
Thankfully I don’t have to just pick one day a year to fish because I live so close to so much great water for trout, steelhead, bass and other species! It is a fishing playground here for sure and I take advantage of my time off from guiding by going to the water to play.
8. What are your favorite three flies?
Quigley’s Film Critic, Brooks KD Dun, Comparadun and Iris Caddis. Sorry that is 4, but I wish I could add more. I am a fly geek big time! I could easily list a dozen or 20 favorites here.
9. What is the one piece of gear you couldn’t bear to leave at home?
My new Winston 9 foot 4 weight B3LS rod. It is the smoothest dry fly rod ever.
10. Do you have any other passions?
My family, my wife and our dogs. We like to do yard work if it doesn’t cut into fishing time too much. We mountain bike on forest service trails right behind our house and at the Peterson Ridge trail system here in Sisters. I love to ski and was really involved in ski racing for many years and I play a little golf and usually shoot in the 80’s.
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