Scientific research has proven that once you catch the fly fishing bug, it's almost impossible to get rid of it. I caught mine growing up in Illinois, fishing farm ponds for bluegills and largemouth bass, and angling the Mississippi River for catfish and carp. After college in the Midwest (where the bass fishing was excellent), I moved to the Northeast to start a career as a commercial photographer, but continued my education with a graduate course in saltwater surfcasting, taught by Nantucket bluefish.
In the early 90's, I mentioned to my dad that this fly fishing business looked like a lot of fun, and he surprised me by pulling a three-piece South Bend bamboo fly rod out of the closet. "Why don't you play around with this," he said, "Just don't touch my golf clubs." Between my first shaky foray with his rod on Vermont's West River and today, I've logged lots of hours, built many rods and tied countless flies trying to unravel the mysteries of catching a trout with a fly.
In 2002, I moved my home and photography business from New York City to the Catskill Mountains in the mistaken belief that trout are more amenable to being caught by a local. I now make my home in Chichester, NY, on the banks of the Stony Clove Creek, an aggressive double-haul from the historic Esopus Creek.
Living, working, and fly fishing in the "Cradle of American Fly Fishing" has sharpened my game, taught me a bit of humility, and given me an intimate knowledge of the region's legendary rivers — Esopus, Schoharie and the East and West Branches of the Delaware — and their tributaries. Exploring the rich fly fishing history and traditions of the Catskills — where it all began in America, after all — has added another layer of enjoyment to the sport I love.
I've heard it said that if you can find a way to make money doing something you love, you'll never have to work another day in your life. Sharing the excitement of fly fishing with others — young or old, new or experienced — and maybe helping another individual catch the bug is my reward. That's why I started Catskill Mountain Angler.