Tuesday, August 9, 2016


When did you learn to fly fish?

     I'm not sure really. I remember fishing when I very young with the spinning rod. I think I got serious about fly fishing when I was eight.

When did you become a guide?

     I started following my dad on trips when I was probably 12 or so. I would carry lunches, clean the car and help guide clients a little. Back then we were doing a lot of guiding on small mountain streams. I could help people catch fish but a lot of folks had a hard time listening to a 12-year-old.  Guess I can't blame them. My first solo guide trip was when I was 14. We got a lot of big fish that day!  Luckily my clients didn't mind driving because I didn't have a license yet.

Where are you from and how did you end up guiding in Taos?

     As a good friend once said "I came to Taos on the day I was born."  There was some thought to pursuing other careers but they were short-lived as fishing was what I was always passionate about.  When I was 17 I was selected to be on the United States Jr. Fly Fishing team. That put me in a position where it was hard to look at anything else besides the fishing industry for a career.

What is your most memorable experience as a guide?

     It's really hard to say. There have been some really good ones and some really bad ones. One of my favorite memories in recent history took place down on the Rio Grande in the upper box. I've been guiding the Johansen family for about a decade and they love adventures and big fish. A few years ago, one of the Johansen brothers hooked a monster Cutbow in some very rough water. We had already lost some nice fish and had failed to land a big one to this point. Kyle fought the fish well but I could see that the fish was headed over a waterfall downstream. I knew once the fish got over that it would be all over.  So I went to net it as the fish passed by me.  Not knowing how deep the water was I took a leap of faith. It turns out the river was much deeper than I thought and I went fully under the water. I popped back up soaking wet and with the beautiful 4 pound Cutbow in the net. There were high fives all around. Check out the video here: https://www.facebook.com/taosflyshop/videos Click on the video titled "Cutbow."

What is your goal when you take clients on a guide trip?

     I try to make sure that my clients have an experience that they won't forget. To me fly fishing is a lot more than just catching fish. I try to take people to places that they will enjoy and teach them new things.  I like to help them interact with Mother Nature in a way that they usually are unable to do.

What is your favorite river to guide and why?

     The Rio Grande hands down. It's the most dynamic river I've ever fished. It has something for everybody whether it's big wide open riffles, class 5+ rapids, or big deep slow pools.  There are trout, smallmouth bass and Pike. And there are places in the canyon that probably don't get finished more than once every few years. When you hit it right, it's one of the best trout fisheries in the west. But hitting it right is the hard part. And maybe the best part of the whole experience is the solitude down there.

What are your top five “go to” patterns?

     Red copper John
     Micro mayfly
     Pheasant tail
     Parachute Adams

What do you love about fly fishing?

     What's not to love? Fly fishing has taking me to some of the most beautiful and wild places in the world. The people I've met along the way are amazing. Looking back on the last 25 years, I remember the people and the places more than the fish.

What is the one place that you want to fish before you die?

     It's a long list! I'd like to see New Zealand. British Columbia and Russia are also high on the list.

What do you enjoy doing when you are not on the water?

     Photography and bow hunting are my two other passions. But spending time with my amazing wife Chrissy and our awesome kiddos is by far the best way to spend a day.

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