Your name or any nicknames you have?
Where are you at in the world? Where will you be fishing this year?
I live out on eastern Long Island in New York. This year I’ll be fishing my local waters on the island for the most part, both salt and freshwater. I try to get around to different places when I can. I spent a week fishing in Costa Rica in January. And I’ve gotten up to the Catskills this year since it’s not too far from where I live, which I’ll continue to do this year. Hopefully this fall I’ll be up on the Great Lakes tributaries again to connect with a few steelhead. I’m always looking to fish new places and cross them off the bucket list.
What river(s) and lake(s) do you guide/fish?
For the most part, on my home waters I fish the bays, beaches, and jetties of Long Island for striped bass, false albacore, and bluefish. Most of my fishing is done from the shore. I love to fly rod in the salt, but I do use spinning tackle as well. In freshwater my local mainstays are some small streams like the Carmans River for native fisg, as well as Connetquot River. The trout are stocked in Connetquot, but the fishing there has the potential to be truly world class. If I want to catch wild fish on big majestic rivers I’ll head up to the Catskills, which luckily is not too much of a hike with about a two and a half hour drive.
How long have you been guiding/fly fishing?
I’m not a guide, but I work for a fishing outfitter on Long Island called White Water Outfitters. I started fly fishing when I was 13 years old, I’m 26 now, so that was 13 years ago… and now I feel old realizing that!
What got you into fly fishing? When did you start?
I became obsessed with fishing when I was young, and I fished with spinning gear for a while. I remember seeing fly fishing photos in magazines, watched people do it on fishing shows and it always intrigued me. One day I decided I wanted to learn how to fly fish. My dad bought me a cheap setup from Sports Authority, and I had at it. I started off learning to cast and catching sunnies in the local ponds, and that progressed to trout in the streams shortly after. Eventually I went to a real fly shop when I was 14, which caused me to take up tying, and also lead to me buying some nicer gear.
Why do you fly fish? What does it “do” for you?
There’s so many reasons why I fly fish, it’s hard to pick one. It’s a challenge, a feeling, and a way to appreciate nature and free your mind. I’m open to all types of fishing, I don’t discriminate. But nothing really compares to the challenge and art of using a fly rod. I love the feeling of having a fish grab a fly when your is working through your fingers, or watching a fish suck down a dry fly when you manage a perfect presentation after a bunch of failed attempts. It’s true gratification. It also takes you to some beautiful places, and it has made me meet a lot of good people along the way. For me, fly fishing brings me peace, and it gives me a way to challenge myself. It’s an addiction, but a very healthy one.
If you own and use a Rod Vault, what do you like about you Rod Vault?
I don’t own a Rod Vault yet, but I will soon since I pre-ordered it a few months ago and it will probably be showing up soon!
What is a piece of advice you want to give to other anglers or a tip/trick that has helped you grow as an angler?
Fish as often as you can, be mindful of what you’re doing both when things work and when they don’t work, and don’t be afraid to explore different techniques and places.
Who has influenced you most as an angler?
I never really had anybody close to me that really fished and influenced me that much when I was a kid, I had to teach myself a lot of the time. I owe it to my dad for always taking me when I became obsessed however, and to the “old guys” in the fly shop that I used to spend Sunday mornings tying with as a kid. They definitely helped and influenced me back then.
What’s your favorite new piece of gear?
My reels from 3-Tand. They’re awesome for every type of fishing that I do, sealed, smooth, powerful drags are important in a lot of the places that I fish. I also love my Simms Gore-Tex foul weather gear and waders. it keeps me out regardless of weather conditions.
What is your favorite fly? (To tie, or catch fish on?)
For trout, my favorite fly is probably a Stimulator. It catches fish in a lot of different situations and works in a lot of different types of water. In the salt, I love the good old Lefty’s Deceiver and “surf candy” epoxy minnow patterns for stripers and false albacore. I have a tendency to keep things relatively simple.
Best catch of all time?
On the fly rod, at least at this moment I consider my best catch to be any of the steelhead or false albacore that I’ve caught so far to be my “best catches”. It may be because I don’t get to fish for them that often throughout the year, that probably has something to do with it. Steelhead require a long drive, and the albies only show up for a couple months every year locally, so I get really excited about catching them. In all honestly though, they’re both a perfect fly rod fish, and there isn’t much out there that I’ve fished for yet that fights quite like both of them do. The fact that they’re both remarkable looking fish puts them up there on the list too.
What’s your “Dream Trip”?
I have a lot of dream trips. Fly fishing the Indo-Pacific atolls for giant trevally and bonefish is one, trout in Patagonia, and some day I’d like to make it to Alaska.
What are some of the best places you’ve been fishing?
Costa Rica was probably one of the best fishing trips I’ve been on yet, the blue marlin fishing and inshore roosterfish was insane. The Lake Erie tributaries are an amazing experience for steelhead, and I have to say I’m lucky to live in one of the best places, there’s really some excellent water near me.