Born in 1975 in a lovely little Annapolis Valley town of Berwick, N.S. I grew up fishing behind my grandparents’ house on the North mountain angling for lovely little brook trout. The brook and stream were small as I but back then everything seemed so big. Fast forward 20 years and I was still fishing but the worm and alder was replaced with rapalas and spinning reels and the quarry was now anything that a person could catch. From Bluefish off Yarmouth to Stripers along the Minas Basin. In 2005 I met a local living legend named Perry Munroe. He asked if I would like to build a fly rod at his camp in Black River. I took the offer immediately and before I knew it I had myself a 6wt G loomis. Once I learned to cast and catch there was no looking back. I owe a lot to Perry and thanks to his generosity I fell in love with fly fishing.
Another fella who was in our rod building group was a true gentleman and sportsman by the name of Rick Morse. We quickly formed a great friendship and started going on trips all over the province. Chasing lake trout, sea run brookies and salmon. My first trip to Silvers Pool on the St Mary’s was my most memorable trip ever. First pass and I hooked and lost my first grilse. He hooked and landed his first. A lovely grilse on a green machine. Later he hooked a biggun and lost it. I knew from that day on salmon would be number one in my books.
I started reading everything salmon. From flies, rivers, etiquette, etc I took it all in. The best commercial tyer I know Mike MacKinnon invited me to the Lahave to show me how to persue the king of sportfish. When he arrived without a rod I remember thinking how generous these fly fishermen are sharing secrets and time so unselfishly. Mike showed Rick and I the pools, when to use certain size flies, how to cast properly with the right angle, etc. It was the best lesson a novice could get.
That fall I landed my first grilse on a north shore river in October. What a feeling! Once November hit I was going thru withdrawal and a fella from work named Brian Blenkhorn gave me a pile of tying gear. I opened the box and on the spot tied the crudest mickey finn you could ever see. I still have it as a matter of fact.
Over the next few years I got married to Natasha Newcombe and we had a beautiful baby girl named Lainey Rachelle. I should mention her first fishing trip was at 9 months as she was in a baby back pack while I fished, We even managed to land a striper to boot. I have added every material possible to my tying collection. I tie trout, shad, striper and salmon flies but my favourites are the classic trout streamers . I am currently working on the Carrie Stevens collection of flies. She is the originator of the Grey Ghost and has another 120 or so patterns.
The following year I persued salmon and landed both summer and fall fish. In the winters a few of us get together and tie flies, tell stories, share memories and tie the odd fly in anticipation of the next season.
I now own several fly rods from 4 wts to 8 wts and target salmon, stripers, shad and trout. I go to the Mirimichi with Mike McKinnon each July and it is always a great time. He is a great guide who always gets us on fish. This past July I fished the Codroy in Newfoundland and we plan to go back next June. The people and fishing are second to none. Its not so much about the numbers or size of the fish anymore. It’s the journey and the like minded people you meet on the river. That’s what drives my passion.
My daughter is now 23 months old and enjoys sitting on my lap while I tie a fly at the bench. I hope to see her tying at a young age and fly fishing as well. I have a new 4 wt waiting for her 5th birthday. Who knows, maybe I will help her release her first salmon before you know it!