I grew up in Presque Isle Maine and started fishing very young with my father. Back then we had a camp on Cross Lake which is connected by thoroughfare to Square Lake in Northern Aroostook County. Square Lake is well known for its Brook Trout & Landlocked Salmon. My father wasn’t a fly fisherman trolling only lures on flat lines. We also only fished from ice out until the water warmed up usually the weekend after Memorial Day.
When I got into high school 1990, a part time job as well as a little more freedom brought fourth the opportunity to buy a fly rod and start learning to use it. It was a 3 piece 8’ Martin combo straight off the shelf at Service Merchandise and I went off to fly fish completely blind. None of my fishing friends fished flies, so I read any
book or magazine I could get my hands on.
As far as fly tying, I started shortly after I bought that Martin rod. The following Christmas, I got an LL Bean Fly Tying Kit that contained some materials and a Thompson AA vise. Again, completely on my own, I started studying how to tie flies. I think the first book I owned was the Orvis Pattern Index. Reading fly books has morphed into addiction like behavior that continues to this day. I feel that to be a good tier, you constantly need to explore different & new techniques. It’s the ongoing process of learning that makes you better. Like so many tiers, I started buying flies
and “realized” that if I learned to tie these things myself I’d save all sorts of money! Well, we all know I couldn’t have been more wrong. But the unintended consequences are what I find truly amazing about fly tying. I soon learned that I could manipulate existing patterns or completely design my own. I also wasn’t hostage to what flies the outfitters had in stock. What I also found was another facet of fishing that, just might, bring an equal or more amount of joy in my life.
Today, like everyone else, my life has changed considerably. After bouncing around the state of Maine for awhile, in 2006 I returned home to Aroostook County to settle in Mars Hill, 12 miles south of my hometown of Presque Isle. I arrived with a new wife of one year and an infant baby boy of one month. We now have a full house with 2 boys and a girl that keep us busy. They let me have May to hit Square, Long, and East Grand Lakes in return they get to fish the warmer months of the summer with me. I fly fish the Prestile Stream & the Aroostook River any chance I get in the summer. I’m also the current President of Atlantic Salmon for Northern Maine which operates a non profit, private, Atlantic Salmon hatchery restoring fish in the Aroostook River.