Your name or any nicknames you have?
Where are you at in the world? Where will you be fishing this year?
Located in Northeast Ohio, in the infamous city of Cleveland, Ohio. A good friend of mine from Cincinnati and I both just got back from Montana fishing the Madison and Missouri. Upcoming trips are up in the air, but a trip back to Belize or somewhere in the salt is on the mind. Fishing is picking up locally, so it will be hard to switch focus from my home waters until those brutal winter months kick in.
What river(s) and lake(s) do you guide/fish?
Northeast Ohio is a lucky region to live in for any angler. We are offered a variety of opportunities year round for fishing. With over 7 major tributaries of Lake Erie within a morning’s drive and the Great Lakes all around us, we have good numbers of warmwater and coldwater species. We are also blessed with countless inland lakes and of course Lake Erie itself. I fish the Rocky River frequently. It’s just a short drive from my house and offers renowned fishing with great public access.
How long have you been guiding/fly fishing?
I started fly fishing about 7 years ago in college. I learned through a good friend of mine who worked for Orvis at the time. Later I ended up working for him and then taking a role as an instructor/fly shop manager. I haven’t done much freelance guiding, but I have played with the idea after my enjoyable experience instructing.
What got you into fly fishing? When did you start?
I have been fishing all my life, but it wasn’t until my Dad’s interest in fishing that brought me to fly fishing. It was his idea to learn this version of the sport. Needless to say, after picking up a fly rod I won’t go back to spin fishing.
Why do you fly fish? What does it “do” for you?
There are countless things that are appealing about the sport. The challenge is one of my favorites. The constant pursuit of a new species or a new way to chase them. Tying your own fly, fresh off the vice, and tricking a predator into thinking feathers, metal and resin are food. The inability to master the sport keeps me coming back. Being on the water is a great escape from the fast world we live in as well. It’s a time to connect with nature and shed all the stressful things going on around you. It’s one of my favorite places on earth. Lastly, the places it takes you and the people you meet are second to none. Fly Fishing has given me the most memorable trips and taken me to areas that I can honestly say I never would’ve been had it not been for the sport.
If you own and use a Rod Vault, what do you like about you Rod Vault?
I do not own one… yet, but I am dying to get my hands on one. After seeing a picture of a 4Runner falling victim to a fallen tree branch, with everything crushed except the rod vault itself, I am sold.
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?
Keep it fun. Too often people take fishing too seriously. We are all in this for the same reason: To have fun. Just be respectful on the water and don’t be afraid to ask questions. I learned the sport through some of the best fly fisherman I have ever met who were kind enough to coach and share their knowledge. Because of that, I am always happy to offer advice on the water to whomever asks.
Who has influenced you most as an angler?
I learned the sport through a now close friend, Jim Lampros. He was the Orvis Fishing Manager at the time and I later ended up working for him. He has coached me more than any other person in the sport and has fed my addiction. Northeast Ohio is kind of a low-key hotbed for extremely fishy dudes and getting to know a lot of them through the industry has left me with great connections, knowledge, and good friends to fish with.
What’s your favorite new piece of gear?
Oh man this is a good one. I went through a gear-head stage like most fly fisherman at some point, but I think my favorite so far is my Fly Craft. For the waters we fish around my area, a versatile inflatable like this one is hard to beat. It has opened a lot of water for me and its ability to break down allows me to travel with it easily.
What is your favorite fly? (To tie, or catch fish on?)
The Sex Dungeon has been a good fly to me for a variety of species. I have had trout, bass, pike, and steelhead all have their go at it. Something about the movement and profile is hard to beat, especially with the abundance of sculpin in our waters. Galloup was onto something with this pattern and it’s often my go-to when throwing streamers.
Best catch of all time?
This is a tough one! A couple years back I was spoiled by the esox family. I love chasing pike and had never had the chance to really target musky. But on my first time out, I stuck a 42″ fish and it changed my life. This did not bode well for my karma and my gear quickly payed the price of a newbie hooking a monster 50 casts in. I have a lot of respect for that fish and the challenge it takes to catch them.
What’s your “Dream Trip”?
After seeing what the salt offers, it’s hard to go back to freshwater, but I have a variety of destinations on my bucket list. Taimen in Mongolia, Rainbows in Kamchatka, or GTs in Seychelles all sound pretty awesome. My biggest fear is I would get a taste and never come back…
What are some of the best places you’ve been fishing?
Belize is probably some of the best fishing I have ever experienced. There are great numbers of tarpon, bonefish, and permit. The first day I was a permit away from getting the Super Grand Slam (tarpon, bonefish, snook, and permit). But, permit being the liars they are, have a undeniable way of crushing an anglers self-esteem. Despite the heartbreak, I would recommend it for any fly fisherman at some point in their life. Northern Ontario for pike and smallmouth has become a favorite. The Delaware River, the Au Sable, and Montana have all offered me fantastic trout fishing trips as well.
How do people follow you on social media or reach you?
Anyone can check me out on instagram (@revistg). I would love to share some experiences or hear about some from others. I am always open to recommendations for where I should be traveling to next too!