I have been a member of the Illinois Smallmouth Alliance since 2003. Our fly fishing group is known as the Bassbuggers. I previously held the title of Fly Fishing Coordinator.
I love teaching all aspects of fishing, especially helping people improve their casting skills. In 2007, I had a client who said he had never been fly fishing, but always wanted to learn. We worked on basic skills, casting, reading water and wading safety.
He was an excellent student. By the end of the year, he sent me a picture of his first pike, caught in a river in Wisconsin on his fly rod.
I have been going out each year since 2000 with the sixth grade class from a local school, for their week of outdoor education. I teach classes in fishing in the first half of the week and Archery the second half. Yes, I get to teach the subjects with flying metal objects that can poke new holes in a person. We spend lots of time on Safety. Both my kids have graduated from that school, but I love the chance to teach these youngsters to enjoy fishing and the outdoors.
I really enjoy guiding people and helping them develop new skills. Whether it is fishing soft plastics on a spinning rod or deer hair poppers on a fly rod. Sponge spiders on a lightweight fly rod are great for getting someone excited about fly fishing. But my favorite will always be introducing people to the joy of catching Smallmouth in moving water.
I have tried many hobbies in my life. But sport fishing is the one that has endured. I took my first fly fishing course in 1977. For many years, I was a poor to average fisherman. But in 2001, I met Jamie who has become my favorite fishing partner. He and I fished the waters that I have been fishing for years and he taught me techniques that I had been reading about since I was a youth. He helped me move way beyond being an average fisherman. And I have found great joy in teaching others how to step up their fishing skills and find new enjoyment of our sport.