Gary Loomis is so much more than just a name printed on a rod. Gary has been at the core of the fishing industry for over fifty years, and is still going strong. As the previous founder and owner of G. Loomis, running a successful rod company isn’t new to him, and Edge, his latest company, is forging full-steam ahead. I met with Gary at his home in Woodland to see if I could learn more about the man I knew so little about. His story blew me away.
In today’s world of technology and social media there are few kept secrets when it comes to fly-fishing destinations, but there is one that is relatively unknown to most of the population outside of Australia. I first heard of the Murray cod only after moving part-time to Oz, and while I selfishly contemplated keeping this incredible fish off the fly-fishing industry’s radar, conservation efforts and a dire need of awareness saw me sitting down with guide, Cameron McGregor and Dr. Katie Doyle to help educate me, and hopefully many of you, about this remarkable fish.
Wil Flack is the only Belizean-Canadian I know. Guide, retailer, product developer... he's the guy from the catalogues who has the permit tattoos on his neck, and is the same man who came up with the cloud camo shirts so many flats guides are wearing these days. I met up with Wil in Belize for a quick chat before he had to go out on a charter. In this episode we talk about the struggles of permit and tarpon fishing.
The Wooldridge family has been making boats for over 100 hundred years! Admittedly a Wooldridge fan since my days of guiding on the Fraser river for salmon and sturgeon, I was excited to have Grant on the show to share his family’s story, and to explain why the Wooldridge boat design is so legendary. I met with him at their Washington factory to steal him away from production for an hour.
Joan Wulff is one of the most respected women in fly-fishing - and rightfully so. At almost ninety years old, Joan has been a lead player in fly-casting, instruction, demonstrations, competitions, and sheer class. I've been a long-time fan of Joan's and always hoped to one day have the opportunity to learn more about her life, away from the casting books and what I'd seen on old tapes. After a year of corresponding, Joan agreed to sit down with me here on Anchored, so I was quick to book my flight to New York. In this episode, Joan and I talk about her timeline, and I finally get to ask her some of the many questions I&'ve been dying to know the answers to.
This episode is brought to you by Water Master Rafts.
Kevin Feenstra is a long-time guide on the Muskegon river. Though he won’t be the one to say it, Kevin was at the forefront of swinging flies for steelhead in the midwest. I met with Kevin at his home on the Muskegon last November to see if I could learn a little more about this private man.
Dean Butler's recognition extends far beyond the Southern Hemisphere. A famed off-shore captain, Dean has seen more fly-fishing world records than most. From Australia, to Panama, Niugini, to the Florida Keys, Dean has been almost everywhere and he holds some serious credibility in the saltwater angling community. I met with Dean at his home in Shoal Bay, Australia to sit down with him for his first ever podcast. He’d always been on my top ten list of people to fish with and, after hearing his stories, he may now be right at the very front.
This episode is brought to you by RIO Products.
Jim Rissling is the field program coordinator for the Fraser River Sturgeon Conservation Society. A retired conservation officer, Jim now devotes a great deal of time training volunteers how to handle and tag sturgeon — which is how I met Jim years ago when I myself was a sturgeon guide. I met with Jim at his home in Chilliwack, British Columbia for a quick coffee and chat about the Fraser River dinosaurs.
This episode is sponsored by www.flygal.ca/shop
You’ve likely seen his name printed on fly-tying packages hanging from fly shop walls around the world. Greg Senyo dubbing, shanks, brushes and streamers... the man seems to be everywhere. Guide, outfitter, famed fly tier, and author, Greg has recently published his first book: Fusion Fly Tying. In this episode, Greg and I throw caution to the wind as we discuss guiding burn-outs and the dangers of social media.
Author of five fly-fishing books, fly-shop owner, guide, and instructor, Rick Kustich is a major contributor to the midwest fly-fishing scene. In this episode of Anchored we talk about Great Lakes steelhead and what we can expect to find in his latest book.
In this episode of Anchored, John and I continue our talk about steelhead behaviour. We discuss their memories, sensitivity to sound, and what’s really happening underwater when they take your fly. Plus, I also get some interesting facts about hatchery specifics.
*Update - after posting John’s podcast, I received some great questions about our hatchery discussion. John responded to me with some point-form notes that he wished he’d mentioned during our initial conversation (which took close to two and a half hours… close to midnight). I asked John to send me any info he wanted to share with all of you, and he kindly sent me some fantastic clarification. You can find it here www.aprilvokey.com/blog/2016/04/19/4772/
The McMillan family name is one to be proud of. John McMillan, son of famed author and conservationist Bill McMillan, has devoted his entire life to the protection of the West coast’s wild steelhead stocks. John has lead the way on a multitude of projects and is not showing signs of slowing down any time soon. I met with John at his quiet home in Port Angeles, WA — in this episode, John and I discuss steelhead biology, the gene pool, and all of the questions you’ve always wondered, but haven’t been able to find the answers to.
This episode is sponsored by J.M. Reid Bamboo Fly Rods.
Gary Borger is a staple of the fly-fishing community. Author, instructor, presenter, and all-round wealth of knowledge, he’s been in the industry since 1971. I had met Gary briefly in years prior, but never had the opportunity to really sit down and speak with him. In this episode, Gary and I make time for discussion and I am finally able to pair his personality to the man behind the words.
My guest in this episode is the incredibly talented fly-tier, Tyler van der Meulen. Tyler is a young man who left me speechless when I heard his story at a trade show in Calgary, Alberta. I sat down with him to see if I could capture his story for other young people, parents, people with injuries, and those of you who also always appreciate a little inspiration.
In this episode of Anchored, Jerry and I continue our conversation about fishing the Pacific Northwest. Here we dive into discussion about Skagit lines, Skagit casting, and whether anglers should put a self-regulated cap on their own fishing.
You may know Jerry French better than you think you do. As co-owner of Olympic Peninsula Skagit Tactics (OPST), Jerry French and Ed Ward are the originators of the intruder fly, as well as some of the driving forces behind Skagit casting. In this two part podcast, I meet with Jerry at his home on Camano Island to see if I can learn a little more about this very private man.
Lori-Ann Murphy is a woman who follows her heart; her heart just happens to regularly take her to the water. Originally a trout guide in the late 1980’s, Lori-Ann now lives and guides in San Pedro, Belize. But as versatile as she is, for me, it is her founding of Reel Women Fly Fishing Adventures in 1994, that really stands out. Reel Women was the first company to offer women-only fly fishing trips all over the world, and I was fascinated to learn more about the woman who paved a path that is now so well-worn.
For Pacific Northwest steelheaders, Trey Combs is a household name. But what many of these anglers don’t realize is that Trey has been just as active in the saltwater world as he is the fresh. Primarily known as an author, it’s difficult to find any content from Trey outside of his writing — this, of course, only heightened my desire to have him share his story here on Anchored. So, I arranged to meet with Trey at his home in Port Angeles, WA and settled in to learn more about the man who, for so many years, has highlighted the stories of those who pioneered the sport. I felt it was his turn to have someone do the same for him…
Behind the walls of fame and glory live the men and women who are the true heroes of our natural world. In my eyes, Bruce Hill is very much one of those heroes. An activist, silent leader, respected conservationist, and father of two children who are just as active as he is, the Hills have long kept the Skeena country safe from corporations looking to assault it.
An honest man, Bruce understands the need for industry, but is currently appalled at the liquid natural gas project being proposed in northern BC — specifically on Lelu island, the Skeena’s most critical habitat for sensitive juvenile steelhead and salmon. In this episode Bruce tries to educate me about some of his causes, both past and current, and he merely scratches the surface about something I hope to dive further into in the future.
Steve Rajeff. If hearing that name doesn’t make you automatically think of one of the most influential people in fly fishing’s history, then thank goodness you’ve found your way to this podcast! Steve Rajeff is, in my opinion anyway, the best caster in the world. Yes, I said it — simply put, the man was born for the sport.
Steve is one of the few men in the industry whom people have heard of, yet know very little about. He is the epitome of a private person and is somebody I’ve spent time fishing with but not nearly enough time speaking to. After a little coaxing, I met with him at the G. Loomis factory in Washington to see if I could learn a little more about him, and to get a better feel on how he came to be.
This episode is sponsored by Blue Sky Furled Leaders.
John Shewey has made more of an impact in my fly-tying progress than any other human being could ever hope to. As the author of Spey Flies and Dee Flies, his book guided my early steelhead fly-tying days, and even his more recent book, Classic Steelhead Flies, has further improved my time and enjoyment behind the vise. The man is a wealth of knowledge and he has dedicated his life to the pursuit of steelhead and the angling history they bring us. I met with John in Oregon in an attempt to bring his words to life, away from the pages and here for you on Anchored.
This episode is sponsored by Peak Fishing.
Jerry Darkes is more than just an author... Jerry has been immersed in the fly fishing industry for most of his life. As the author of the only book solely written about fly-fishing the Great Lakes themselves, I was eager to have Jerry educate me about a handful of fisheries that I really knew nothing of. In this episode, Jerry explains his favourite species and methodologies to each of the Great Lakes, and he helps break down much of the confusion that seems to go hand in hand with the enormous system.
John Hazel is the sort of man you don’t forget. Strong, bold, honest, and forward-thinking, John can’t help but leave an impression on his audience. Perhaps this is why he’s been so important to the development of Spey fishing for steelhead in the Pacific Northwest. John began guiding thirty-seven years ago, and has been a key influence to our sport — specifically on the Deschutes, where he and his wife, Amy, live, guide, and run a fly shop. I stayed with John and Amy at their place in Maupin, OR, to see if John might share some of his opinions and insight.
Kerry Burkheimer may have the most contagious laugh I have ever heard — if his laugh doesn’t win you over, his custom fly rods certainly will. You’ll be hard-pressed to find a Burkheimer rod owner who doesn’t absolutely cherish their own, and rightfully so — they are some of the most beautiful rods in the world to cast. I met Kerry for the first time at his factory in Washougal, WA to see if he might open up to me about his aspirations, his company, and his past.
Ken Morrish is the guy you know, but might not realize you know. The man behind the highly successful booking agency, Fly Water Travel, the designer of countless mainstream flies, photographer, writer, angler, and just all round likeable guy… you’ve likely seen his photos or fished his flies without even knowing that he was the artist behind them. I met with Ken during his stay in Terrace, BC for a late night chat about his start in the industry, his take on the saturation of booking agents today, and his focus on improving watersheds in need.
It is rare that 92 year old Frank Moore’s name is mentioned without the words “fly-fishing legend” somewhere thereafter. World War II veteran, long-time North Umpqua guide and lodge owner, conservationist, devoted husband, father, friend… there are few people who meet Frank and don’t ponder their own impact on the world. For some, he inspires them to be better spouses, for others, to be better river guardians. For me, it was all of the above and I was eager to hear his tale.
Amy Hazel is a woman you won't forget. Guide, instructor, fly shop owner and just an all-round force to be reckoned with, she's the sort of woman who works hard and fishes even harder. Amy is a committed business owner, a woman who fights for her beliefs, and a comedian in her own right — need I say more? I've loved her since the very first day we met, seven years ago at a trade show in California. I stayed with Amy and her husband, John, on the Deschutes river in Maupin, Oregon to hear more about where Amy came from — and where's she’s planning on going.
Greg Osburn is the founder and executive director of the Three Rivers Sportsman’s Alliance. The TRSA is an all-volunteer political action committee whose sole purpose is to support and promote their “more fish for all” policy by way of hatcheries. In this episode, I meet with Greg at his office in Oregon to try and learn more about his viewpoint and operation.
Jim Teeny has been around. From the famous Teeny lines, to the super fishy Teeny nymphs, to books, DVD’s, and more… Jim has branded himself in a way that very few personalities have successfully done before in this industry. In this episode I meet with Jim at his home in Gresham, Oregon, to get the low-down on his industry struggles, his experiences abroad, and his plans to bring his brand back stronger than ever before.
George Cook is one of the most well-known anglers in the Pacific northwest. While he is likely best known as a sales rep for Sage, RIO, and multiple other substantial companies, he is also a skilled Chinook salmon angler and the inventor of the Alaskabou fly series. In this episode I meet up with George at his home in Auburn, Washington, where we talk about Alaska, how the Popsicle fly came to be, and the definition of fly fishing in George’s eyes.
This episode is sponsored by Wooldridge Boats.
Scott Baker McGarva is regularly described as an encyclopedia of knowledge by his British Columbian peers. Sales rep, guide, instructor, and fly shop veteran, the man seems to know a little about everything when it comes to fishing. It’s rare to find a subject that Scott can’t provide insight on, so I met him in Vancouver to find out more about about his life and his steelhead fishing. In this episode we talk about the fly line revolution, swinging techniques, and that time of year when steelhead have "egg on the brain".
Rod Harrison carries some serious clout in the sport-fishing world. As a friend, guide and mentor to some of the most notable anglers in the fly-fishing industry, Rod is a man who has had an undeniable impact on the sport as we know it. From the Niugini black bass, to the marlin junky who helped to pioneer gamefish tactics, Rod Harrison is a man who has seen it all. I was thrilled to have the opportunity to sit down with him for his first ever podcast, and to learn more about this special man.
Find one of Rod's books under our reading list tab (under the Anchored's Guests section) here: http://www.aprilvokey.com/reading-list/
Peter Hayes is probably best known as a world casting champion, and as a highly regarded casting instructor. A longtime guide and lodge owner, he is fully immersed in the industry — and he has few qualms about speaking his truth when asked to. I met up with Peter in Tasmania for a casual sit down. I had few expectations about what he might disclose to me but I left with a mind full of philosophy, heart-felt discussion and a better glimpse into the life of Mr. Hayes.
Reach Peter through: http://www.peterhayesflyfishing.com
It seems Simon Gawesworth is a riverside name these days. Originally from England, Simon was brought to America by RIO Products, where he eventually worked his up to be the company’s marketing manager. He is the face behind RIO’s Modern Spey Casting DVD, the author behind two successful spey casting books, and a world-class instructor renowned for his proficient teaching style and casting ability. I met with Simon on one of his recent circuits to see if I could coax him to share some of his life with Anchored’s listeners.
Greg French might best be known as the man who wrote the first accurate and comprehensive Tasmanian guide book, but there is much more to Greg than just the man behind the maps. Greg is the author of four published books with two more on the way. His most popular book, Frog Call, is brilliantly written and received raving reviews. Now the Tasmanian local is bringing his extensive knowledge about fish biology and hatcheries into a book about an area of concern in Yellowstone National Park. I met with Greg in Tasmania to hear his thoughts on tourism, advocacy, writing, honesty and stalking fish. As Greg always does, he left my head spinning and yearning to learn more.
Find Greg's book under our reading list tab (under the Anchored's Guests section) here: http://www.aprilvokey.com/reading-list/
There are few people who have had as big of an impact on the fishing industry as Christer Sjöberg. It’s tough to put a label on this ambitious entrepreneur — Christer founded Loop Tackle in 1979, and while it is what he is best known for, he is also the owner of Solid Adventures and several successful fishing lodges around the world. From lodges in Norway, Russia, Cuba and Argentina… I met with him at his lodge on the Rio Gallegos where I was eager to finally hear the story behind the man who has so much to tell.
Reach Christer through: http://solidadventures.com
Carl McNeil is a man who’s full of surprises. Whether he means to or not, he seems to almost always find a way to break industry norms. From his custom line of beautifully-crafted Epic fiberglass rods, to his cutting edge casting DVD’s (Casts that Catch Fish), and even the production/writing/narration of several engaging documentaries (including the award winning, Once in a Blue Moon and Itu’s Bones), Carl seems to always have a surprise up his sleeve. What’s so astounding, is that he manages such entrepreneurism from a tiny village near the bottom of New Zealand’s South Island. Quite literally, he is causing a stir from the most remote corner of the world.
Dave McCoy wears many hats in this sport: retailer, photographer, guide, Patagonia ambassador - he knows his way around the fly fishing industry. Dave is one of those people who isn’t afraid to voice his opinion, especially when it comes to causes he believes in. I was curious to hear more about his involvement in a recent “keep-em-wet” campaign, as well as his controversial stance against hatchery steelhead in the Pacific Northwest. In this episode, Dave and I partake in an interactive conversation about the industry, Washington’s future, and the importance of wild steelhead.
Reach Dave through: http://emeraldwateranglers.com
Juan Del Carmen is a Spanish angler probably best known for his role as technical director for the Spanish and English teams in the fly fishing world championships. A certified casting instructor and well-traveled angler, he is a wealth of knowledge. Myself, as an angler who has never even entertained the idea of competition on the water, I had a lot of questions for him. In this episode we discuss competitive angling, following dreams, fishing in Spain, and some philosophy on why human beings are as they are.
Reach Juan through: http://www.advancedflyfishingschool.com.au
Mention Peter Morse’s name to just about any fly fisher in Australia and you’ll immediately have their attention. Peter was one of the first people to pioneer fly-fishing in the vast continent and he has since done his part to maintain that role - author of three books, certified Master caster, television personality and well traveled angler. In this episode, Peter opens up to me about his upbringing, his views on shark conservation, Australia’s fishing industry, and the television show that made an undeniable impact in the land down under.
Lani Waller is a man who needs little introduction in the steelhead world. Respected author, angler, and traveler, he is probably best recognized by a set of steelhead videos that he released in the 1980’s … videos that were ahead of their time. Lani has often been referred to as “legendary” or “famed”, but while he is the first to admit that he is proud of his accomplishments, he is just as quick to announce his imperfections. Personally, Lani’s love for the sport captured my attention when I was a young angler and he has since become a friend and mentor with a compassionate ear and easing wisdom. In this episode, we talk about his introduction to the sport, the specifics behind his famed videos, steelhead fishing, human nature, and the plane crash that nearly ended it all.
Book a trip with Lani here: http://flywatertravel.com/blog/author/laniwaller/ Find Lani's book under our reading list tab (under the Anchored's Guests section) here: http://www.aprilvokey.com/reading-list/