A.K. Best: Born and raised on an Iowa farm.
Educated in Iowa public schools.
BME and MME degrees from Drake University, Des Moines, IA.
Musician in 56th Army Band, Japan, 2 years.
Professional musician, 12 years.
Music educator, 24 years.
Community symphony orchestra conductor, 4 years.
Community concert board member, 17 years.
Michigan State Arts Council advisor, 8 years.
Fly Tyer and Fly fisher 45 years.
Photographer, 45 years.
Author of “Production Fly Tying”, Pruett Pub. Co., Boulder, CO. Has now gone into a second edtion.
Received 1989 book of the year award from United Fly Tiers, an international organization for “Production Fly Tying”.
Authored “Dying and Bleaching Natural Fly Tying Materials”, April , 1993, Lyons and Burford, NY. This book was used as a text at the National Boy Scout Jamboree in Virginia in July, 1993. Second edition available now.
Author of “A. K.’s Fly Box”, Feb. 1996, Lyons & Burford, NY.
Author of “Advanced Fly Tying”, published by Lyons Press
Author of “Fly Fishing With A. K.” published by Stackpole
Author of “Fly Tying with A. K.” Published by Stackpole, Aug. 2008
Over 100 articles written for the following:
Contributor, “From The Vise” column for Mid Atlantic Fly Fishing Guide.
Contributor Editor, Fly Rod and Reel Magazine.
Column, “A. K.’s Corner”, Fly Rod & Reel Web Site
Contributor: “The Fly Tyer” magazine
Lectured and demonstrated fly fishing and fly tying from coast to coast and taught classes in fly tying in Colorado, Missouri, New Hampshire, Nevada, New Mexico, New York, Wyoming, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Maryland, Calgary, Alberta Canada, California, Illinois, Michigan, Kansas, Arkansas, Alaska, Texas, Toronto, Canada, Denmark, Italy, and the National Fly Tiers Symposium in New Jersey.
Have made some appearances which were sponsored by “The American Center for the West”, of Colorado University in Boulder, Colorado to present an outdoorsman’s look at the Rocky Mountain environment.
Fly fished for Tarpon, Bonefish, Stripped Bass, Blue Fish, Bass, Pike, Blue Gills, Crappie, Steelhead, Grayling, Char, Salmon, and all species of trout.
Originated a series of dyed quill body dry flies which are being produced by Umpqua Feather Merchants, Inc. of Glide Oregon in their overseas fly tying factories and sold throughout the nation and parts of Europe and Asia.
Produced with Video Adventures of Portland, OR, a series of video tapes which include: “Tying Dry Flies” 120 min. (based on the book, “Production Fly Tying”), “Tying Blue Wing Olives” 60 min., “Tying Caddis & Midges” 60 min., “Tying Callibaetis & Green Drakes” 60 min., “Tying Nymphs & Wet” 60 min., and “Tying Terrestrials” 60 min. An Additional 5 tapes were produced in early ‘99: “Tying Tiny Dry Flies” 55 min., “Tying Streamers” 100 min., “Tying With Quills” 60 min., “Techniques for Tying Saltwater Flies” 120 min., “Tying Biot Duns and Melon Quills” 60 min. All tapes are based on the books, “Production Fly Tying” and “A. K.’s Fly Box.”
Quill body flies were exhibited in Boulder, CO and Moscow, ID Museums through the program: “Confluence, Art and the Trout Fly”.
Gary Borger: Gary Borger is one of the world’s foremost fly fishing educators. He has taught classes and lectured internationally on all aspects of fly-fishing for trout and salmon since 1972. He is recognized as one of the world’s leaders in fly designing. He holds a Ph.D. from the University of Wisconsin-Madison and is Professor Emeritus at the University of Wisconsin Campus in Wausau. He has published widely in sporting magazines around the world and has written six best-selling books on fly fishing. Gary pioneered fly fishing video instruction with his release of "Nymphing" in 1982. Since then he has produced 27 instructional videos and has been featured in various television programs, including his own production “The Tzar’s Trout.” Gary was a consultant on Robert Redford's movie "A River Runs Through It." With his award-winning CD/cassette tape, "My Madison," he pioneered fly fishing, nature-music audios. In addition, Gary has been design consultant to a number of manufacturers in the fly fishing industry. He is a member of the Board of Governors of the Federation of Fly Fisher's fly casting instructor certification program, a member of many conservation organizations, and was a founding board member of the River Alliance of Wisconsin. He has received many awards for conservation, including the first Lew Jewett Memorial Life Membership in the Federation of Fly Fishers in 1979. Gary currently writes, lectures, produces videos, and teaches schools on all aspects of fly fishing and fly tying.
Dave Blackburn: Dave Blackburn grew up in western PA where his home river was the Raystown Branch of the Juniata. He was introduced to fly-tying at age 9 by a sixth grade teacher. He was schooled by both Messiah College, along the Yellow Breeches Creek, and the Letort Run. He transferred to West Virginia University where he received his BS in Forest Resource Management while working seasonally for the USFS in the Cloud Peak Primitive Area of Wyoming as a wilderness guard. He took piano lessons as a child and later applied his ear for music to bluegrass banjo when he got his first banjo at age 17. His banjo mentors include Earl Scruggs, J.D. Crowe, Pete Wernick and Bela Fleck. He achieved early notoriety in his banjo playing by earning several ribbons at banjo contests in Pennsylvania and West Virginia. His longtime WVU roommate inspired him to add singing to his repertoire, where they formed the group the Skeenes Brothers, later becoming part of the Trapper Canyon Stringbusters based in Greybull, Wyoming. He settled on the banks of the Kootenai River in NW Montana where he pioneered the area’s first fly fishing guide service in 1982. Kootenai Angler now includes 5 river-front log cabin rentals along with a fly shop, the River Bend restaurant and a large outdoor music venue where the Kootenai River “Runs Through It”. Dave travels throughout the country as a speaker where he entertains with his unique combination of fly-fishing and bluegrass music. His current band, the Sheldon Mountain Boys, recently released their first album entitled “Thirty Years on the Mountain”.
Charlie Craven: Charlie Craven has been a commercial tyer for nearly thirty years, and in that time has tied flies for almost every species of gamefish in nearly every location in the world, though he specializes in trout flies for the Rocky Mountain West. He designs flies for Umpqua Feather Merchants, and some of his popular patterns include the Charlie Boy Hopper, Jujubee Midge, Jujubaetis and Poison Tung. Charlie was the fly tyer and photographer for Barr Flies (Stackpole 2007) and recently authored his own book, Charlie Craven's Basic Fly Tying (Headwaters 2008). Craven is the president of Charlie's Fly Box fly shop in Arvada, Colorado and lives in Arvada with his wife and three children. His newest book, CHARLIE'S FLY BOX: SIGNATURE FLIES FOR FRESH AND SALT WATER, came out in 2011 from Stackpole Books.
Jeff Currier: Jeff
Currier resides in Victor, Idaho with his wife Yvonne where he bases
his globe-trotting career in fly fishing. He is an active member of the
Yellow Dog Adventures Professional Advisory Team, a fly fishing
lecturer and well known fish artist. He has taught the skills of fly
fishing, guided fly fishers throughout Wyoming and Yellowstone National
Park and escorted fly fishers on six continents. Jeff has fished in
over forty-five countries and caught over 300 species of fish on the
Jeff’s articles, photographs and artwork have graced the
pages of magazines, catalogs, brochures and books. He is the acclaimed
author of Currier’s Quick and Easy Guide to Saltwater Fly Fishing and
Currier’s Quick and Easy Guide to Warmwater Fly Fishing guide books.
Jeff is also a well sought after expert for television, radio and
numerous fly fishing films.
Jeff led Team USA to its first ever
top-ten finish in the World Flyfishing Championships in Jaca, Spain.
During the competition Jeff managed to fool fish on every venue and
placed third in the individual standings, becoming the only American
ever to take home a medal in the thirty year history of the
Jeff lectures throughout the United States and
Canada on nearly every aspect of fly fishing. He demonstrates fly
casting, teaches seminars on the basics to the advanced skills of fly
fishing and presents many fly fishing destination programs ranging from
his home waters to the most remote corners of the globe. Some of his
shows take you to destinations you’ve never heard of and will leave you
in awe that such creatures can be enticed to eat a fly!
Jeff brings a sense of humor, enthusiasm, approachability and forty years of fly fishing wherever he goes.
can follow Jeff’s fly fishing adventures, exploits, tips, advice,
photography and story-telling on his expanding blog and informative web
John Duncan: John spent his formative years crawling around the Olympic Peninsula chasing trout, salmon and steelhead. Most of his 4 years at Colorado College were spent fishing the Arkansas and Platte Rivers. After college, he followed his fly rod to Telluride, where he became the head guide for Telluride Outside in 1991. John served as Marketing Director and casting instructor for the Scott Fly Rod Company from 1994-2001. In the spring of 2001, he and two guiding friends took over the Telluride Outside guide service and Telluride Angler fly shop.
Duncan has fished the rivers of Southwest Colorado for 25 years. He has also fished extensively in the Bahamas, Belize, the Pacific Northwest, Baja California and Florida, with occasional forays to Christmas Island, Canada, the Northeast and the Texas Hill Country. His favorite fishing is still in Southwest Colorado, where his guide service fishes the San Miguel, Dolores and Uncompahgre rivers.
Bill Edrington: A sociology/criminology professor for 25 years, Bill Edrington has owned Royal Gorge Anglers in Canon City, CO since 1990. In addition to teaching fly fishing and training guides in how to teach fly fishing, he is an author and outdoor photographer with his last book being Fly Fishing the Arkansas, An Angler’s Guide and Journal. Bill is currently working on a new book entitled Been There and Stood on That Rock, A Fly Fishing Journey, river stories, fly fishing poetry and streamside recipes. It is slated for publication in 2009. He has published articles in Fly Fisherman magazine, American Angler, and is currently a contributing writer for the High Country Journal. Bill grew up fly fishing the small streams of Northern New Mexico and Southern Colorado and after having fished around the world, still considers that to be his favorite.
Taylor Edrington: Taylor Edrington was raised in the fly fishing industry, and studied on the river under the tutelage of such greats as Gary Lafontaine, Mel Krieger, Chuck Fothergill, Larry Kingrey and his father Bill Edrington. Suma Cum Laude graduate of the Leads School of Business at the University of Colorado, Taylor now owns and operates Royal Gorge Anglers on the Arkansas River. Royal Gorge Anglers will be celebrating this year its 25th year of operation as a flagship flyshop of the Rocky Mountain Region and the largest flyshop, lodge and guide service combo in the Southern Rockies. The guide service at Royal Gorge Anglers has been deemed one of the finest fly fishing guide services in the country, and received the Orvis Company Endorsement as one of the premier outfitters in the Southern Rockies. Royal Gorge Anglers boasts a 3000 sq. ft. retail space with such fine outdoor brands as Orvis, Patagonia, Simms, Sage, Scott and many other fly fishing specialty brands.
Prior to his ownership of RGA, Taylor grew up guiding and instructing on the Arkansas River and various other Rocky Mountain watersheds. For just shy of a decade, Taylor guided in both Central and Southwestern Alaska, and is a US Coast Guard Certified Saltwater Captain. Taylor also worked as the general manager of a flagship lodge in the Iliamna region of Alaska for 3 seasons. Along with his fly-fishing pursuits in the US, Taylor has hosted fly-fishing adventure travel for clients on 4 continents through his global adventure travel business, Cross Current Travel Group and holds three fly rod world records. Beyond the details, Taylor is an extreme advocate for fishery conservation and simply strives to build awareness about the sport of fly-fishing for all ages.
Ed Engle: Ed Engle’s fly fishing articles have appeared regularly in newspapers and magazines for more than 30 years. In the 1970’s his articles on short line nymphing techniques were among the first to appear in national fly fishing magazines. Since that time he has taught thousands of fly fishers the subtle art of nymphing through his books and articles, on-the-water seminars, and at his popular nymphing class sponsored by the Fly Fishing Show.
Ed’s newest book, Trout Lessons (2010), considers what to do when your usual fly fishing solutions don’t work. His interest in tying and fishing small flies led to the publication of Tying Small Flies (2004) and Fishing Small Flies (2005). The two-volume set is credited with helping create the current surge of interest in pursuing trout with small flies. Ed’s dedication to fishing bamboo fly rods resulted in the publication of Splitting Cane (2002) which chronicled the life and craftsmanship of sixteen working rod makers. His first book, Fly Fishing the Tailwaters (1991), was a groundbreaking explanation of how to fish the regulated rivers found below dams.
Ed is a regular contributor to American Angler, The Boulder Daily Camera and Gray’s Journal. In addition, he has written for Fly Fisherman, Fly Rod & Reel, Flyfishing & Tying Journal, Trout, Fly Tyer, Sports Afield, and Saltwater Fly Fishing. Ed’s current projects include work on a new book, coming up with new small fly patterns (he’s a Signature Fly Tier for Idylwilde Flies) guiding on Colorado’s South Platte River, and teaching at fly fishing seminars throughout he country.
For more information or to contact Ed go to www.EdEngleflyfishing.com.
Ben Furimsky: Ben began fly fishing at the age of 5 and was tying flies at age 7. He has been guiding fly fishing from New Jersey's coast to the mountains of Colorado, where he now guides on the Gunnison River. Ben's fly patterns have been featured in numerous magazines, books, and web sites. A number of his patterns have been contracted out by several commercial fly tying companies. His designs include his famous BDE and Foam Drake patterns. His latest series of flies are the Artrickulated streamers incorporating his unique method of articulating flies.
He works full time as a sales rep in the fly fishing industry for the Rocky Mt. region. He is also the owner of www.theanglingbookstore.com, the world's best collection of fishing books and more. Ben is currently the Co-Director of the Fly Fishing Show and is the organizer of the fly tiers area. He can be found chasing fish any where he can and enjoys catching all types of fish on a fly rod.
Daniel Galhardo: Tenkara USA is a fully independent, US-based company. It was founded and is run by Daniel W. Galhardo. Daniel has spent years researching and learning everything he can about tenkara. Truly, tenkara has become his single most important subject in life, he needs no floatant, no weight and no reels, yet continues catching trout. In this time he's developed a strong relationship with tenkara masters in Japan, particularly Dr. Hisao Ishigaki, the most prominent tenkara angler in Japan. He relies on their knowledge and feedback to ensure all products are of very high quality. No one in the US has come to know as much about tenkara as he does. This knowledge and relationships show in the quality of the products offered by Tenkara USA, which have acquired renown worldwide and applause from his masters in Japan.
Simon Gawesworth: Simon
learned to fish at the age of 6 and took up fly fishing when aged 8,
being trained by his father - well known fly fishing instructor and
author, John Gawesworth. By the time he left school at 16 to teach fly
fishing Simon had become the British Junior casting champion, repeating
the feat the next year. In the following years Simon broke seven casting
records and won the adult casting championships three times in
succession, representing England in two European and one World Team
With the collapse of the British Casting Authority
and the tournament casting scene in the UK, Simon turned his hand to
competitive fly fishing. Over the following years Simon represented
England in three home internationals (against Ireland, Scotland and
Wales), two European championships and five World Championships,
culminating in the prestige of becoming the England Team Captain and
Manager for the 2003 World Championships in Spain.
career Simon has written numerous articles for the fishing press,
published two best selling books on spey casting, presented five
instructional videos and DVD’s, appeared on numerous television and
radio shows, demonstrated casting at fly fishing shows around the world
and is recognized as one of the leading authorities on spey casting.
is a Master and THCI (Two Handed Casting Instructor) certified
instructor as well as being on the board of governors and on the two
handed committee for the Federation of Fly Fishers in the US. He also
holds the APGAI and STANIC diplomas for Fly Fishing Instruction in the
Simon currently works for RIO products in Idaho where he
helps design and tests fly lines, handles foreign distribution for RIO
and is Vice President of marketing. He also conducts fly casting classes
and seminars around the world.
Wendy Gunn: Wendy is considered to be one of the top women anglers in the world. She has held many IGFA world records both fresh and saltwater. All her saltwater records were prior to the splitting of categories into separated men's and women's divisions. Her records include fly caught striped marlin...136-lbs., wahoo etc.
She won the 2000 Women's world invitational fly fishing tarpon tournament in Islamorada FL.
Wendy was the fly fishing host for the television series Fishing the West and Americas Outdoor Journal. She is the current co-host for Fly Fish Television Magazine which airs weekly on The Outdoor Life Network.
Wendy has won the women's Best of the West casting competition in San Mateo CA. eight out the nine past events. In 2002 she won the Best of the West finals (the first year she competed) in Salt Lake City and won the grand prize....a Hyde drift boat. Wendy was the first woman to cast over 100-ft. with a 5-weight rod in a sanctioned competition; her cast was 104' 7".
Wendy competed in the first Great Outdoor Games in Lake Placid.
Wendy has appeared at sports shows and flyfishing clubs across the country teaching and demonstrating casting and fly tying.
Photographs of Wendy have appeared in most of the outdoor magazines, calendars, books and brochures.
John Gierach: John Gierach is an American author and freelance writer who formerly resided on the St. Vrain River in Lyons, Colorado and now lives in Larimer County, Colorado. His books' themes are based on his various fly fishing adventures, some of which take place with his friend, A.K. Best. A few of his works include The View from Rat Lake, Even Brook Trout Get the Blues, and the cult classic--Trout Bum. His work has appeared in Gray's Sporting Journal, Field & Stream where he is a contributing author, and Fly, Rod, and Reel where he is an editor at large. He also writes columns for the Longmont Daily Times-Call out of Longmont, Colorado and the monthly Redstone Review and a monthly column for the The New York Times. This is a rare chance to meet one of the most well known fly fishing authors in person!
Rick Hafele: Rick Hafele has a Masters degree in aquatic entomology and a minor in fisheries biology, and has worked as a professional aquatic biologist for over 30 years. He has penned the Entomology column for American Angler magazine for over 25 years. Books to his credit include An Angler’s Guide to Aquatic Insects and Their Imitations (with Scott Roederer, Johnson Books, 1995), Western Mayfly Hatches (with Dave Hughes, Amato Pub, 2005), The Complete Book of Western Hatches (with Dave Hughes, Amato Pub, 1981), and most recently Nymph Fishing Rivers and Streams (Stackpole Books, 2006). Rick is also well known for instructional DVD’s that include the 1983 classic Anatomy of a Trout Stream and more recently the four volume set titled, Fly Fishing Large Western Rivers, plus Nymph Fishing Basics (included with his latest book or sold separately) and the 2-disc set titled Advanced Nymph Fishing. Few fly fishermen have Rick's knowledge about the world in which trout live, and for many years he has been sharing that knowledge with fly fishermen through books, articles, slide shows and seminars. More info about Rick and his programs can be found at his website: www.laughingrivers.com
Jeff Hatton: It has been a long strange float for me and it has always had a thread related to fly fishing. In junior high school I started selling fly’s to my football coach. After a stint as an Ironworker right out of high school building up Denver, the rivers called me back and I started tying flies for A.K. Best in the early 1980’s. By the late 1980’s I had moved to the western slope of Colorado and found my home waters of the Gunnison drainages. I have worked as a guide in the Black canyon of the Gunnison and through the 1990’s I also spent a time working in a couple of fly shops and there was a 4 year stint as the Harvest foreman and production manager of Whiting Farms, this was followed by a 3 year period at SCOTT rods as their corksmith. In 2000 I formed my own company titled Gnomish Rod Works to produce Art level bamboo rods on a one of a kind basis. In 2005 My first book was published by Amato Publications and is titled Rod Crafting; a Full color pictorial history of rod making . I have also put together one of the finest collections of antique rods covering 200 years of history in the country and I take great joy in sharing it with my fellow anglers. I was awarded the Rod Maker of the Year award in 2005 at the Southern Rod Makers gathering.
Joe Humphreys: Joseph Humphreys is a nationally known fly fisherman, conservationist, author, and educator.
He has been a fishing instructor to both common folks and VIPs for over forty years. His pupils have included former President Jimmy Carter, Vice President Richard Cheney, basketball-coaching legend Bobby Knight, and many others.
Tournaments & Awards:
-Member of the US Fly Fishing Team, World Championships: 1989-Finland, 13th place finish, leader of US team. 1990- Wales, 1992-Italy
-Jackson Hole One Fly, 6th place, 1989
-Michigan One Fly, 1991, 1st place, 1991
-Canadian One Fly, 2nd place, 1993
-World Wide Open, Ireland, 8th place, 1999
-Thompson Award for saving Spring Creek, 1980. Efforts ensured that this great Pennsylvania fishing stream will remain viable and a significant contributor to Pennsylvania’s fishing legacy.
-George Harvey International Fly Tying Symposium Award for Teaching Fly Tying, 1999.
-Charles R. Fox Rising Trout Award, 2002.
-Flyfishing Federation International Conclave, Legend of Flyfishing Award, 2003.
-Telly Award for Best Video, “The Night Game,” Distance Learning Network, 2003.
-Honorary Chairman, Pennsylvania On The Fly (County Youth Service Bureau Fundraiser)
Hal Janssen: Hal Janssen is a nationally known writer, artist, lecturer, and video personality. He has been fly fishing for over 50 years and has fished extensively throughout the North and South America for nearly every species of fresh and salt water fish. Hal's account of his first steelhead trip was wading wet in the winter because no one made waders for 9 year old kids in 1952. The old timers from the Golden Gate Casting Club adopted him, setting him up with a shooting head and teaching him to cast. Hal’s self-confidence and fiery enthusiasm seem to guide him in everything he does.
Hal has been responsible for developing significant portions of the fly fishing equipment and concepts in use today. He and Scientific Anglers founder Leon Martuch developed S/A’s wet tip fly line. He and John Agnew worked on the development of Sunset Line Company’s fly lines, Sunset’s Cannonball, the first tapered lead core line, and the invention of the density compensated uniform sink line. Hal came up with the idea of the Mastery Stillwater series of clear fly lines, and was part of changing Amnesia from solid to fluorescent colors. In 1978 he created The Fly Tyer’ Showcase Box to display flies, the Rac Wrench, a fly fishing shirt, as well as fly rods and nets. He designed a signature line of hooks with Partridge-U.K., and consulted with a number of companies including the J. Kennedy Fisher Rod Company, Cortland, and Rio.
In 1979, he was one of the first in the Umpqua Feather Merchants contract tyers program. Today, over 70 Janssen fly patterns are manufactured and have worldwide distribution. Hal’s patterns are on display at the William Cushner Fly Fishing Museum, the University of Idaho, and the Forestry Museum in Elvermum, Norway.
As a fine artist, Hal Janssen has illustrated all the fly drawings and paintings for Anglers’ Calendar for over 20 years and has illustrated many magazine articles. When Hal gets involved in anything he usually gets “Best of Show,” as has been the case over the past ten years that he has been actively involved in carving exceptional fish, mostly of trout in special woods. He calls them “Living Wood” to describe their unique life-like realism. In his spare time, Hal restores classic cars and has professional pin striper status through his induction into their Hall of Fame.
As a pioneer of saltwater, steelhead, stillwater, and float tubing techniques, Hal has written over 25 articles for leading fly fishing magazines. His June 1979 Fly Fisherman Magazine article kicked off the popularization of float tubing and he has contributed to 21 books as both an artist and an author. Hal gained broad recognition as an instructor for his still water fly fishing seminars and schools, for his many years of presentations to fly clubs, and for entertaining thousands as a member of the Coors Outdoor Team, and Ed Rice's International Sportsman's Exposition Pro Staff. He helped found the Diablo Valley Fly Fishers Club and is a fisheries consultant to Wilderness Unlimited, Cal Trout, the Smith River Advisory Council, Putah Creek Council, and the Alameda Creek Alliance.
When they are not at Lake Almanor, Hal Janssen lives in Forest Ranch, California, with his wife Jane. He is an exceptional individual who has made significant contributions to this area and to our sport. In January 2010 Hal was inducted into the California Outdoor Hall of Fame.
Larry Kingrey: Larry Kingrey is one of the top fly designers in the country and specializes in utilizing many of the modern synthetics in a marriage with natural fibers to create flies that work in heavily fished waters. He is currently the head guide and instructor for Royal Gorge Anglers in Canon City, Colorado and is a contract designer for the Idylwilde Fly Company in Portland, Oregon. He is also owner, operator of Larry’s Line, a commercial fly tying and material company.
Jim Klug: Founder and Director of Operations for Yellow Dog Flyfishing Adventures and partner and executive producer for Confluence Films, a film production company that created the fly fishing movies DRIFT (2008), RISE (2009) and CONNECT (2011). Jim’s writings and photos and appeared in dozens of magazines, books and other publications, and his photo work can be viewed at www.klugphotos.com. Jim lives in Bozeman, Montana, and is the current Chairman of the American Fly Fishing Trade Association (AFFTA).
Steve Rajeff: When it comes to delivering long casts or dropping a fly on a dime, nobody in the world does it better than Steve Rajeff. Steve has dominated the world of competitive casting for over four decades. He has no less than 35 national and 14 world All Round Championships on his casting resume. Steve holds the current National Single Hand fly distance records at 243 feet. Also, using only a 5/8oz plug, he set the Two Hand casting distance record with a shot of 367 feet. Steve and his brother Tim were winning teammates in the first running of the Outdoor Life Network Flyfishing Masters Championship (trout fishing).
“Tournament casting spans the universe of casting disciplines, from plug casting for distance and accuracy, to single and double-handed flycasting for distance as well accuracy. As Director of Engineering for G.Loomis rod manufacturing, Steve uses his casting and fishing experience to hone rod performance characteristics like rod action, taper, weight, strength, balance and durability. “When I set out to design a practical, high performance fishing rods, the tournament casting back round is definitely a big asset, along with my fishing and guiding experience.” With over 40 years of intensive fishing, 5 years fishing guiding in Alaska, 2 years in Montana – his experience is directly responsible for designing performance breakthrough rods like new NRX series, also Cross Current GLX salt water fly rods, Stream Dance GLX trout fishing and Roaring River GLX Spey rods, plus a wide range of spinning and casting rods. Steve estimates he has developed over 2,500 rod models across all categories, during his 25 years as head of Engineering for G.Loomis.
Born and raised in San Francisco, a graduate of San Francisco State University, he has helped with numerous fly casting schools in the 1970’s with his mentor Mel Krieger. Steve visited Japan in the early 1970’s with Jim Green, master rod designer for Fenwick, (who Steve credits for teaching him to design tournament rods), also with Mel Krieger to share the how’s and why’s of fly casting. Since then he has been back to Japan more than 15 trips on his own. He has conducted tournament and fly casting lessons and demonstrations in Argentina, Chile, Bahamas, Russia, South Africa, and many countries across Europe.
A life member of the Golden Gate Angling and Casting Club, Hall of Fame member of the American Casting Association, Board of Director International Casting Sport Federation, member of the Northern California Federation of Fly Fishers Hall of Fame, Steve also supports numerous conservation organizations.
His first fish was a rainbow trout caught using garden hackle on the Tuolumne River in Yosemite Park, with the assistance of his father George Rajeff. The first fly caught fish he caught was a brown trout on Truckee River near Lake Tahoe. Steve’s largest fly caught fish landed was a tarpon estimated at over 180 lbs. Steve says, “It is no longer about the most or biggest fish, but enjoying the challenges and appreciating beautiful places fishing and casting takes me”.
Jason Randall: Jason Randall has been an outdoor writer for the last ten years with articles appearing regularly in American Angler, Eastern Fly Fishing and many other outdoor magazines. He is a veterinarian certified in fish health and medicine. He is also a member of the World Aquatic Veterinary Medical Association and the Society for Freshwater Science.
His first book, “Moving Water: A Fly Fisher’s Guide to Currents” was released in 2012 by Stackpole/Headwater books. It studies the effect of current on trout, their prey species and presentation, where vertical layers of current create drag and requires adjustments to improve nymph fishing success. His second book “Feeding Time: A Fly Fisher’s Guide to What, Where and When Trout Eat,” was released in August of 2013. It focuses on matching your fishing strategies to the trout’s feeding strategies, especially when targeting large trout because if you know the five ‘W’ questions for large trout feeding- who, what, when, where and why, you can catch them regularly.
Next year the third book in the ‘Angler’s Guide’ trilogy will be released on trout senses- what trout see, smell and hear, using that information to develop more effective fishing strategies.
CT Robertson: C.T.Robertson has been building fine handcrafted bamboo fly rods since retiring from Hughes Electronics in 1999. He's been involved with the Fly Fishing Show for 10 years and has taught his class both at Pasadena and Pleasanton. His presentation is a hands-on class; not a slide show. It covers all major steps from a bamboo culm to a completed rod. He shows the actual materials and tools and how they come together to produce a fine bamboo rod. He covers little discussed and seldom written techniques that give you excellent results with a minimum of effort. C.T. currently divides his time between his rod building in Newbury Park, California and fly fishing from his cabin on the Klamath River in Northern California.
Phillip Rowley: Phil has been fly fishing for over 30 years. His love of fly fishing has taken him across North America pursuing trout, Atlantic and Pacific salmon, char, pike, walleye and numerous other species on the fly. But Phil is best known for his stillwater exploits.
A former commercial fly tyer, Phil has written for almost every major fly fishing publication in North America. He has authored three books and numerous feature articles and two regular columns. Phil’s first book Fly Patterns for Stillwaters is a best seller. In addition to his writing, Phil has four instructional DVD’s. In 2007, Phil was a member of the gold medal winning team at the Canadian Fly Fishing championships.
When he isn’t on the water Phil travels North America performing at outdoor shows, providing seminars, speaking to fly clubs and conducting fly-fishing schools. Phil also provides instructional stillwater guiding on the lakes located a short distance from his Edmonton area home.
Phil has appeared on a number of T.V. shows including, BC Outdoors Sports Fishing, Sport Fishing B.C., Fishing Alberta and Fishing with Shelly and Courtney. Phil is presently one of the co-hosts of the New Fly Fisher, an educational fly fishing production.
Make a point of visiting Phil on-line at, www.flycraftangling.com.
John Shaner: I have been fly fishing for as long as I can remember and caught my first trout on a fly I tied myself in 1965. I grew up in the Finger Lakes region of New York and was fishing the Catskill Rivers as soon as I could drive.
Over the years I have fished for trout extensively across the US and have made several trips to England to fish the famous Chalk Streams and other rivers. I have a special love for Montana and Wyoming and I lived in West Yellowstone, MT for a number of years. My favorite rivers are; The West branch of the Delaware and Beaverkill, in New York, the Firehole and Madison system in Yellowstone Park, and the Rivers Itchen, Eden, and Eamont in England.
I have also fished the Bahamas, Belize, and Florida for saltwater species.
I have worked in the fly fishing business since 1985 and have managed fly shops, guided, and worked as a sales representative for Orvis, Cortland Line, and since 2008 for Hardy & Greys.
My interest in fly tying goes back to boyhood. I am mostly self-taught but have studied many techniques over the years and have a special interest in reproducing traditional trout fly patterns. I enjoy experimenting with new patterns, but am a bit of a traditionalist in my use of materials, and seldom incorporate synthetics into my flies, preferring natural silk, fur, and feathers.
About twenty years ago I developed a fascination for “Spiders” (Americans call them soft hackles), and enjoy tying and fishing these simple, elegant, and deadly flies.
Another interest is collecting classic tackle and angling books. My “library” (which is getting out of hand!) is primarily devoted to books detailing the development of flies and tying techniques.
Currently, I live in southern New York State, just a few minutes from the West Branch of the Delaware and Beaverkill.
Capt. Prescott Smith: Captain Prescott Smith is a professional fly fisherman, Instructor and lodge owner,who has devoted his life to fostering the conservation of the Bahamian Natural Environment. Prescott comes from a family of professional fishermen, his father Charlie Smith, pioneered Bonefishing in The Bahamas and invented the Crazy Charlie Bonefish Fly. Prescott has seen the fly fishing industry evolve in the Bahamas, spending most of his time in the Marine Environment. Fly-fishing for Prescott started with working at his father’s lodge at a very young age, then continuing to guide for several other Bahamian fishing lodges. In 1998, after employment with the Bahamas Defense Force as a Mechanical Engineer, Prescott built his own lodge, The Stafford Creek Lodge, on Andros Island, Bahamas where he resides as owner and head guide.
Prescott is a Marine Mechanical Engineer, a Master A Captain, Certified Scuba Instructor, Certified FFF Casting Instructor, and a Master Instructor of Fly Fishing at Daytona University. Since 1994, he has been a Master Instructor for the National Guides Certification Program in The Bahamas. He teaches courses in Fly Casting, the Flats Environment, and Bonefish Biology. He is Co-Founder and President of the Bahamas Sport Fishing & Conservation Association (BSCA), a grass-roots organization promoting the conservation of marine habitat, marine life, sustainable fisheries and the empowerment of Bahamians in conservation. In 2004 he acted as a Consultant for the Ministry of Tourism in the British Virgin Islands, where he taught courses in the Flats Environment and Fly Casting. In 2011, the Bahamian Government recognized The Bahamas Fly Fishing Industry Association (BFFIA) as a national association, to develop Fly-Fishing as a sustainable industry in the Bahamas. Prescott Smith is the founding board member of BFFIA and its current President.
Prescott’s passions are the protection and conservation of the Bahamian natural fishing resource and promoting Bahamian empowerment through use of the natural environments to earn a sustainable living. In his “down time”, Prescott explores the remote parts of Andros in search of the next catch, and enjoys bird watching, farming and reading non-fiction.
Email: Prescott@staffordcreeklodge.com Web site:www.staffordcreeklodge.com
Rick Takahashi: I love to tie and design flies patterns for the waters that I fish. I have been tying flies since the age of eight years of age. After taking apart my first fly (Royal Coachman) and seeing the hackle unwind, I knew that I wanted to learn how to tie flies. I didn’t have the slightest idea what a fly was but knew it was for fishing because of the hook. A couple of years later, my uncle bought me my first fly tying kit and I have been tying flies ever since.
“I remember seeing my first fly fisherman on the South Platte River near the town of Decker’s Colorado.” I followed that fly fisherman around for a couple of hours and eventually got up the nerves to ask him what he was doing…he told me he was fly fishing. This connected the flies I was tying with the actual act of fly fishing.
I used to bring my first flies to Jim Poor of Angler’s All for critique. Mr. Poor used to tell me that my flies looked terrible and that I needed to practice more if I wanted to get any better. Best advice I could have ever received, I would not have progressed any further without practice and more practice.
I love to bring others into the realm of fly fishing. I am a demonstration fly tier and have tied at local and regional venues such as the Denver Fly Fishing Show, West Denver Trout Unlimited Fly Tying Clinic, International Sportsmen Exhibition, Federation of Fly Fisherman Conclave, Cheyenne Mountain TU Tying Clinic, Grand Valley Angler Fly Tying Clinic, Rocky Mountain Fly Casters Tying Clinic and at various regional fly shops near Denver. I am a past contributor and illustrator to Fly Fisherman Magazine. My art has been used for the Federation of Fly Fisherman Conclave. I am a fly designer for Umpqua Feather Merchants and I have done some consulting for C and F Design Co. I have had several articles published in Fly Fisherman Magazine. I am a Pro Staff Member of Whiting Farms, and Pro Staff member of Clear Cure Goo.
My fly patterns have appeared in Randall Kaufmann’s book “Fly Patterns”, Todd Hosman’s book “Colorado Flies”, “Hatch is On” by Chris Santella, “Fly Fishing Rocky Mountain National Park” by Steve Schweitzer, “Colorado’s Best Fly fishing” by Landon Mayer and in Pat Dorsey’s newest book.
I wrote my first book with my friend Jerry Hubka (co-author), our book is titled “Modern Midges, Tying and Fishing the World’s Most Effective Pattern” Stackpole/Headwater Books. Our book has been doing well, we are into our third printing. We have just sent our publisher a manuscript for our new book tentively titled “Modern Terrestrials” which will be out September of 2014. We also have developed a presentation on Midges and Midge fly Fishing which we have presented in Texas, Wisconsin, Colorado and New Mexico.
My goal is to share with others all of the various aspects of fly fishing and fly tying “it’s the teacher in me that wants to share knowledge.” Our book was written to share what we’ve learned with other fly fishermen.
I am a retired art educator and former Art Department Chairperson at Rocky Mountain High School, Fort Collins, Colorado. I am a shop rat and teach fly tying courses for Elkhorn Fly Rod and Reel. I make my home in Fort Collins, Colorado with my wife Susan, daughter Haley and son Josh.
Paul Vertrees: A fifth-generation native Coloradan, Paul grew up in the shadow of the Mt. Evans Wilderness, in Colorado’s Front Range. From an early age, he started exploring remote backcountry and chasing trout. Paul has been fly fishing for over twenty years, and a few years ago he embraced tenkara, the traditional Japanese method of fly fishing. He has extensive experience in lightweight backpacking and backcountry angling on remote streams and high lakes. In 2012, Paul became one of only a handful of certified professional tenkara guides in the state of Colorado. His writing and photographs have appeared online on his personal blog, Tenkara Tracks (www.tenkaratracks.blogspot.com), with guest articles on Tenkara USA’s website, on Colorado Backcountry Hunters and Anglers website, in Backcountry Journal, and most recently in the book Tenkara Fly Fishing: Insights and Strategies as a contributing writer/angler, published in April 2013. He has also provided tenkara presentations and demos for Backcountry Hunters and Anglers’ national rendezvous. Paul lives with his wife and three daughters in the rugged hills northwest of Cañon City, Colorado and is a seasonal Fly Fishing Guide for RIGS Fly Shop & Guide Service in Ridgway, Colorado.
Dave Whitlock: Thirty-eight years ago Dave pooled his talents in painting, illustrating, writing, photography, fly fishing and lecturing, resigned his position as a research chemist, and embarked on a new career as a full-time professional in the arts of fly fishing. Dave’s art and writing appear regularly in many fly fishing and sport publications. He has written 4 books, demonstrated his fly fishing, fly tying and teaching skills in 10 videos and coauthored, contributed to or illustrated more than 20 other books. Dave is also known internationally for his innovative fly tying designs, including the popular Dave’s Hopper. Dave has taught flyfishing around the world, and he and his wife Emily shared the magic of fly fishing at their Whitlock Fly Fishing School for10 years. Dave’s experience and creative outlook on the whole spectrum of fly fishing have earned him the reputation of being one of the top professional fly fishers in the sport. Editors note: Dave is one of the nicest guys you will ever meet. Don't miss the chance to share some time with this great mentor of our sport!