What’s your story?


Active Member
I have been a fish head since I was 7 or 8 yrs.old, for a total of 44 yrs, the last 28 yrs with a flyrod. The first time I fished was an outing with the cub scouts in a pond in the fooothills. I was catching bluegills on a cane rod with meal worms. One of the other scouts had a zebco outfit (the push button reel) he let me use for awhile. I was casting a Hula Popper along a weed line when a nice largemouth bass came up and exploded on my topwater lure !! Of course I had no Idea what I was doing but I did manage to land the fish!! I knew then that I was hooked. I started to read everything I could get my hands on from the local Library about fishing, and talked my parents into getting me a subscription to Outdoor Life Magazine. I was also fourtunate that my father who did not fish, would get up at 5 in the morning on his day off to take me up to some mountain lake or stream to fish. He would just sit on a rock with his book while I fished.

I then moved to So. Calif. where I discovered SW fishing. Spent a few years chasing tuna and billfish and started making the Long Range trips out of San Diego. About this time (late70s) a coworker talked me into a trip for some troutfishing on the East Walker river. He gave me an old bamboo rod that he wrapped himslef, a sz. 4 black wolly bugger with some split shot, and a quick casting lesson. After two days of thrashing the water I finally hooked and landed a nice 14 inch brown. I was Hooked!!

In 1988 I found myself spending more time in the Sierras fly fishing, so I took a transfer and moved to Reno. In the next 6 yrs I had the privilage of fishing all the great water in the area as well as some Steelhead fishing with gear in Nothern Calif. Around 91 I started to tye my own flies.

After my divorce in 92 I moved again, this time to Missoula. Man what a treat! The trout fishing was awsome!! In September of 92 after hearing about Clearwater Steelhead,I made which was to become one of many trips over Lolo Pass. It took a few trips but in Late October I landed my first steelhead on a flyrod!! Those of you who are steelheaders know the rest! Over the years I had caught some nice fish but- that first steelhead that took my sz. 4 greenbutt skunk on a dry line,just ruined me!!!LOL In 96 I was transfered to Bozeman. Even there I found myself thinking of steelhead. I started making trips out to the OP for winter runs. Long way too drive only to have the rivers blow out while you are there. So this year my wife and I decided to move to Port Angeles. And here I am in Steelhead heaven!!

I found WFF around two years ago. It was great to be able to view the pics of steelhead and the flies used to catch them, not to mention the valuable info gained from reading the forums.


eat more fruit
I grew up fishing the south end of Bainbridge Island for mudsharks and bullhead using treble-hooks & bacon. In high-school, I grabbed my dad's fly-rod from the garage and slid the kayak into the water. I did some sloppy casts (like I was putting out a fire with a wet blanket) and caught no less than a half-dozen blackmouth my first time out. From that day on, I would cast almost every night off the bulkhead or from the kayak. This was the early 80's and I had never seen (or noticed, anyway) a flyfisherman along that beach in the 17 years I lived there.

Wish I had a romantic story about my dad or grandfather teaching me to fish. When I fished with my dad, I'd spend hours watching him unravel backlashes. I don't recall having line in the water. Suppose fishing wasn't really the point anyway - I just loved spending time with the old man. My dad owned boats and canneries in Alaska and frankly, I think salmon were a source of stress for him.

I went to college at UC Boulder and became a rock-climbing addict - no fishing at all.

When I graduated in 1990, I moved to southern Chile to help start an agri-business company. To earn extra money I was a rafting guide and that's when I got involved in fly-fishing again. Those were some great years.

Moved back to Bainbridge and met my wife who worked for Streamline, right down the street from Sage on Day Road. She also ran fly-casting clinics. I met her at the Harbour House Pub where I did open-mic's. We did a lot of beach fishing together and because I had never had formal instruction, she taught me how to properly cast a fly. She broke me of bad habits (casting and otherwise).

We now live in the Mt. Vernon area and fly-fish the S Rivers up here 2-3times/month but enjoy taking my kids bottom fishing simply because it's guaranteed they'll get something on. Wish I had known about Point Wilson Darts as a kid, sure saves on bacon.

I'm still a fruit trader, globally buying and selling frozen fruit and work for a farming & processing operation. I've become 'serious' about fly-fishing the last 8-10 years and go every opportunity I can get. As I write this, I realize that the more 'serious' I have gotten about fly-fishing, the less fish I actually catch. I caught far more fish flailing the rod around on Bainbridge as a teenager and in Chile than I have since that time. Now, I have a decent cast and all the right gear (a quiver of Sage rods, Lamson reels, etc.) but have fewer productive days on the water.
Joined the forum a few months ago to get in touch with some guys I fished with.

I'm almost 26, born and raised in southern BC/ northeastern washington. Started out flyfishing at about 4. Grandpa and dad taught me. Grew up in the outfitting industry. Currently a fishing and hunting guide and realestate agent in montana. Graduated with cell biology and nueroscience dregree as well as an organismal biology dregree from montana state university. Father owns Three Lakes Flyfishing, brother is a hunting guide in Alaska. One sister in real estate in Colorado, one is a EMT in Conneticut. Both fish.

I fish over 200 days a year if you count guiding. Steelhead nut, salt junkie, and I like catching anything I can on a fly rod. Shock and awe! I am a streamer fisherman at heart, the bigger the better! :)
I do a lot of instructional classes and seminars over the winter at fly shows and expos, and plow snow when it snows.

Still a punk after all these years. Gave up a fully paid position in the hunting industry with BowTech becuase it would cut into my fishing time. Love to go International and travel. If any of this doesn't work out then I am moving to mexico and becoming a bull fighter!

That's about it, besides kokanee beer is the beer, vodka red bull is the drink, olive is the greatest color on earth. :beer2:


Moved back to Bainbridge and met my wife who worked for Streamline
Only waders I've ever owned that leaked EVERY time I wore them. Repaired 4 or 5 times. Leaked first time out every time. Sent new waders 3 different times and they leaked out of the box every time. Other than that they were sweet!

Sorry, I couldn't resist.

38 year old fishaholic. Steelhead are always the #1 priority but will lower my standards and fish for other species when needed. Caught my first steelhead on the fly in '91 or '92.

Dave Hartman

Strip'n Flywear
By the time I was 12, I had lived in Newport Beach, Costa Mesa, and Sunnyvale, CA; Mesa and Tempe, AR; and Auburn, AL. I have distant memories of fishing all of those places, and my parents took us camping to some amazing places that I got to fish, too. No one in my family fishes, nor cares about my fishing. I would just wander off with my little spinning rod. In Auburn, I fished the pond behind my house every day for bass and carp. I was 10 when I was attacked by coydogs, but since I’ve always fished alone, no one was there to see it, and no one ever believed me. My parents then moved us to the sprawling suburbs of Boston. There was no water to be found anywhere, just sidewalks. I picked up skateboarding and the Dead Kennedys, and a punk was born.

But a driver’s license and my restored ’64 Karmann Ghia would change that. I was still living at home when I was 19, and had by then completely fallen in love with fly fishing. I read everything I could get my hands on. It was 1992, the year of the “movie”. Suddenly, flyshops were opening everywhere, more and more waters became “known” and I could find them. My parents were nagging me to go to college and I remember pointing to a picture of the lower Clark Fork in Fly Rod and Reel. They rolled their eyes, and for the next four years I was allegedly at the University of Montana. More realistically, I was on the Missouri or chasing steelhead in states west, (the UofM had many generations of troutbums before me, and will have many after Zen. . .). Unfortunately, I passed my classes and they graduated me.

I moved back east after seeing an article about fishing for stripers in the surf. I got my first job working with kids in Biddeford, ME. If you know that town, you just said “fuckin’ shithole” to yourself. I worked with teenage female sex offenders, fun stuff. Three day weekends and my shift also allowed me to fish every sun up and sun down. Seven days a week of doublehauling into the ocean for bass. I learned that there is only one thing that sucks about striper fishing: the season is wicked short. But then I learned about the Salmon River in New York. My god, if ever DFW and the Army Corps got it right re: managing a fishery, this was it! By then, I was working at a private therapeutic boarding school; I had three day weekends, 8 weeks paid vacation, and absolutely no respect for the binding agreements between me and my credit cards. I fished non-stop.

In 2001, I was back in Montana with a great job at a renowned boarding school. Working with kids totally floats my boat. I was fishing the Beaverhead when the Trade Towers fell. I was approaching 30 years, and I was finding some balance in my life for the first time. I didn’t need to fish as much. Three years ago, I bought some land on top of a mountain and slowly began building a home. I made the timbers myself and it’s a straw bale insulated home. I went a year without fishing, and I was perfectly happy.

Seven months ago, I moved here. I was given a “job” to look after a young schizophrenic that I have known for a couple years now. He’s doing fantastic, so there’s not much for me to do. I fish a lot, but I miss “home” and will probably move back to Kalispell this summer.
I’ve known it for years, but somehow I have a hard time weaning myself: there is a such thing as too much of a good thing. When I was younger, if you had told me that I would spend my life chasing fish, I would have been ecstatic. Now, I’m at an age where I can realize how silly that is. It’s just fishing. It’s not important. No one’s impressed. Maturity will be measured in how we can look back and realize how dumb we were when we were younger. Til then, here's to immaturity! :beer2:
Funny, that was my story once upon a time. WAMU in a nutshell: Great to bank with...A nightmare to work for (have worked for several banks, large and small, plus other financial institutions and this one stands out as a classic POS). Branch network/business lines = No stability; Admin = Dysfunction on steroids ... take yer pick since they're based in Seattle. Banking has its inherent ups and downs but that place is 'special.' Had some real encouraging words from the person I replaced back then..."I was the sixth to work for ____ and leave, so you'll be the seventh...you'll see, it's just getting f'd in the ___ with a chainsaw every day." She was right...I couldn't sit down for a while after that.

Bob, in case no one has said it yet, getting out of there was the best thing that could happen to you. Congrats - now go celebrate. :thumb:

Well said. When I joined this company back in June the job opportunities were endless. Now with a looming recession, growing mortgage deliquencies and only a .25% Fed rate cut, drastic corporate changes abound. Exxon Mobile here I come!!!! I still have yet to hear on cnbc:

"Today's earnings look bleak for Conoco, Exxon Mobile and many others in the oil industry as the price per barrel of oil decreases and demand on these refineries diminishes. Analysts predict a 15% quarterly earnings decrease for Exxon Mobile (EXO) for Q4 of 07' plunging eps from $35.00 to $5.15..":p

Ford, London InterBank, know anyone?

FlyBill: Thanks for the encouraging words

Mingo: Do you know what they really call me...."The Midnight Cowboy" Hey who says them rich older gals don't need lovin...
I was born and raised in Seattle. Got my masters degree Crab fishing in the Bering Sea for 15years. In 1996 I switched careers and got in the car business so I could be home to watch my Three daughters grow up. I was fortunate to have a Dad that was very much a fisherman and have been fishing as long as I can remember. When I was 8 years old we went to B.C. and I caught an 8lb trout on a fly rod. I was hooked. I have been married for 21 years come March 5th to a great wife how tries to help me realize me hopes dreams and desires. My youngest daughter Isabell has my passion for fishing and wants to go with me always. This year she landed a 25lbs king by her self in Tahsis B.C . Needless to say I bought her a pair of waders and a vest for Christmas and she practices her casting in the yard constantly she is ten. I have learned a ton from this board and made some great friends. I am a lucky man. There is so much to learn and so little time. Happy Holidays

Zane :beer2:

Chris Puma

hates waking up early
Good Morning Everyone!

Back in June 2005 my g/f, our dog and myself hopped into our cars and drove across country. We ended up in sunny Seattle.
That's right, we're transplants in the NW! I originally grew up in the suburbs of Boston. I've lived in Boston and NYC. I couldn't stand the ridiculously cold winters and blistering humidity during the summer months. Enough was enough!

I love love love love stripers! My favorite fishing was to sight cast to bass in estuaries. I absolutely fell in love with hitting the beach every chance I had... The trout fishing in Massachusetts was horrible but fishing the ocean and costal rivers during the fall and spring months made up for it. I miss fishing for stripers immensely.

Let's get back on track here. I've been at fly fishing for roughly 14 years now. Throughout my journey I was extremely jaded with my dealings in Trout Unlimited. I made a promise to myself not to get involved with the entire political BS that goes along with fly fishing. Along with the ridiculous egos of people who fly fish. It's seriously fly fishing. I rather get drunk with someone, fish and have fun than spend time debating the ethics of fishing and consumerism. I think the dudes who do AEG and This Is Fly have the right idea of where fly fishing should go and the attitude to keep with you... I'm getting sidetracked here though... Back on topic!

Although I enjoy the abundance of fish and beautiful weather here, I really miss the people on the East Coast. It's been a constant challenge in adapting to West Coast living. I'm used to having an abrasive, sarcastic attitude which just doesn't fly on the West Coast. Finally, after 2 years I'm getting used to relaxing and accepting the fact that life isn't a constant rush to get to the next traffic light. It's definitely been a positive change!

When I'm not fly fishing, I'm usually hanging out with our dog Neko. She kicks ass. I love dogs. If I were rich I'd probably have an army of dogs roaming around my house. Also, I enjoy "punk/hardcore" music and have an extensive vinyl collection. I collect records. I used to spend most of my money on records although I've recently calmed down in that aspect.

The greatest struggle I'm having right now is balancing my life with my friends and getting out on river. It's tough to party in the waking hours of the morning only to get up at 6 AM to hit the river. Recently, I've enjoyed hitting the bars, playing a ridiculous amount of pinball at Shorty's and sleeping in with my g/f and dog. I haven't fished in a month now. Maybe it's winter or maybe it's snowboarding but I haven't had the energy or motivation to get on water.

I've met a bunch of people on this board who were fun as all hell to fish with... I've also known some rad people who left the board because they couldn't deal with the BS. I know I've probably pissed some people off. Sorry dudes, it's just the internet. No hard feelings, I'll buy you some good brew. The WFF is a great website/resource. Thanks to all the admins who keep it alive!

Here's a bunch of things I miss:

Beautiful Beaches
my E-Z Pass
steak and cheese subs!
chicken parm subs!

Here's a bunch of rad stuff I love about WA:

dog parks
people enjoying life.
Born in 1975 and raised in the Seattle area. My Grandpa got me into fly fishing in Bellingham-area lakes in my early teens but I didn’t put down my spinning gear until my early 20’s. Started college at WSU, finished my BS in Fisheries at UW . . .yes, I’m a rare hybrid! Got my MS in Stream Fish Ecology at the U of Wyoming in Laramie. Applied research is my gig. I’ve been on the forum since 2001 and learned a ton here.

I once heard a professor from Colorado State U describe himself as a pathological fisherman who used academia as a way to channel his preoccupation with fish. I would put myself in a similar category. I took the biologist route starting in 1999 and have seen the fisheries research profession from the academic, federal, state, and private industry sides.

Since I went “pro” (and got married), I’ve fished less than I used to but that’s ok. My job keeps me tied into the seasonal mysteries of fish behavior and I get to design studies that answer my questions about fish-habitat relationships and what fish are up to throughout the year.

In July I left a good consulting job mainly because I didn’t actually handle any of the fish I was studying in two years on the job (and financial reality; i.e. biologists don’t earn enough to live in Seattle anymore:beathead:). Living in Spokane is taking some getting used to but now when I come home after a day of fieldwork I smell like slimy fish and life is better:clown:.


Chris Puma

hates waking up early
Powder. Where? That's one of the reasons I left the wet side... there is none.
really? that's what everyone keeps saying. everytime i go snowboarding all i see is powder? when i was at crystal two weeks ago there was so much of it that they had to close down a run because people were getting stuck in the snow and could get out. back in MA all you heard was crunch crunch crunch of your board trying to break through the ice. it's like paradise here!

wait is crystal considered the "wet side"? i can't figure this all out. west side, east side, wet side, dry side. do the mountains seperate the sides? what happens if you're in the mountains? what side do you belong to?

Dave Hartman

Strip'n Flywear
at crystal two weeks ago there was so much of it that they had to close down a run because people were getting stuck in the snow and could get out. snowboarding all i see is powder? when i was it's like paradise here!
That's not powder, that's wet snow. Two different things that look the same, like the diff between a taint and a choad.

I don't think it matters what side you are on; being this close to the temperate temps of the ocean, the snow is going to be heavier than that of the inland ranges, and the true powder like that of Utah and NM up through Alberta.