I was born just east of the Mississippi, and growing up, mountains were a foreign thing. In fact, I used to think that they were all volcanoes and the wild west was still being fought over between cowboys and indians. Apparently 4th grade doesn’t have an educational video of “Where Are They Now”. As a child I had a strange relationship with water. Most of my days (when I wasn’t building a clubhouse) were spent with the hose in the backyard making rivers and loosely studying erosion, even though I didn’t know it at the time. I got in trouble for it so much that my parents eventually enrolled me in a swimming class. That never went over well. I spent most classes making “deals” with the instructor so as not to actually get in and try to swim. Yes, I was afraid of water. In school, I was made fun of for heading straight to the nonfiction section of the library and reading ANYTHING that was about caves, volcanoes, or gems. Eventually, even my teacher banned me from those books. When I was 10, my parents decided that our new place of residence would be New Mexico.
I grew up learning to fish and wasn’t surprised that my father would eventually take us fishing. What I was about to see absolutely changed my life. A Rainbow Trout. I was 10 and didn’t know what it was. I’d seen all manner of bluegill, bass, and catfish and this didn’t look like any of them. Before the days of the internet, we had to do something unheard of for information, read a book. I don’t remember how I found out it was a rainbow trout, but I do remember in order to catch one, you had to fly fish. Since then, my life has been focused and dedicated to learning about fly fishing and nearly 20 years later I’m still at it. Exploring the wilderness and going on adventures that I could never imagine as a child.