Around our house, fishing was more than just a leisure time activity; it was a way of life. From as early as I can remember, most vacations, weekends and more than a few school days were spent fishing. When I was 14, I salvaged a 9.5 hp Evinrude and when I got it running, strapped it to a skiff and away I went. From then on, I spent most of my spare time fishing the back bays and bayous of the middle Texas coast.
In 1995, health problems sidelined me for a year and in that time my cardiologist requested that I take up a non stressful hobby. So began my career as a fly tier. Like many, I started out with a bare bones kit I found on sale at the local sporting goods store. The kit contained a vice, a few tools and materials and, a booklet with instructions to tie trout and pan fish sized flies, not a great thing for a saltwater fisherman to learn with but, it was a start.
My first flies were 1/0 “Hooties”. A “Hootie” is a bait fly that consists of a piece of cotton twine tied to a saltwater hook. Well, it wasn’t long before the “Hooties” were replaced by Deceivers, Seaducers and Clouser Minnows and eventually, other more intricate patterns. It wasn’t long before I upgraded to my first rotary vise, a Renzetti Traveler, joined a club and then bought a rod. After I caught my first redfish (on one of my hand tied Seaducers) I knew that there was no turning back. Most of my fishing time is now spent on the coastal waters of Texas and Louisiana in search of specks and redfish but, I can also be found from time to time on Lake Buchanan, casting for largemouth, white and striped bass.
I am an active member of the Texas FlyFishers, where I am currently the Chairman for the Dr. Ed Rizzolo Fly Tying Festival. Before that, I served 4 terms as the Saltwater Outing Chairman and I am a past winner of the prestigious Sweetened Hook Award. I am also an active member of the Federation of Fly Fishers Gulf Coast Council.