I was born in Missouri, my parents moved to Oregon
when I was a babe in swaddling clothes.
When I was in high school my father enrolled me in a fly tying class at
Lane Community College, taught by Stan Walters. I completed the class, but
was not smitten with the art of fly tying - I preferred fishing with a
Thomas or a Mepps lure.
I moved to Arizona at the age of 27 where I met a Greeley, Colorado woman
who is now my wife. Our trips to visit her parents and family in Colorado
afforded me time to fish with her father and brother in law. Like in the
"River Runs Through It" I felt pressured to fish with flies.
On a camping and fishing trip to The Frying Pan River I successfully caught
multiple huge trout. I guess you could say I was hooked on fishing with a fly.
When I returned to our home in Phoenix Arizona I visited a fishing store
and asked them how I could learn more about fly fishing. They suggested
getting involved with the local FFF club - The Arizona Flycasters. I did
just that. The men, women and families that make up the Arizona Flycasters
were great. I enjoyed the club fishing trips, conservation projects and
My second beginning fly tying class, taught by Arizona Flycaster President
Dave Cohen, really got me going. At home I tied various trout patterns and
burned through most of my hooks and materials.
On my lunch hours I often visited a salt-water fishing store near my
office. This store had a very small area designated to fly fishing. One
day I asked the store clerk if they might be interested in trading some
hooks and materials to me for flies that I had tied. The clerk was willing
to do an exchange. I guess this was the start to my hobby business.
Let's back up for a minute - After I graduated form South Eugene High School
I attended the University of Oregon. At the U of O I successfully squeezed
a four year BS dual degree in accounting and computer science into six
years. After graduation I worked for Price Waterhouse in Portland Oregon
as a certified public accountant with the audit division. After four plus
years of public accounting work I moved to Phoenix Arizona and worked as a
controller, then as the chief financial officer of different home building
and commercial contracting companies. I returned to Portland Oregon after
seven great years in Arizona. I am currently the chief financial officer
of The Stoner Group, a medium sized commercial electrical contracting
company operating in the Pacific Northwest states.
Now let's flip back to Arizona. When I did my first flies for materials
exchange I thought it would be wise to properly set up a hobby
business. With my wife's help I chose "Fly Art Creations" as the name for
the hobby business. I properly registered the business with state and
federal government agencies, including the IRS so that I could pay excise
tax when necessary.
I tied mostly trout patterns when living in Arizona. I developed different
"Destination Fly Boxes" for specific fisheries in Arizona and Oregon.
I fished for trout in the streams on the Mogollon Rim, the White Mountain
lakes, the San Juan River and Lee's Ferry on the Colorado River. I fished
Lee's Ferry on the Colorado River with Len Holt using Len's "Elk Hair Scud"
pattern. I tied an awful lot of Len Holt's Elk Hair Scud pattern for sale
to shops and fisherman when I lived in Arizona.
When I returned to Portland I visited some of the fly shops and tied flies
for some of them. Mark Noble, owner of The Greased Line fly shop in
Vancouver, Washington asked me to tie some muddler patterns to be used when
fishing steelhead. In the beginning my muddler flies were pretty sorry,
but the patient Mark Noble coached me through the learning process. The
muddler fly is a common, "minimum wage pattern" because the tyer cannot get
rich tying it. One thing is for certain - if you want to catch fish then
you need to fish the muddler. I continued to learn how to tie the muddler
pattern and tried different color combinations.
Mark introduced me to Herb Burton, owner of the Trinity Fly Shop in
Lewiston, California. Herb Burton's muddler patterns for fishing steelhead
are tied on a the long nymph style of hook in both natural and bright
colors. Herb is an excellent business man and a successful river guide. I
have had much fun having him guide me and my father on fishing trips to
Norther California. Herb has had me tie some specialty patterns for his
shop that I have been fishing successfully on the Deschutes River.
Some people read books and watch television each evening when they get home
from work. With two high school daughters active in school, sports and
friends interested in learning to fly fish I find some time to tie flies in
the evening while listening to the television. I tie muddler and specialty
patterns for a limited number of specialty shops. I also enjoy mounting
and framing flies in shadow boxes. As my family's life cycle changes I
will find more time to tie and sell flies through my hobby business. The
important thing to me is that I provide quality flies on time to the people
who have been there for me when I started my hobby business. The specialty
shops that I service today include;
The Greased Line, Mark Noble, Vancouver, Washington
The Trinity Fly Shop, Herb Burton, Lewiston, California
The Deschutes Angler, Joe Ringo, Maupin, Oregon
The Scarlet Ibis, Brian Buggenhagen, Corvallis, Oregon