I was born in a rough city in Michigan, My dad was always a trout fisherman. So was my grandfather and his father. They all fished in the same area on the Ausable in Michigan for their entire lives for the most part. I recall a day when my dad was packing his car in the garage to go “Up North” trout fishing for opening weekend of trout season. I could not have been more than 3-4 years old and I was devastated that I wasn’t allowed to go. Standing in the garage as my dad pulled out and loaded the canoe on top of the car literally crushed me. This scenario is the second memory in my life that I can recall, my first being when my little sister was born when I was 2 years old. Eventually I was taken on some fly fishing trips and that’s when my life changed.
That’s me on the left in my 20’s after winning a tournament in Michigan. Image courtesy of Greatlakesbass.com
While growing up, most people were concerned about football on TV, along with basketball and hockey. I went through a hockey phase, but I’ve never watched a full sports game in my entire life. While my friends and family were busy watching football, I was watching bass fishing shows on TNN. By the time I finished high school all I was worried about was bass fishing, but I still went trout fishing on a regular basis. I was enamored with bass fishing because it was so freaking fun, yet you could actually make money doing it! (and there went any chance of a college education…) I fished bass tournaments until I could no longer tolerate the stress. Working at a crappy job in a sporting goods store making 7$ per hour was not enough of a sponsor for me and my fishing addiction. Suddenly it came down to a point where if I did not make a bunch of money in tournaments, I could not survive. Frankly, I was really good at finding and hooking bass and actually did really well in tournaments, but it was all too expensive.
Bass fishing suddenly took the back burner and trout fishing began to dominate my life. I had always trout fished, but I realized the peace and solitude that came along with fly fishing could not be matched in any other sport. Skipping jigs under docks on lakes, was replaced by peaceful nights in the middle of nowhere – casting to large trout that most people who fished that river had never seen. Fly fishing took over my entire reason for living and I became really good at it. I fished every single opportunity I could and I learned a lot about how to hook trout. I learned even more about how to live properly. Proper living does not involve stress, and it might not make you rich—what it does do is make you happy.
What other job could possibly make a homeless looking dude like this money, besides guiding fly fishing?
I moved out west in around 2005 to start guiding trout fishing on the South Fork of the Snake. I have been a fly fishing guide for nearly a decade and have been fly fishing for trout for over 30 years. I have picked up a tip or two throughout the years. One of my first memories was tying flies when I was barley walking. I was even tying flies at my first grade show and tell.
My goal with this website is to provide new and experienced fly fisherman all the information they will need to become better anglers. I have spent thousands of hours and many years putting this website together for you. Before I am done, this will be one of the largest and most complete fly fishing resources on the internet. I hope you enjoy it and learn something every time you come. I do appreciate you stopping by. Dub Paetz