Thank you for visiting my site. If you’re here, you’re probably interested in learning more about the quiet sport of fly fishing. I became involved in the sport relatively late in life: Bob Guess, a genuine Southern gentleman and one of the best-known popping bug makers in the country, introduced me to fly fishing when I was in my late 20s. Mr. Bob took me fishing for bluegill in Fairfax County’s Burke Lake, and that trip changed the direction of my life. Indeed, I wrote my very first article about Mr. Bob’s fantastic popping bugs—and I’ve been writing ever since. Who could’ve guessed that a fishing trip would spawn a passion that has taken me all over the country and into Canada chasing both fish and feature stories?
I am the Mid-Atlantic states field editor for Eastern Fly Fishing, a contributing editor for Fly Fish America, and former editor-at-large for Southern Trout. My work has also appeared in Fly Fisherman, American Angler, Fly Tyer, Mid-Atlantic Fly Fishing Guide, Virginia Wildlife, Flyfisher, Virginia Living, Blue Ridge Outdoors, Virginia Sportsman, Distinction, and Fly Rod & Reel. Some of my articles on menhaden as well as my work on public access and use issues have also appeared in the Baltimore Sun, Fredericksburg Free Lance-Star, and Roanoke Times.
In 2005 the Mason-Dixon Outdoor Writers Association honored me with the Talbot Denmead Memorial Award for Best Environmental Writing (sponsored by Bass Pro Shops) for my work on the Chesapeake Bay. My first book, Fly Fishing Virginia: A No Nonsense Guide to Top Waters, won the M-DOWA Book Award as well as the prestigious Excellence-in-Craft Award in 2009. Fly Fishing Virginia is currently in its second printing and is one of L.L. Bean’s bestselling books nationwide.
In 2011 the M-DOWA honored me again by awarding me the Talbot Denmead Memorial Award for the Best Article on Conservation and/or the Environment for “Where Have All The Menhaden Gone?” The Fly Fish America cover story chronicled the challenges of managing this very important baitfish. This honor was particularly gratifying as one magazine after another had refused to publish the article for fear of angering one or another stakeholder. In the end, however, both the conservation community and the commercial fishing industry lauded the piece as in-depth and even-handed.
My latest book, Fly Fishing the Mid-Atlantic: A No Nonsense Guide to Top Waters, is similar in layout to the Virginia book but includes 45 fresh and salt waters across seven Mid-Atlantic states. Though most of the photographs are my own, collected from fishing each and every piece of water covered in the book, I was delighted to be able to include photography from pros like Jack Hanrahan, Mark Sargent, and Jim Graham. Alan Folger contributed the vivid, original wildlife art that brings the book to life.
In 2016 my investigative piece titled “Battling Over Bonefish” was an in-depth look at the challenges of the first national attempt at managing bonefish and recreational anglers on the island nation of the Bahamas. The article remains one of MidCurrent’s most widely read pieces ever. It was so popular, in fact, that two Bahamian newspapers picked up the series and ran it in its entirety.
I’m currently working on a new book chronicling the work of Project Healing Waters Fly Fishing, which helps our brave men and women in uniform adjust to their new lives when they return from military service. I’ve shadowed the programs of PHWFF-Fort Belvior and PHWFF Marine Corps Base Quantico on and off for the past four years and look forward to bringing their stories to life. I also continue to research Crown Grant or King’s Grant issues (river bottom ownership in Virginia), public access and use as it applies to public waterways, and the challenges of managing baitfish.
I’m a retired firefighter from Fairfax County (Virginia) Fire and Rescue Department, where I work with some of the best and brightest firefighters and paramedics in the country for 30 years. My last assignment was as the senior paramedic and captain of Engine 427 in West Springfield.
Finally, I’m the Director for the Virginia Fly Fishing & Wine Festival, held in Doswell, Virginia, and the Texas Fly Fishing & Brew Festival, held in Mesquite, Texas. The goal of these festivals is to create a family-friendly introduction to the quiet sport for people of all ages and from all walks of life. Most days you’ll find me at home with my family or researching my latest writing assignment.