Be it a blessing or a curse, my love for the outdoors began at an early age when my parents refused to ever let me sit in front of the TV or a computer screen longer than I had to be. I never had a play station or an xbox controller in my hands, but I did have one of the best bass lakes in the south running through my back yard.
Born and raised in Austin, Texas, I spent every moment I had in the woods trying to get my hands on all the snakes, spiders, and poisonous critters I could find, or on my dock staring at my bobber for hours on end, even when the fish didn’t want to cooperate. Around the time I came into the world, my father had recently taken up fly fishing, and for my fifth birthday celebrated in Telluride, Colorado, I was gifted my first fly rod; an 8 foot 6 inch Orvis 3 weight, and shortly thereafter I caught my first fish on a fly; a small brookie from the San Miguel. For the years to come, my entire summers were spent out west traveling with my father from Colorado to Wyoming, Utah, Idaho and Montana. Fly fishing quickly became a way of life, and a passion which would foster my relationship with my father far beyond the rivers edge. I remember year after year my father returning from his trips to the Keys and telling me about tarpon and permit and fish I had never seen; I was intrigued to say the least. When I was 9, I was finally introduced to the salt for the first time in Marathon, FL, where I connected with my first tarpon from the rocks of our hotel marina within an hour of checking in, followed by a grown tarpon out of a large school of chaining fish several days later. The thrill of a big bass smashing a popper or an airborne rainbow was undeniable, but the rush of something on my line that was bigger than I was opened my eyes to a new world, and saltwater has since consumed me.
When I was 10 years old I crossed paths with the former coach of the US Youth Flyfishing Team, John Wilson. Wilson began coaching me in the tactics of competitive angling, and several years later, I attended the World Championships in State College, PA, as an unofficial observer. At 14, I was finally eligible to compete, though again traveled with the team to worlds in the Czech Republic as an alternate. The next year, 2010, I competed at worlds in Slovakia where I finished well enough to earn an individual bronze medal. In 2011, we traveled to worlds in Italy where I individually finished 8th, and for the first time in history the US Youth Team brought home the team gold medal. The next year worlds was in France, where we took home the team silver medal, and although I had two more years of eligibility I chose to resign that next year. Although I have taken a bit of a sabbatical from competitive angling, I am anxious to pick up the torch again in the near future.
After completing the first several years of my undergrad at CU Boulder, I transferred to Colorado State University where I completed my bachelors in 2019 with a degree Natural Resources Recreation with an emphasis in Global Tourism. Having since moved back to Texas full time, this summer I will be heading back for my 4th season working as head guide on the Zhupanova River float, operated by The Fly Shop out of Redding, CA—a 50 mile float trip operation in Kamchatka, Russia. During the fall I try to spend as much time as I can in the bush chasing whatever game is in season, followed by several months in the winter guiding hunters for a mule deer hunting operation in Western Sonora, Mexico. In the Spring of 2020 I will be working my first season as a host/ manager for Fly Fish Guanaja, a Honduran operation I have been involved with for many years, working in a new remote flats fishery we have been exploring for the last few years. When I am between seasons in the early summertime, I work as an independent captain guiding on my home waters of the central Texas coast.
Next to fishing, hunting is my passion. Whether it is chasing turkey in the spring, wild pigs and white tails in the Texas hill country, or bugling bulls in the Rockies during the fall. When I’m not in the woods or on the water, I cherish the time I get to spend with my younger brother and sister, and the rest of my Texas based friends and family.