Pro Staff and Consulting 1


Scott Fly Rods

Although I relish the opportunity to contribute to the design and development of new fly fishing equipment, the friends I have made in the fly fishing industry are what I treasure most. Through my good friend and Alaska guide, Rich Culver, I met the folks at Scott Fly Rods.

I had always been a fan of Scott Fly Rods – a real “Scott head”. Scott Rods are made for fishermen, to be ultimate “application-specific” fly fishing tools (as opposed to rods fitting a marketing niche). Each and every one is crafted by hand from start to finish in Montrose, Colorado.

Rich introduced me to the people at Scott, and I have since been lucky to be counted among Scott’s Pro Staff Consultants.  I’ve had the pleasure of working with Jim Bartschi, who is the president and chief rod designer at Scott.  Together, we designed the LS2 and the new T2H series of high performance Spey rods.  These rods have set a whole new standard in what modern action Spey rods should feel like, and the LS2’s have radically pushed the envelope of how light two-handers can be.  For 2008, the super-high end T2H rods, re-define the ultimate in two-handed fishing, delivering unprecedented feel, line and loop control, higher lines speeds, ultimate craftsmanship, and appeal to any style of two-handed casting.

With Scott, it’s great to work with a whole company of fishermen who are dedicated to building the ultimate fly fishing tools – they are designed to come alive on the water, not just casting in a shop parking lot.  You owe it to yourself to test one out on the water, whether it’s the new S4 fast action freshwater rod, the G2 - ultimate technical moderate action trout rod, the X2S early-loading flats rod, or the LS2 and T2H two handers.


3M/Scientific Anglers

Rich Culver also introduced me to Brian O’Keefe, the studliest of fly fishing studs.

After a career as a hot dog ski bum, Brian pioneered fly fishing in more places than most of us will ever get to visit in a lifetime. He is one of the world’s greatest casters, but you’ll never hear him talking about himself.  He’s always willing to lend a hand or some great casting or fishing advice.

Brian introduced me to Bruce Richards, the head product designer for 3M/Scientific Anglers.  Bruce and I share an eye for technical details and enjoy pushing the limits of what can be done with modern manufacturing equipment.

In early 2001, we started work on what ultimately became the Mastery Spey XLT line. The XLT was the very first production long belly Spey line, based on the principles of the great Scottish Spey Caster and inventor, Alexander Grant.  (Did you know that Alexander Grant Spey cast 65 yards using a greenheart rod and a silk line way back in 1895?)  With my good buddy, Steve Choate, I took the XLT and a 16 foot Scott ARC rod over to England to compete in the 2002 Musto Open International Spey Casting Competition.  Wouldn’t you know it, Steve won the competition with a cast of 50 yards, and I ended up third.  You can read more about the process here.

Over the last several years, Steve, myself, and Bruce have been hard at work bringing new application-specific fly lines to the SA Mastery line-up.  For 2007/2008, there will be a full range of XLTs, Skagit style lines, Scandinavian Shooting heads, new Mid-belly lines, and some radical new shooting lines for you to fish, as well as an all-new single handed Skagit series of shooting heads.