The History and underlying motivation to create this service…
Both my Grandfathers were skilled fisherman and it was Grandpa Garrison who first introduced me to my lifelong passion. If I close my eyes and reflect back to my earliest memories, I can vividly recall the image of the first fish I ever caught. A small but brilliant yellow and black Perch from Lake Marie in Bedford Hills, NY. While only four years old at the time, my parents had no idea what was in store for them as this obsession to catch fish was born. Having a limited vocabulary at the time… I remember that for weeks I proudly referred to this beautiful creature of nature as the “Yellow Jacket” from the lake.
In my early teens, not only was fishing my favorite hobby, it allowed me to develop independence, perseverance and confidence. My dad used to drop me off at Muscoot Reservoir in Katonah, NY at age ten and leave me there all day to fish. When he would come to pick me up at sunset he could count on me saying… “One more cast dad, just one more cast.”
I began fly fishing at age 12 with my close friend Blair Karasin and his older brother Brad. Tying our own flies, we often fished the “no kill” sections of the Willowemoc River just outside of Roscoe, NY. We would typically arrive at the river at sunrise and fish well into dark until we could no longer see the Light Cahill dry flies that we proudly spent time creating at the tying vice. We barely took time to eat all day and when the fishing slowed in the afternoons, we would engage in casting competitions (Blair and I would subsequently compete at everything).
Fishing the Willowemoc river in the early 70’s contributed to us developing the discipline and practice of “catch and release” fishing and allowed us to better appreciate the beauty of the habitat and survival obstacles that trout face. The challenge and reward of fly fishing becomes catching trout with your skill (vs. luck) and releasing them so that they could continue on in their lifecycle and occasionally make a mistake in judgment – falling victim to another skilled angler with the perfect presentation of their Mayfly imitation.
After fly fishing for 42 years, I have to admit that I have evolved through the classic six stages of what’s referred to as the fishing obsession. “In essence, fly fishing is considered the pursuit of the elusive.” I’m now somewhere between Stages 5 and 6.
- Stage 1: Wanting to master the basics and just catch fish.
- Stage 2: Wanting to catch lots of fish.
- Stage 3: Wanting to catch a big fish.
- Stage 4: Wanting to catch lots of big fish.
- Stage 5: Wanting to catch The Ultimate Fish.
- Stage 6: Appreciating much more – than “just the fish.”
The latest focus and challenge for me is to attempt to share the entire fly fishing experience. This includes the scenery, the aquatic environment, the angling challenge and most important – a breathtaking close up portrait of the fish. By the way… I’ve also always subscribed to the philosophy that if you talk about the fishing experience – it’s considered “a fish story.” If you have pictures, it’s considered evidence!
Thus far, my business travels have created the opportunity for me to fish in 24 US States and 7 additional countries including New Zealand, Australia, Canada, Mexico, Brazil, Venezuela and Costa Rica (my two favorite locations – Alaska and Montana). Fly fishing has also indirectly contributed to where our family lives (Bozeman Montana) and the name of our youngest daughter – Christine “Madison” Olivo, named after my favorite river that originates in Yellowstone National Park and meanders north through the Northern Rocky Mountains of Montana. As people get to know me, they eventually learn that I like to fly fish. A LOT.