When I was a kid, I loved to play soccer, wishing someday I may be a professional. I'm still a World Cup Soccer History mania and following every single much of European Champions League obsessively. But also as a second son of farming family, I always loved to hang around my family farm and not to mention fish around every water in my hometown. I would often had got out with my brother or friends. Especially when I went fishing with my brother, we argued at the end of the day as any other brothers would do.
In 1998 while I was in a college in Tokyo, Japan, I had an opportunity to visit Purdue University in Indiana. That was a mesmerizing experience. Besides my dream to be a cowboy, I wanted to study in US. At the same time, I started to fly-fish. As any other kids in my generation, "A River Runs Through It" was my inspiration. So all of my inspirations & desires combined, I applied to & was accepted for Masters' Degree in Animal Science at Montana State University in 2000.
I studied a lot!! I didn't have time to fly-fish. Yet it's still my legacy that I studied & worked hard to be a knowledgeable cowboy and established myself in Western US. I graduated with a MS in Reproductive Physiology & Genetics for Beef Cattle. I did become a cowboy, making a "COWBOY WAGE". Life was fun but at the same time, I really wanted to apply my education and practical experience. I pursued my career as a breeder/technician of artificial insemination. Jobs took me to High Desert of Nevada, crazy cities on California, and fertile farming area of Washington, primarily with dairy cows at dairy farms.
Once I established my income and life-cycle, I began to fly-fish again. I fished way too much in eastern side of Washington. Then I finally realized it would be a time to get back to Montana for fly-fishing. Even when I was a student in Bozeman without fishing, I had already known that "Bozeman can be a hub but not really a destination for me". So I started to visit West Yellowstone and Livingston. I fished Madison, Yellowstone, spring creeks in Livingston, and various waters in Yellowstone National Park.
In the fall of 2010, I bagged a job in Washington and decided to live in Livingston, MT. This accidental Chinook (34-incher with 6-wt rod) was one of the last fish I had caught in eastern WA.
Life as a fishing guide can be tough but my passion keeps me going. I always get back to my origin. Cowboy and fly-fishing guide in Montana are synonymous for me; work as an independent with professional pride, that is the way of life. I'd love to introduce the diversity of Yellowstone River, classroom situations at Paradise Valley Spring Creeks, and various waters & techniques in Yellowstone National Park waters to any level of visiting anglers.
As I rekindled my passion for fly-fishing, fly-tying frenzy resumed too. I strongly believe fly-fishing & -tying must go hand in hand; good fisherman = good tyer. Visiting Blue Ribbon Flies in West Yellowstone was (still is) a great "shopping & learning" time as they develop & test their own patterns and sell great materials. I thought "someday it would be nice if I design my own patterns, catch fish with them, and show in public......" It took me a while till I got to that league. I copied and reproduced most of patterns in public/market fairy well. My eyes became pickier and keener as I spent more time at my tying bench. By then I caught lots of fish. So I had some room & time for experiment both at my bench and waters. Developing new flies caused brain-storms. I had lots of them for my first few flies. Then testing new flies was easy to say but I had to be brave to conduct it with or without catching fish. Now I get to the point to enjoy these process.
My own very first original pattern "Coyoted Pheasant Soft Hackle" achieved world-wide recognition!! Now I submit my own innovative patterns to Montana Fly Company. Other flies can be seen at Fly Anglers OnLine.
I'm mentored by Tom Travis, Montana's Master Anger, who's been guiding the area since year I was born (also a LEFTY!).
After taking guide trips from couple of fly-shops in the area for several years, from 2015, I'm licensed as a Montana Outfitter. That's quite a step-up, from a guide, for being a business man and running his own outfitting/guide service operation. This is also my resolution and commitment for making "fly-fishing guide" as my serious profession.
Here are miscellaneous stuffs, if not idiosyncrasy, about me.
Guiding Motto: "I fish through you".
Mantra: "Learning and observation will never end" (by Tom Travis).
Original Flies: COYOTE (above), Bridle Sparrow, Royal Ray Charles, then more. You can see them on my YouTube Channel and in my fly sales catalog.
Favorite Rivers: Madison & Yellowstone Rivers for wading & floating. Three spring creeks in Livingston. Various waters in Yellowstone National Park (Lamar, Slough, Soda Butte, Yellowstone, Firehole, Gibbon, Madison, Cascade Lake, Trout Lake, etc.). If I have to pick one, I'm addicted to technicality of Lower Meadow of Slough Creek. Small mountain streams like Mill Creek, West Boulder, and many of those in YNP for hiking & wet-wading during summer.
Favorite Flies: Either trout flies or Atlantic Salmon flies, there are too many to list!!
Favorite Materials: Too many to list!! However, if I can express my obsession, I list RINGNECK PHEASANT skin first of all!! I use every length, shape, & heaviness for hooks for dry-fly, nymph, soft-hackle, and streamer. But if I have to mention my most favorite and versatile hook patterns, I would list Dai-Riki 280 (size 8 to 16) for streamers, nymphs, & soft-hackles, and Dai-Riki 125 for dry-fly and emerger patterns.
Favorite Gears: RO Drift Boat, Echo Rods, RIO lines, Costa Del Mar sunglasses, Simms wader, boots, & other apparels, Cliff Outdoors fly-boxes, Regal Vise, and Olathe Boots as a cowboy!!
Favorite Foods: Sushi & Cioppino that don't contain trout!! Meaty-Leafy Sandwiches (stacking deli-meat and Romano lettuce as high as I can between bread made from wheat produced in Montana) with a dip of ketchup & olive oil.
Turn-on: Lucky color ORANGE!!, stream-side lunch, rise of Cutthroat, Soft-hackle flies & materials, nuts (almonds, peanuts, pistachio, cashew, walnuts, macadamia, etc.), Canadian Whiskey!!