Joe grew up in the Thumb of Michigan within the resort community of Caseville. Surrounded by water on three sides, fishing became a favored past-time that he enjoyed with the whole family; thanks to his Dad. Fishing Saginaw Bay and it’s inlets provided a great opportunity to catch Yellow Perch in the late 1980’s and early 1990’s before the decline in the species. However, when he was patient enough to keep his line in the water, anything was welcomed from Walleye to Bass; Sheephead to Carp.
And so the seed was planted.
Having never lived more than 15 miles away from any of the Great Lakes, fishing remained in his blood until the teen-years when the sport was taken seriously and the wealth of information the internet had to offer was consumed. Afternoons and evenings were spent reading articles and watching videos while the mornings were spent on the water developing new techniques and putting the new-found knowledge to use.
As with life, things get in the way.
Work, family, and school were pushed to the top of the priority list while fishing took a backseat. Eventually the desire to get back on the water after years out of the sport was reignited through a professional opportunity. While fishing remained a recreational activity, he wanted to take things to the next level. In 2012 he began entering bass fishing tournaments and finished respectably in the top 10. From there, the competitive bug bit him and he spent the next few years traveling the country on a number of tours. From Florida, Alabama, Texas, Kentucky, Tennessee, Ohio, Michigan, West Virginia, Georgia, and more, he fished well-known big bass lakes with good success.
A late-summer trip was booked to stay along the legendary trout fishery; the Au Sable River in Michigan during September of 2014. Sections remain “fly only” and casting lessons were in order. Much different from the “run and gun” style of bass fishing, it presented a new challenge that has continued through present day.
Soon after, the lack of fly shops in his hometown area and the desire to occupy downtime naturally lended itself to begin tying flies himself. For the first few months there were many artistic interpretations of insects created. With hundreds more flies being tied and fished, fly fishing became his sole method of fishing. Fast forward a year and he began tying commercially for a handful of shops around Michigan.
The majority of his time is spent at the vise, on the river, and with thoughts of tight loops running through his head.