Flies tied by MARK HIERONYMUS
I have been fishing for over 40 years, and fly fishing for the greater part of that. I grew up fishing in WA when steelhead and salmon were abundant enough that an adventurous suburban Seattle kid with a Metro bus pass and a pint jar of some gooey egg clusters could get into some of the better fishing available in the Puget Sound basin.
I first came to Alaska in 1988 to work in the Commercial side of the fishing industry and ended up staying in the fishing and seafood industry for 24 years. Besides the obvious benefits of free crab bait and all-you-can-eat sockeye (and tendonitis), I was able to take advantage of the great sport fishing opportunities in Alaska during the "shoulder seasons" of the commercial industry. April - June and September - October in Alaska offer some of the best salmon and trout fishing on the planet, and to have it at my doorstep was a bonus and a great learning opportunity. I started guiding the spring and fall seasons for Bear Creek Outfitters (Juneau, AK) in 2004, and have since made the transition to full-time guide. I am currently on the prostaff of ECHO fly fishing and AirFlo flylines, and I am a SIMMS Guide Ambassador.
In addition to guiding, I have been a contract fly designer for several years, and recently joined the designer team at Umpqua Feather Merchants. My involvement in fly design has allowed me to express my inner "dirty gear chucker" and marry the best of both worlds into simple, effective flies that would scare the bejeezus out of most tweed-clad purists. I got into tying years ago because I couldn't find things in my local flyshop that I thought fish might want to eat. Having grown up gear fishing, I had an unconventional take on fly design and construction, something that I have carried with me to this day. I am constantly tinkering with my own patterns, tweaking this and clipping that until it seems that the fish are satisfied.
In the winter I work for Trout Unlimited, Alaska Program as the Sportfish Outreach Coordinator for Southeast Alaska, educating and informing the sportfishing diaspora about conservation issues in the Tongass National Forest, otherwise known as “America's Salmon Forest”.
I moved to AK in 1995, and other than a 4-year stint in Sitka getting my BS in Fisheries Science / Aquaculture, I have made the Juneau area my home. My wife Christine and I bought our house on Douglas Island near a small anadromous stream 14 years ago, and I have been terrorizing the neighborhood populations of salmon and char ever since.