Steve was raised on Australia’s island state of Tasmania, in Aussie fly fishing terms the equivalent of being raised in Montana. His youth was spent in the salt, surfing, diving, and fishing for all manner of species including tunas. Finally convinced in his 20s to grasp a fly rod, an obsession was born.
Steve cut his teeth on the challenging wild brown trout and rainbows of Tasmania’s wilderness lakes and streams before moving to the US in December 2000. A former journalist, Steve spent 3 years in the US as a traveling fly fishing writer and photographer, a job which saw him land, fly rod and camera in hand in Montana, Wyoming, Alaska twice, Baja, New York, Michigan, New Mexico, Idaho and finally Arkansas.
The experience in tackling North American conditions was invaluable as he fished the mayfly hatches of the Henry’s Fork, Firehole and Au Sable, caddis hatches on the Big Wood, chuck and ducked beads on the Kenai, stripped streamers on the Beaverhead, splatted hoppers on Silver Creek, found himself tied to 40lb King Salmon on the Ayakulik, and roosterfish and jacks in the Sea of Cortez.
Steve guided out of the Beaver Dam Store when he arrived in Arkansas, and ran the fly department, building his knowledge of the White River system from Beaver to Norfork and a substantial and loyal guide clientele, before moving to Mountain Home in July ‘07.
One trait of the Australian character is you won’t hear them saying how good they are. Ask a direct question and you will get either self-deprecating humor or blatant undersell.
In typical Aussie style Steve will tell you “he’s not much of a fly tier” despite the fact he production tied House patterns for the Dam Store, and some of his patterns have been featured, and pictured in “excrutiating detail” in several magazines.
Similarly he he’ll tell you he is “a fair” fly caster, but when you have stood alongside and had your casts measured against some of the world’s best then the playing field is higher than most. Steve has been studying, teaching and demonstrating casting for longer than he has been in the “industry”.
Despite a serious and extensive fly fishing resume, Steve’s laid-back Aussie accent and attitude, sense of humor and ability to poke fun at himself first is appreciated by beginners and experienced fly fishers alike. His mantra is that fly fishing is meant to be fun whether you are catching the biggest fish of your life, tangling around the rod tip or anything in between.
Steve had made his mark as a teaching guide, tailoring his guidance from square one for beginners, through to more subtle intricacies of White River fly fishing for very experienced fly fishers. He understands beginners don’t want to be harangued and experience fly fishers don’t need a drill sergeant. But don’t be surprised if you come off the water with new ideas concepts without ever having felt like you were back in school.
So what can you expect? The sort of day on the water that makes you want to come back and do it again. A guide who works extremely hard to make sure your day trip on the water is relaxed, fun and as fishing with a fishing buddy. But a fishing buddy who knows where the fish are, has the right flies to use and the techniques to fool them, sorts out any tangles, and comes with his own well-maintained boat and cooler or two of drinks, snacks and lunch.
“I want you to enjoy the White River system as much as I do. Join me on some of the finest fly fishing the USA has to offer.”