Bruce Sublett started tying flies for sale in his on-line store, Gulf and Ozark Flies, in 2005, after retiring from Angelina College, where he taught English, journalism, and photography for three decades. Since then, he has been honing his angling skills on the upper Texas coast, on East Texas lakes, and in the Rockies. He has been a regular fly tyer at events in Texas and Louisiana. puts his classroom skills to use presenting programs for area clubs, at Fly Fish Texas, and at the Texas Council Expo. His flies are available on his Gulf and Ozark Flies website (www.goflies.com), and selected flies are also on MyFlies.com and on sale at Larry Offner’s Green Trout Fly Shop. His latest venture is a custom rod business called Pyratehead Rods (www.pyrateheadrods.com) specializing in fiberglass fly rods.
Chris is the owner and head guide of Living Waters Fly Fishing, a fly shop and guide service based in Round Rock, Texas. He has guided the Texas Hill Country for over a decade, and has fly fished the heart of the state for almost 20 years. Chris is an IFFF Certified Casting Instructor, an Umpqua Signature Fly Designer, TPWD Angler Educator, and is part of Scott Fly Rods Pro Team. He and his wife Emily, operate the fly shop and enjoy fly fishing across the globe together. Both Chris and Emily are dedicated to sharing their passion for the sport and investing in the next generation of fly anglers! Their shop was awarded the Lee Wulff Award by the IFFF in 2014. Living Waters is the first and only Gold Level Trout Unlimited endorsed business in the state of Texas! Chris and his shop have also been featured in several publications including Trout Magazine and Tenkara Magazine.
Jen Ripple is the Editor-in-Chief of Dun Magazine and the Executive Editor of a Tight Loop Magazine. When not on the water, she spends her time empowering women in fly fishing by teaching fly tying and fly casting clinics, speaking nationwide on issues regarding women in fly fishing and devoting her time to conservation efforts through nonprofits. A sounding board for women in this currently male-dominated sport, Jen has created a home base for women worldwide to connect and engage in the art of fly fishing.
Jim has been fly fishing, fly tying and rod building for over 30 years, the last 20 based in the Central Texas Hill Country. Jim is an active member of the Austin Fly Fishers and has served as both the President and Vice President. He is currently the Vice President of the IFFF Texas Council. Jim is a frequent presenter at Texas, Louisiana and Florida fly fishing clubs, giving presentations on Hill Country rivers, tying Hill Country flies, fly fishing for carp and fly fishing England and beyond. In 2014 he was recognized as the IFFF Texas Conservationist of the Year, and in 2015 he was recognized as the IFFF Texas Man of the Year. Jim and Jeff Hoelter designed the Llanolope, one of the most popular flies in Central Texas. Jim also developed the Jim’s Damsel and the SB100. Most weekends you can find Jim fishing the Llano or Colorado River, or when conditions are right, chasing carp on smaller streams and lakes.
Kelly started his fly fishing career at the age of 13, tying flies for the local tackle shop. He started guiding at the age of 16 and is still guiding to this day some; well lots of years later. He owned the Troutsman fly shop in Northern Michigan for 20 years. He sold the Troutsman and moved to Montana where he and his wife Penny bought the Slide Inn lodge on the banks of the Madison River. Kelly has written two books Modern Streamers for Trophy Trout and Cripples and Spinners, and has numerous DVD’s on tying and fishing. He has over fifty nationally recognized fly patterns that are sold world wide. He is also a line and rod designer for Scientific Anglers and St Croix rods. Kelly has been published in nearly every major fly fishing periodical in the country and is one of the Editors a large for Fly Fisherman magazine. Kelly is also the hosts of Fly Fish TV on the VS’s Network. Kelly is one of the most sought after speakers in the country and spends much of his winter months speaking for clubs and Sports shows. In 2003 Kelly received the living legend award from the FFF, and in 2007 the Charles E Brooks memorial life award.
Lefty Ray is a San Antonio, TX based, award winning, professional photographer and writer specializing in outdoor subjects like fly fishing, kayak fishing, and waterfowling. He just recently was voted the President of the Texas Outdoor Writers Association (TOWA) and won several awards in outdoor photography at their recent conference last month as well as awards from the national organization, OWAA, in July. In January he was elevated to the national level of the G. Loomis Pro Staff.
He is also a lecturer on the Texas fly fishing opportunities and can be found giving slideshows and seminars around the country. When not writing, he is kayak fishing at the Texas coast, fly fishing the Texas Hill Country streams, or shooting at ducks in season.
Lefty Ray’s is a frequent contributor to Southwest Fly Fishing magazine and his work has appeared in other magazines like Newsweek, Texas Highways, Kayak Angler, Paddler, Shallow Water Angler, Fly Fishing in Saltwaters, Gulf Coast Fisherman, and Texas Parks & Wildlife. His work has also appeared in newspapers like the San Antonio Express-News, La Prensa, and Saltwater Texas.
This year marks the 15th year anniversary of conducting his “Kayak 4 Redfish” seminars. The was the first ACA certified kayak fishing school on the Texas coast. In 1994 he was among the first group in Texas to be certified as FFF fly casting instructors.
The nickname “Lefty” comes from his high school golf team playing days. While actually left-handed he learned to play golf right-handed using his dad’s extra set of golf clubs. While the team as a whole was not in the calibre of Tiger Woods, the golf coach was often overheard saying to other coaches that “His team could probably not outplay their team, but his team could out-drink, out gamble, and out-fight any other team in the state of Texas!”
Lester “Les” Jackson was born to fish. Growing up in Houston, he spent his boyhood weekends at his grandparent’s house on Galveston Bay where his grandfather taught him the finer points of crabbing, and fishing for every kind of saltwater species. He has fond memories of hopping in the “red boat” with his grandfather cruising around the sandbars catching the speckled trout run.
He was a conventional tackle guy most of his life until he met the new love in love, his wife Kay, who was responsible for introducing him to fly fishing. It was love at first sight—not sure if that was Kay or fly fishing, but nevertheless, he was hooked.
Les loves fly fishing for any kind of species in any kind of water—warm, cold or salt. He and Kay have travelled to wonderful trout streams in Montana, Colorado, New Mexico and Georgia. Les has now carved his niche as the “urban angler” with the itch to fish any ditch with water including his “home waters” of spring-fed creeks in Arlington and around Tarrant County, and has taken many to his secret holes and made converts out of fishing inside the city limits of the Metroplex.
He is the past president of the Fort Worth Fly Fishers, current board member for the Southern Council of the Federation of Fly Fishers, and active on many fishing sites. He also collects vintage fly rods and reels and an avid fly tyer. He and Kay live in Arlington, Texas.
Molly Semenik was born and raised in Michigan. She fondly recalls the day when, at the age of fourteen, her father presented her with his prized Orvis bamboo rod. When Semenik moved to Utah in 1979, she brought the rod along and spent the next several years fly fishing in western fresh water. She eventually ventured into saltwater angling.
A career in fly fishing started with her move to Montana in 2000. By the following year, Semenik accomplished three major goals: she was a Federation of Fly Fishers certified fly-casting instructor, she received her Montana guide license, and she founded Tie the Knot Fly Fishing. Tie the Knot includes guided fly fishing on the Yellowstone River and local spring creeks, as well as instruction and fly-fishing destination trips for women. Semenik specializes in introducing women to the sport in a fun, professional, and encouraging way; she believes that “when a woman can tie her own knot, she has started down the path of independence.”
Not willing to simply rely on her earlier accomplishments, Semenik became a Federation of Fly Fishers master fly-casting instructor in 2006, cofounded the Yellowstone Fly Fishing School with Matt Wilhelm in 2006, and two years later became a certified outfitter in the state of Montana. She was elected to the Casting Board of Governors of the Federation of Fly Fishers in 2010.
Semenik and her family live in Livingston, Montana. She has been guiding for eleven years and is busy teaching, sharing, and fishing throughout the country.
Pat Cohen lives in upstate New York. He began fly fishing in 2008 and has been tying flies since January of 2009. Pat is a full time commercial fly tyer and regularly teach classes, does presentations and demos at events, fly shops and clubs across the east coast. His specialty is deer hair bass bugs, but has a string passion for all types of streamers and carp flies.
Rob Gonzalez is an avid fly tyer and Tenkara angler from the Central Texas Hill Country. For the past few years, he’s been at the forefront of promoting Tenkara statewide. He’s passionate about the simplicity that Tenkara fly fishing offers and enjoys sharing that with the fly fishing community. Join him at www.facebook.com/groups/TenkaraTexas