Hello! My name is Ryan Russell. I grew up in Boise, Idaho and started fly fishing when I was 5. Like most people from Idaho, I was very connected to the outdoors, specifically fly fishing. As an adolescent, I would often be found casting in my back yard or tying flies in my room. At age 12, I became a Boy Scout, and quickly achieved the rank of Eagle. It was then that I was given a VHS tape of Gary Borger and I would watch it over and over. I found the video on you tube and posted a link at the bottom of the page. This tape was part of the foundation for my love of fly fishing.
As I moved through high school, other sports consumed my life and fly fishing was more of a hobby. I played basketball, baseball, was a soccer goalie but my best sport out of all of them was golf, I ended up taking Runner-up at the Idaho State Championships 3 years in a row as a Sophomore, Junior and Senior with Borah High School. I then went to played college golf in Pocatello, Idaho at Idaho State University. I also attended the W.P. Carey Arizona State University PGA Professional Golf Program and passed my PGA P.A.T. (Player's Ability Test) in 2013. I never ended up entering the PGA Program. Instead, I continued on in the family business of auto glass. Between 2001-2022, I contracted for many of the biggest Phoenix windshield replacement companies. The glass trade has been in my family for over 40 years and I quickly became a Master Certified Technician. It was during this time in 2005, when I was involved in a serious car accident and ejected from my vehicle. I sustained a serious head injury and was life flighted to Scottsdale Osborn Hospital. I was unresponsive for a couple hours but then I woke up with no memory of the accident. This is when I dove into fly fishing again and have become an advocate for Concussion and Brain Injury Awareness. In 2012, I started mixing in canal carp in with my windshields and haven't stopped!
Since then, I have traveled all over the West. I've caught almost every species of trout in North America and I know where to find them. Big rivers to little trickles. I have been to some of the most famous spots and fished with the best fly fisher people. In 2020, I got to partner with Chris Galvin to win the Carp Slam in Denver. In 2022, after only fishing the river a handful of times, It was a HUGE HONOR to be invited back to the Carp Slam as a Pro.
At it's root, fly fishing is something that connects us to the natural world. Fly fishing for carp and trout in Arizona will test all of your skills. Large, spooky fish that require you to stalk them, and to provide a soft presentation. The techniques and knowledge shared will also help you find your own "peace" outdoors. Here there are limitless opportunities for your fly fishing and few people around to compete with. So.... LET"S GET OUT THERE! I promise the you will never come to Phoenix without your fly rod again.
Ryan & Max