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 by Dennis Ericson I would watch it over and over. I posted a link at the bottom of the page. His VHS 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 and was a part of many great teams. 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 Sophmore, 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). I never ended up entering the PGA Program because hanging around in a Proshop isn't as glamourous as it sounds!
Instead of pursuing a golf career, I learned the family business of auto glass and started contracting for Phoenix companies. The glass trade has been in my family for over 40 years and as a result I am considered 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. I had suffered frontal lobe damage and was left with some brain damage. The brain scans also revealed that I was living with a pituitary tumor adenoma (type of brain tumor). I was diagnosed with some tough mental conditions and went through a really long period of healing. This is when I dove into fly fishing again and have become an advocate for Concussion and Brain Injury Awareness. In 2012 I started chasing carp in the canals and haven't stopped since!
Since then, I have traveled all over the West. I've caught almost every species of trout in North America and know where to find them. Big rivers to little trickles. I have been to some of the most famous carp spots and fished with the best fly carp people. This is the knowledge I try to pass on to others. It's sight casting at it's finest. Big fish that demand stealth and supreme accuracy. No other carp destinations are like this.
At its root, fly fishing is something that connects us to the natural world. Fly fishing for carp in Phoenix will test all of your skills. Large fish that require you to stalk them, and require you to provide a soft presentation on light tippet. The techniques and knowledge shared will also help you find your own "peace" within the city. Here there are limitless opportunities for your fly fishing and nobody around to compete with. So, get out there! I promise the you will never come to Phoenix without your fly rod again.