The last thing I ever would have expected as I turned 50 was for me to write guidebooks about budget fishing in Alaska . This entire experience has taken me completely by surprise. I planned none of it, and just kind of fell right into it. It's a neat story.

All my life I've been a visual artist. I've taught art for over 30 years and have been a practicing artist as well. All my communication was centered on the visual image. Things change. With the advent of the personal computer those of us in public education were trained to become computer literate. I found myself returning to a keyboard I hadn't touched since high school. I discovered electronic mail, Internet research, and the information highway. In short, the computer opened my mind.

I also discovered I had an affinity to write. Tiny poems became larger, short stories got longer, and essays evolved more direct and to the point. I knew zero about writing. All of this happened about the same time I scored my first free round trip to Alaska . I knew zero about that place just as well. Add in another zero about salmon fishing. Brother, was I totally green.

But like a plant in rich volcanic ash, I grew. Year after year I returned to Alaska . And I took pictures, kept diaries, and wrote in journals. Any budget trip I could search out via computer and reference, I took. My experiences continued on and on until I literally had traveled and fished most of the entire roadway system. Since 1988 I've logged over 500,000 air miles commuting to and from The Last Frontier chasing fish. By the time we reached the new millennium, I was an expert in putting economy trips together.


Fishermen love to talk. Visit any number of their outdoor forums on the Internet and you'll see what I mean. And they also ask a lot of questions. Time and time again as I hung out on those forums, I knew the answers. But their questions just kept running on and on just like the fish and they simply would not let up. That is why I elected to write. I had the information.

I live in Florida . I spin fish and I fly fish. I have chased so many species around the USA and Canada that my wife is totally convinced I've got “fish on the brain.”

She's right. But I also have Alaska in my heart, and everything I wrote in my books comes from it. That place is the most fantastic destination I have ever encountered and it is a fisherman's dream. The publishing industry goes by this rule in the acceptance of non-fiction, “If the market is there, and there is no product that fulfills the market, then write your books.” And so I have.

 

Professional Affiliations

Northwest Outdoor Writer’s Association and Outdoor Writer's Association of America