I've been a fisherman for as long as i can remember. My dad used to take me out as a very young boy to one of his favorite rivers. He fly fished mostly then, but as i became able to handle a rod, we switched to worms. We even collected our own the night before trips in the local fields near home.
Fishing took a back seat for a while, then I got called up as a substitute on my dads winter league time when I was 11 or 12 (1991/92). My first experience of fly fishing with rod in hand. I fished hard that cold winter day, and was rewarded about 30 mins before the horn with my first fish on a fly. We ended up placing in the competition and i was presented with a brand new fly rod and tackle bag.
Shortly after that i started tying flies. I'm not sure what my first was, but based on what we were fishing in those days, I wouldn't be surprised if it was a Cat's Whisker or Viva (we fished stillwaters in Northern Ireland)
Fishing and fly tying took a backseat again for the best part of 15 years. School, women, beer and work got priority, but we still fished every now and then.
In 2009 i took up fly fishing again when i moved to Philadelphia. Chasing the elusive fish of 1000 casts on the Salmon River NY. I'm still waiting to catch my first steelhead!
In 2011 I started tying flies again too. Mostly nymphs and eggs for steelhead, and then i progressed to streamers after stumbling around the internet for a while and finding great looking flies by Greg Senyo, Mike Schmidt, Kelly Galloup, and Rich Strolis among others.
This fall (2011) I tried my hand at a Jock Scott, and while it was a reasonable effort, advice from smarter tyers than me recommended a step back to some simpler patterns. That is when i fell in love with winged wets.
The journey countinues as I write this. Tying my favorite wet of all the Fontinalis Fin. I've since discovered there are 6 variations - and with thanks to Don Bastian and many others on various forums i'm progressing in my learning of the techniques in intricacies of tying these little gems!
Currently i reside in Philadelphia, Pa. I'm a 33 year old Irish guy, with 1 daughter, just about to turn 1 year old. I'm working toward a PhD in Biochemistry. In my free time l like to tie flies, fish a little (not nearly enough) and watch my baby grow up!