Russ started working in a fly shop at the age of 13. After making the mainstream attempt at college, allegedly 5 different schools, Russ decided to follow his true passion. In 1995 he started guiding in Northern Michigan and became the river hippie that he had always dreamed. There has never been a single day when Russ hasn’t been full on for this sport. While all else changes and morphs, fly-fishing has remained the one constant passion. As he approaches 40 years old he is still guiding on the struggle sticks (oars) and loves every minute of it.
Russ has had a powerful influence on fly fishing in the Midwest, developing countless innovative fly patterns as well as fishing techniques. During his career Russ has been in almost every major fly-fishing publication where his creativity and deep passion for this sport can be illustrated.
Russ hails from Traverse City, Michigan currently fishes more than most can claim. The upper portion of the Manistee River is home for this die hard passion, chasing big browns. He also guides on the Boardman, Betties, Pere, Marquette and lower Manistee focusing on all species including salmon and steelhead. He also dreams of big carp when he can sneak away from his other fisheries.
Russ is so incredibly grateful for all who have supported him as an angler. Building a life around a passion like fishing can be difficult but Russ has made it work. He would like to give a huge shout out to Hawkins Outfitters and The Northern Angler for their constant support as well as Scott Fly Rods and Scientific Anglers for their tried and trusted products. Good luck on the water you fish and call home!