Home Waters – I live in Bozeman, so all the options in SW Montana are my convenient “home waters.” I still consider the Skagit River system in WA to be my “second home” as well. That was what I considered to be my home fishery for the 4 years that I was living and guiding in WA. I still manage a trip out there every year. Formerly, the Gunnison River Basin in CO was my home for 10 years. Chile, Argentina, Alaska, New Zealand… home was where I laid my head for a big portion of my career.
About – I picked up a fly rod around age 10, started tying flies at 14, and was a production tier for a few Denver-area fly shops by age 16. I then chose my college based on the fishing surrounding Gunnison, Colorado and began working as a full-time guide at age 18, while earning my first bachelors degree. I spent the next 13 years working as a full time guide in a number of global destinations. I’m honored that fly fishing took me around the world and gave me a very diverse guiding and angling resume. I retired from guiding in 2014 but remain connected to the industry through my fly tyng as well as being involved in the design process at Scott Fly Rods. I continue to teach fly tying classes as well as hold tying presentations at fly shops and events around the country.
Favorite Fly – Anything that’s durable and serves its intended purpose.
What elements make for a great fly – Durability, usability, something that makes the fly stand out from the crowd. Attention to the fundamentals is very important to me as well. “Creative” doesn’t need to include “sloppy.” At our level, flies should be tied as clean as possible. A great fly should rely on technique, not super glue.
Who are your mentors in the sport – My earliest tying inspirations come from foam flies that came from the vise of Scott Sanchez. I remember some fly articles in the 90’s that showed some of his foam creations, these were huge influences on my tying. I have yet to meet Scott, but his tying definitely shaped my tying. Regarding my guide career I have to give a lot of credit to my friend Chris Mortimer of Gunnison River Pro. Nobody has more guiding and fishing experience in the Gunnison Gorge in Colorado and he was always quick to share advice, funny stories, and his beers.
Philosophy on fly fishing – Fly fishing is a recreational, outdoor activity. Fun and relaxation is what draws almost everyone to the sport. I try to stay true to this focus. Since I retired from guiding in 2014 I appreciate my time in the outdoors with a fly rod in hand more than ever. Respect the resource, have fun while angling, and share some good times with friends, that’s what it’s all about!
Website/Contact – www.andrewgrillosflyfishing.com firstname.lastname@example.org
Social Links – instagram: @andrew_grillos_flyfishing (no facebook)