Asheville, North Carolina
he, him, his
How do you spend your days? What are your passions? What is your occupation?
I try to spend my day outside -- whether hiking, fishing, playing golf, or putting around on the paddle board. Asheville, North Carolina is in the middle of the Appalachian Mountain Range, bordering 3 National Parks, so if you're not spending time outside, you're doing it wrong. My passion is definitely fly fishing and being able to travel to do it. Fly fishing takes you to most beautiful places in the world and has allowed me to experience so much. And lucky enough for me, I get to fly fish for work as a professional guide here in Western North Carolina.
Explain your connection to the ocean. How does it influence your life?
I have always lived near the coast. I was born in California and grew up vacationing in Santa Cruz and Capitola but moved to the East Coast when I was 8. I was a busy kid, playing sports and traveling but knowing that you could always go to the beach I think was very influential. The coast was always something I knew was special to me -- I looked up to the gnarly surfers and the saltwater fly fishermen and just wanted to be like that. How the ocean influences me today is by pushing me to be the guy someone else would look up to. And I think there is no better way to do that than to be a steward and a role model in environmental education.
The mission of Saltwater Classroom is to bring together young students, as well as learners of all ages, through an innovative approach to ocean education. How does this apply to your experience?
Well, we're all learners. I think that the excitement, intrigue and general fascination I see surrounding ocean education through Saltwater Classroom speaks volumes to the direction we are all moving in. Especially younger generations. Ocean education is a conversation you have with people who want to protect something that is important to everyone. It is selfless and morally sound knowledge to have and share in an attempt to benefit the whole world, and thats what stands out the most to me.
What are your earliest ocean memories?
Oh man. Well, I used to love a good splash in a tide pool but when I think of my first ocean memories I think of the old cement ship in Seacliff, CA. My grandma had a house on the cliff and you could see the remains of this massive ship from the road. It was an old WWI ship the wasn't finished by the time the war ended so it had been there since 1919. And I just remember seeing these old photos of the boat when it was a brand new, and a tourist attraction, and looking out the window and seeing the 80-something year old bones of this giant boat just battered up and thinking "how strong is the ocean?"
If you had to pick one thing, what is your favorite aspect of the ocean? We know, it's a broad question.
The people who enjoy it and appreciate it and care to help make it healthier for themselves and others. And all the critters. Beluga whales. Horseshoe crabs. Mako sharks. Top 3 critters.
Is there a dream ocean destination on your list? Where would you travel to next?
Seychelles, Alphonse, Farquhar. GT's on fly.
Anything else to add?