Pro Staff Q&A: Brian Lynch

by T&T on April 22, 2014

Brian Lynch
Guide, fly tier

Brian Lynch

What waters do you call “home”?
I grew up in the town of Colrain, MA—a small farming community smack dab in the middle of the Deerfield River watershed. This also happens to be the very place that I fell in love with fly fishing. Though my passion has led me to countless fisheries I could call “home waters,” the Deerfield and its tributaries will always hold that designation for me.

When/how did you start fly fishing—and why is it such a significant part of your life?
Though I didn’t begin fly fishing until the ripe old age of 12, my fishing career began years earlier. As soon as I was stable enough on my feet to navigate steep river banks and rocky shores, I remember fishing. Mostly in spring and early summer for trout, and always with spinning tackle. As summer progressed, water temps rose and reduced flows to a trickle. The calm clear water revealed trout—a lot of them. However, these fish would reach a point where they would stop being fooled by my spin tackle offerings. It was obvious they were still eating. I could see them eagerly gulping “bugs” on the surface. The obvious question: how do I fish with bugs? The answer I found was my introduction to what now is my livelihood: you fly fish.

With regard to fly fishing who have been the biggest influences for you, and why?
I would have to give credit to my grandfather, Eugene Robert Sullivan, for giving me my first fly rod. His gift  would end up being the spark that ignited the fire that drives me. That said, because I am the first fly fisherman in my family, most of my knowledge has been gained by reading just about everything written by the legendary Lefty Kreh. In recent years I have been captivated by the emergence of the “Articulated Meat” streamer—so I’ve studied closely the patterns, methods and style of modern day greats like streamer guru Kelly Galloup.

What is one thing our sport can do without? One thing our sport needs more of?
I would say that fly fishing could do without signs that say POSTED. NO TRESPASSING. and could use a whole lot more that say CATCH AND RELEASE ONLY.

Your favorite quarry to chase and preferred set-up for chasing them?
Hands-down my favorite quarry is the brown trout. I’m not sure if this borderline addiction is a result of the brown’s mysterious ways, the sheer beauty of the butter-bellied cannibal, or the pure ferocity these heavy-shouldered head-shakers eat and fight.

My favorite rig for hogger browns is the Thomas & Thomas NSII 6wt with a full-wells grip. That rod teamed with Nautilus 5/6 reel, a RIO Density Compensated 200 grain sink-tip and a 3X RIO Flouroflex leader will tame any big boy that dares to hunt down one of my five-inch “homegrown” articulated streamers.

What other interests/hobbies/passions do you have outside of fly fishing?
When I’m not fly fishing I love to get after a handful of other outdoor activities. My other big love is skiing. Snowy winter mornings are the few days of the year that I would be more apt to be found anywhere else but on the river in my driftboat. I also enjoy bow hunting, hiking, gardening—and the Boston Bruins and Red Sox.

Wild-card: Are you the plan-in-advance type or drop-of-a-hat when it comes to your own trips?
This is an easy one. Because I’m a guide and my clients look to me to have all of the answers and expect that I have everything under control, I have to anticipate and prepare for every conceivable scenario. In light of that, when I do get a chance to go on a trip of my own—I wing it! No itinerary and no expectations. Thomas & Thomas fly rod in hand, trout in the water and a cold Harpoon IPA in the cooler…I’m loving life.

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It’s Our Birthday! T&T at 45

by T&T on April 3, 2014

This year marks the 45th anniversary of the founding of Thomas & Thomas, and ambassador Jerry Jahn celebrated the occasion by sharing this item from his archives – a profile of T&T from the 1974 Spring Special edition of Fly Fisherman magazine. Though some things have changed in the 40 years since this was written, many have not. We’ve moved to a larger and newer building, but still call Greenfield, MA, home. Sadly, Tom Maxwell is no longer with us, but Tom Dorsey continues to come in to work every day. And while the bulk of our production is now graphite rods, the bamboo shop and “ten-year supply of vintage Tonkin cane” mentioned in the article are both going strong. We would like to offer our heart-felt thanks to all the customers, friends and fans of T&T without whom we wouldn’t be here today, and look forward to many productive years to come.

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From the River: Camp Brule Announces Specialty Guest Weeks

March 5, 2014

Kevin McWhirter Camp Brûlé, Gaspe Peninsula   I hope everyone is healthy and enjoying 2014. It’s certainly been a wild winter to date here in the Northeast, kicking off in late November and then bouncing up and down with a few weeks of extreme cold and snow followed by a few days of mild weather [...]

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