Pro Staff Q&A: Brian Chou

by T&T on April 23, 2012

Brian Chou
Instructor, guide, fly tier, photographer

What waters do you call “home”?
Well, being from the northwest, if it’s raining and I can’t see my feet in the river, then I feel at home. That said, I’m very fortunate to live in a place where an hour in any direction can put me “at home” on the many beautiful rivers surrounding the culturally peculiar region of “Portlandia”.
When/how did you start fly fishing—and why is it such a significant part of your life?
Growing up fishing conventional tackle with my family, fly fishing entered my life right after high school, when a friend offered fly casting lessons in exchange for guitar lessons. From proposing to my wife and fishing partner knee-deep in the Rogue River, to teaching casting and tying classes, or just taking a drive along the river with my daughter, my passion for fly fishing and the water extends far beyond the fish I chase—it’s really about the experiences gained in the process.

With regard to fly fishing who have been the biggest influences for you, and why?
Wow…with so many people along the way that I’ve met and continue to learn things from, it’s hard to narrow it down. But the late Jack Charlton is someone who left a permanent impression on me from day one.

Jack was an amazing person who had such a concise attention to detail and quality that was second to none. A very humble man who put his passion behind his product, he always had time to talk to a friend. Seeing all these qualities in one person has helped me grow into the angler and instructor I am today.

What is one thing our sport can do without? One thing our sport needs more of?
Needs less:
Inflated egos.
Needs more:
Awareness to preserve what’s left so future generations can enjoy what we’ve experienced.

Your favorite quarry to chase and preferred set-up for chasing them?
Steelhead:
Rods – DH1307-3 or DH1206-3
Reels – Hardy 3 7/8’’ Perfect, St. John
Lines – 1307 (Airflo Compact Skagit 510-540, SA Scandi Extreme 480, Snake River Outfitters Vector 500grain)
1206 (Airflo Skagit Switch 450, SA Scandi Extreme 400)

Roosterfish:
Rods – HE9610S-4 or TNT910S-4
Reels – Van Staal C-Vex 9/10, Charlton 8550C Tarpon
Lines – SA Streamer Express Clear tip 400gr, Rio 10wt Tropical Outbound Short Intermediate
Carp:
Rod –  HE906S-4
Reel – Loop/Danielsson Evotec LW 4seven
Line – SA Redfish WF7F
What other interests/hobbies/passions do you have outside of fly fishing?
Spending time with family and friends, skiing, soccer, music, eating good food and long walks on the beach.

Wild-card: Are you the plan-in-advance type or drop-of-a-hat when it comes to your own trips?
I tend to keep my stuff ready, since I never know when I’ll get an afternoon off and I like to just grab & go when it happens.

But, big trips are very meticulously planned. I can’t stand being in a foreign country, needing the most basic thing that I could have bought at the local fishing shop, and now having to drive 2 hrs round trip to find a cheap replacement and waste the best part of a day.

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