Ambassador. Innovator. Icon. A few words to describe the career of Brian O’Keefe and the impact his presence has had on the sport of fly fishing. From Pike to pineapples, ask him about nearly any fly fishing destination on the globe, and he’ll not only detail the fishing there, but even mention a few memories from the few years he guided there way back in the day. It seems as if Brian has stripped fly lines through as many exotic waters over the years as a dozen mortal anglers in their lifetimes. All while his rich words and captivating images have brought us with him along the way. And he’s just getting started.
At the highest levels, Brian represents the past, present, and future of fly fishing. From his frank representations of adventure fly fishing around the globe, to decades in the industry as a rep for nearly any brand you can think of, he’s a veteran founder of fly fishing community and culture. A natural story teller, his animated sense of humor and prankster personality have woven his name across generations of back-slapping stories among anyone in the business.
In the present he is still involved in developing the products we all use, from rods, reels and lines, to gear, clothing and flies. Companies who make these products come to him for input. For good reason, he’s won countless casting competitions and can still fire a 5wt laser-loop deep into the backing. And make it look easy.
Into the future, the world of fly fishing you are seeing now online has been greatly influenced by Brian and cohort Todd Moen in their creation of Catch Magazine. One of the first and arguably the best online magazine about fly fishing, Brian and Todd set the bar in the stratosphere with it’s release back in 2008, and somehow manage to bump it even higher with each new issue. Simply put, there is no finer collection of the worlds greatest fly fishing photographers and filmmakers than those assembled in Catch.
Like most of us, there is more to life than just fishing. From back flips to organic gardening, Brian is often wearing skis, scuba tanks or blaze orange & camo while chasing his bird dog Cooper through the hills of Oregon. Watch for his various presentations coming to fly shops and clubs near you, as his road show often tours the nation.
Don’t be surprised if the next big splash in how we see and catch fish with a fly is made by the creative enthusiasm and wide grin of Brian O’Keefe.