Certified Casting Instructor

things to ponder

“How can we adopt the principles of flow and neuroscience in our daily lives to improve performance and well being?”

If you wish to make an apple pie from scratch,

you must first invent the universe.

James is a recent graduate of the Sun Valley Community School who will attend Vanderbilt University in the fall, sees the poetry in fly fishing each time he steps into a river. He described his favorite hatch of the year, the legendary Brown Drake on Silver Creek, “Standing in the 50-degree spring fed waters of Silver Creek, casting size 10 and 12 flies to lurking Brown trout suspended beneath the sunset pigmented, glassy waters is magical to say the least. As the thousands of Brown Drakes dance across the night air, you can almost sense the fishes’ energy reverberating within the water, not to mention the bubbling excitement and anticipation shared among the anglers who all know a fish of the lifetime may just be within one lengths cast.” Originally from Los Angeles, James has spent the past 11 years between LA and Sun Valley. He explained, “My parents wanted to try the mountain lifestyle for a year, and this ‘trial’ continues on 10 years later.”

Guiding Style

I consider my guiding style a hybrid between a “catcher” and a “teacher.” While my goal is always to bring as many fish, especially big fish, to the net, I also find value and enjoy teaching anglers the subtleties of fly fishing, from reading the water to fly selection to entomology. Overall, I seek to support my clients’ definition of success. If that means breaking a 30 fish day, great! If they want to learn a new technique like euro-nymphing, and catching fish happens to be a bonus, I’m totally on board!

Fun Facts about James

  • He is a member of the USA Youth Fly Fishing Team.
  • James started selling custom flies at 12-years-old, and today runs a small lifestyle fly fishing apparel business, So Fly Gear, and co-founded an online fly fishing course company, Live on the Fly 3.
  • He is equally captivated by neuroscience and Spikeball.
  • It was in sixth grade that James was introduced to fly fishing when his parents gave him a fly tying kit for Christmas. The first pattern he tied was a Zebra midge. He caught a beautiful 16-inch rainbow on his first cast with his first fly.
  • Today, his favorite fly is a size 14 Quigley Adams.
  • During his free time, James works on his businesses and attempts to answer the question, “How can we adopt the principles of flow and neuroscience in our daily lives to improve performance and well being?” You’ll also often find him mountain biking, playing tennis or basketball, golfing, or spike-balling with friends.
What folks say about fishing with James

These guides [Johnny, James, and Sam] were wonderful. They were exceptionally patient, so smart, and very thoughtful. And so capable in managing multiple children with varying skill levels - and temperaments. These guides should all run for President.

Lea Carpenter

We were impressed. James is organized, calm while excited and certainly has excellent knowledge. He was good at explaining technique and teaching according to what he saw of our abilities. He shared what he was thinking as we approached different locations on the river. The objective for my guest Duane and myself was to learn euro nymphing skills and we certainly did that. He exceeded our expectations.

Ed Wong

James helped me with everything I asked and was very supportive. He even showed me how to catch a fish in a difficult situation and showed me how to improve my casting.


James was knowledgeable, patient, and polite; a very effective guide for someone so young.