Tom Park

Born in 1957, my family and I moved to Montana when I was 17. I still call it home even though I have lived in many places since then. I try to get there as often as I can, spending most of the time wading my home water, the Bitterroot River in the western part of the state where my family still lives. I also enjoy fishing many of the famous trout streams in and around Yellowstone National Park and many of the trout-filled high altitude lakes with my older brother. Indiana, where I now live, is a virtual trout wasteland although there is a nice tailwater stream with browns and rainbows about 2 hours southwest of Indianapolis, and my hometown of Noblesville, where I live with my lovely wife, son and daughter who are both college students.

I taught myself how to flycast when I was 13 years old and have since gone on to teach flyfishing classes at a local Orvis shop and have been a 3-time guest fly tier at the "Indiana on the Fly" state fly fishing expo held annually in January. I love dry fly fishing when fish are looking up but more often than not you will find me fishing soft hackles and north country spiders when on the water. During the 1990s I lived and worked in Sendai, Japan, which was heavily hit by the 2011 earthquake and tsunami, as a university English instructor for 10 years. It was then that I learned fly tying from a Japanese gentleman who spoke very little English, and me very little Japanese at the time. He also introduced me to the lush and crystal clear mountain streams and the small but beautiful native Japanese trout and char that swim in its waters. Several years later I was happy to be able to host him on a fishing trip to several well-known Montana rivers where he was able to catch his fish of a lifetime, a 20-inch plus rainbow.

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