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Upavon Consultant Team

Upavon Fly Fishing® have assembled a team of professional consultants from across the globe to help design, test and evaluate innovative products to achieve high performance and value for money. 

Brian Smith (USA)

I'm Brian Smith, AKA TheFlySmith. I have been tying since September 2022. I specialize in Realistic flies, as well as classic trout patterns. I am a huge fly history buff, and I love to fish for trout. 

Instagram | TikTok | Website | YouTube

Andy Taylor (ENG)

Andy Taylor has worked in the fishery management sector for over 35 years, having grown up on his parent’s commercial trout fishery in Cheshire. He lectured in fishery management at FE level for 16 years before moving on to media editing for three fly fishing publications. Andy is a qualified fly fishing instructor and guide, teaching fly fishing since 1999. He is a multi-capped England International and has fished at world level and winning the Bank National and International in 2019. He will form part of the England team for the 2023 European Championships and 5 Nations competition.

Instagram | Facebook | Website

Ben Beckwith (ENG)

Ben Beckwith joins the team as our Social Media Marketing and Communications Manager. Ben has fished since he could walk, initially learning from his grandfather on the banks of the River Kennet before moving on to small still waters and eventually reservoirs. Over the years, Ben has been fortunate enough to represent the England youth Team on several occasions culminating in captaining the team to silver medals in 2017. Ben is as at home on the water as he is at the tying desk, representing global brands. When he’s not working, he spends most of his time at the vice tying fly orders or preparing for his next adventure.

Instagram 

Lance Kittel (USA)

Lance is an angler, fly tyer, and rod builder based in Colorado. He spends most of his fishing time targeting trout but he continuously expands his experience by exploring new waters and regions, targeting new species. His expertise focuses on exploring new fly-tying materials and educating his following on patterns and techniques. His social media content is of the highest quality, posting regular reels and shorts across his platforms. You can follow his content using the links below.

Instagram | TikTok | Facebook 

Tim Joyce (ENG)

A man of many talents, Tim Joyce is a full time professional level 2 fly fishing coach specialising in bespoke beginners and improver days at Chigboro fisheries in Essex and guides on Grafham Water, amongst other midlands reservoirs. As a multi capped Loch Style and small waters England International he is perfectly placed to coach the England Youth International Loch Style Team. Tim produces regular educational content via his social media accounts covering fly fishing techniques and fly tying patterns.

Instagram | Facebook | TikTok | Website

Matthew Miller (USA)

TikTok creator Matthew Miller has been fly fishing and fly tying for a quarter century and has amassed over 50,000 followers on his Black Flag Outdoors channel. Matthew spent most of his days fishing the family’s lake targeting largemouth bass, crappie, and bluegill. Matthew won first place in the prestigious Pennsylvania Sportsman Shows Fly Tying competition in 1998 at the age of 13, before working sales at Cold Spring Anglers, blocks away from the infamous Letort Spring Run that same year. Now, Matthew is fly tying and fly fishing daily, chasing everything from trout and steelhead to bass and crappie. Matthew's goal is to attract as many younger fishermen as possible to enjoy a sport and help fellow wounded Veterans find their inner peace.

 Instagram | Facebook | TikTok

Chris Rawle (WAL)

Chris has been tying and fly fishing for 36 years and predominantly fishes on the rivers of South Wales or Loch Style competitions as part of Team Airflo. Early engagement in the sport at the Welsh youth level has given Chris a firm experience base to become a professional fly tier which he has now been doing for almost 10 years under  Chris Rawle Custom Flies. His flies are popular all over the globe for various species from trout to tarpon and he is best known for his sewin flies (Welsh for sea trout). His prowess makes him a regular at a number of shows including a seat on the prestigious Tyers' Row at the British Fly Fair International.
Instagram | Facebook | Twitter

Adam Sinclair (ENG)

Adam Sinclair joins us after completing a 26-year career in the British Army. A full-time and professional level 2 sports coach (Angling), you will find Adam on the beautiful Chalk Streams of the South of England. Having fished in Bavaria, Canada, Slovenia, Belize, the Czech Republic and all over the UK. Adam brings unrivalled enthusiasm, commitment and passion to the team. Adam is also the owner of www.hatchflyfishing.co.uk and uses fly fishing to promote health, wellness and mindfulness on his guided days with clients.

Instagram | Facebook | LinkedIn

Tony Hopkins (WAL)

Tony Hopkins has been a keen fisherman all his life, learning much from his father in the early days, eventually forming his own company Tyers-Mate®️ in the 1980s, created to develop his own angling and fly-tying material ranges. With a desire to get the right colours and combinations to suit all weather conditions and environments, he started to dye and manufacture his materials. This proved very successful, allowing him to work with the biggest names in the game industry, at home and abroad, gaining him the first of many Welsh international caps in the early 90s.

Derek Filsmeyer (USA)

Derek grew up primarily fishing for crappie and white bass in Oklahoma lakes using conventional tackle and eventually converted to fly casting later in life. Derek rapidly fell in love with fly tying and has used a creative approach to his work, tying up innovative and complex patterns. He started out tying small dry flys and nymphs, but later focussed on tying bigger streamer and baitfish patterns and became a verified "meat thrower". He's a truly versatile fly tyer, and expresses his creative through it via TikTok and Instagram.

Instagram | Facebook | TikTok

Kyle Ludwig (USA)

Kyle Ludwig was introduced to fly fishing when his cousin let him borrow his 4wt and a box of flies for a summer. Thousands of flies and years later, Ludwig Outdoors was born. Kyle mostly ties for trout, bass and panfish. His goal is to provide the highest quality and most durable flies to customers and for them to have great confidence when fishing his patterns. He is extremely passionate about is craft and thrives knowing that his flies have helped people catch fish of a lifetime.

Instagram | Facebook | TikTok | Store | YouTube

John Lohr (USA)

John grew up in the mountains of North Idaho, fly fishing for wild trout, and began tying his flies as a young teen. John now resides in North Alabama, where he has chased smallmouth bass for the last 20 years. His passion is designing flies to entice fish in his local clear water streams and rivers. Similarly to most fly-tyers, most of John's flies start as a thought or vision. However, John prefers to sketch his visions before selecting the perfect materials, transforming his illustrations into flies. To John, it’s a form of art in which he can express himself and let his creativity flow, with a hook instead of a canvas.

Instagram | TikTok

Dave Little (AUS)

Having grown up on the doorstep of the Great Barrier Reef, it shouldn't surprise anyone that some of Dave's earliest memories are of fishing... His passion is in fly tying and fishing education, introducing people to this great pastime of ours. He ties commercially as NQ Saltwater Flies, providing custom orders for a variety of tropical sports fish that call the salt and freshwater home. When Dave is not at his tying desk, he is exploring clear flowing rainforest streams, targeting sooty grunter and jungle perch, or the local inshore flats so many trevallies call home. These are Dave's favourite places to be.

Instagram | TikTok | YouTube

Ged Brazickas (AUS)

Based in Sydney, Australia the local harbour and its basin as well as the rivers and lakes of the Blue Mountains are Ged's primary stomping grounds. With some Snowy Mountains and far South Coast trips mixed in between. Unlike most, Ged started to tie flies before he started fly fishing, learning the art from old books and magazines in his early teens, when things like social media didn't even exist. Ged is a big fan of old-school fly fishing shows like ‘A river somewhere’. When he's not wading the saltwater flats or strolling along the mountain stream, you can find him enjoying landscape and nature photography, rod building and guitar playing. Or literally, anything to complement my nomadic fly fisherman's lifestyle.

Instagram | Facebook | Website | YouTube

Courtney Bailey (USA)

Courtney has been wondering the rivers of; Utah, Idaho and Wyoming for close to 30 years. His obsession with fly fishing naturally led him to a passion for tying flies. He turned his passion into a career, developing and producing flies through the company RoundRocks Flies. Courtney also loves to teach fly tying, fly casting and rod building courses through his local University. Courtney is a 'do it all' fly fisherman and tier. If it involves a fly rod and fish, he'll try it if it involves hooks and feathers he'll tie it. If he's not at the shop tying flies, you'll probably find him on one of his local trout streams or at home tying more flies.

Instagram | Facebook

Garrett Lesko (USA)

Garrett is an Oregon-based fly tyer and fisherman. He has been tying flies and fishing in Oregon for over 14 years. Garrett has delivered presentations at fly fishing clubs along the west coast on topics like euro nymphing, sea-run cutthroat, smallmouth bass, deer hair bass bugs, stillwater fly fishing, and other fly fishing and tying topics. He has had flies featured in Favorite Flies of Oregon and articles published in Fly Fishing & Tying Journal. He truly loves sharing his knowledge on the topic of fly tying and fishing with other enthusiasts.

TikTok | Website | Instagram | Facebook

Rhys Hogg (NZL)

Growing up on the Canterbury Plains of New Zealand's south Island Rhys was drawn to fly tying as a young teenager, he quickly started supplying stores and guides. Nearly 30 years later he's never lost interest and now sends flies all around the world from his small store on the banks of the upper Whanagnui River in the central north island. Always innovating and seeking to learn the latest trends and techniques see Rhys constantly product testing down at the rivers edge. Although he'll be the first to agree "you can't beat a classic". Other fly tyers have an end sentence in their bios about what they do when not at the tying desk. This doesn't really apply to Rhys as he literally has a river at the end of his driveway so if he's not tying , he's fishing unless sleeping counts as a hobby. He does however have a dog that enjoys walks - by the river. And a very tolerant spouse.

Website | Instagram | Facebook

Johan Ivemyr (SWE)

My name is Johan Ivemyr and I am a fly tyer and fly fisher from Dalarna in Sweden. I started tying flies and fishing with flies in the middle of the 90s. I started to tie simple Streamers and nymphs and made some valiant attempts to tie dry flies. The last 10 years I have focused a lot on improving my fly tying techniques, especially in dry flies with high-quality material. I prefer using CDC and Deer hair on most of my flies and I also run my own webshop with some of my favorite materials. I like to spend a lot of time fishing for Trouts and Grayling in running water.

Instagram | Website | Facebook 

Gabe Dezendorf (USA)

I am a Colorado Native who grew up exploring the Rocky Mountains with my dad. I am a full time professional firefighter/ paramedic who spends off time in the mountains I love. I’ve been fishing the high alpine creeks and streams around me for the last 12 years and love a dry dropper rig while wet-wading. When my dad gave me his fly tying collection and vise a decade ago I began pursuing a full time passion.

Instagram

Howie Fischer (USA)

In 2016, while living in Washington State, Howie picked up fly fishing as a lifelong bass fisherman. Since then, fly fishing has become one of his greatest passions, devoting time and energy to learning more about the sport, conservation, and teaching others. In 2018, Howie fell into fly tying as a natural progression. He started on a 30-year-old Griffin vise his father gave him along with a handful of hand me down materials and repurposed dental instruments. From there it was off to the races! Howie, like many others has come to appreciate tying flies as a way to spend time when he can’t get on the water, and help get away from stress and anxiety!

YouTube Web Store | Instagram

Seve Garza (USA)

Seve Garza or @Flytyingtex, is a born and raised Texan based out of Austin. His primary interest in fly tying started when he was working as a handyman and fishing teacher in the Texas Hill Country for a summer youth camp called Camp Waldemar. It was his time spent on the Guadalupe River and a friendship with a fly fishing guide, Robert Pohl, that set him in motion to becoming a full-on fly-tying addict. Having been obsessed with the hobby since 2015, Seve's primary target species include the prevalent predatory fish species of Central Texas: Large-mouth bass, Sunfish, Rio Grande Cichlids, Gar, and various species of Catfish. Be sure to check out his YouTube channel.

Instagram | YouTube

Celstine Lyons (ENG)

Celestine is an angler, artist and fly tier based in the UK. Her love of fly fishing started at an early age joining her father and grandfather on the river learning from them the traditional English methods. Celestine has travelled extensively and was lucky enough to spend 3 years based in the USA where she delved into more modern fly fishing techniques in both the rivers and salt waters of the south including Tarpon fishing in the Florida Everglades. On her return to the UK, Celestine set up her Instagram page, Art of the Fly, that combines her fishing adventures, her love of tying flies and fishing inspired artwork, together with promoting the work of river charities, and encouraging greater equality within the angling culture. When she is not in the studio tying her most popular fly collections, or sketching out a trout, she can be found on her favourite stretch of the river Teme in Shropshire testing her latest techniques and fly patterns on trout, salmon, and grayling.

Instagram

Rick Beck (CAN)

Rick Beck lives in the North Okanagan region of British Columbia and supplies hand-crafted trout flies to consumers in the Western Canada region. Flyfishing has been and continues to be his passion for over thirty years and Rick has been tying his own patterns for many years. Using them successfully in lakes from the B.C. Cariboo to the BC Interior.  Rick is known for producing top quality flies with numerous repeat customers and referrals, why not chack out his pages below.

Kyle Cheshire (WAL)

2022 and 2023 Welsh National rivers champion, Kyle Cheshire, been fly fishing since he was a child but has professionally competed in the last 6 years and now finds himself on the water 5-6 days a week! A Team Wales member for the 2019 and 2022 World Championships Kyle his an expert of his craft and one of the UK top river anglers and fly tyers. 

TikTok | Instagram | Facebook

Nathan Gittings (WAL)

Nathan joins the team with 30+ years fishing experience after being taught to fish and tie flies his late grandfather John Gittings. He has competed at national youth level from the age of 13, competing in 5 youth Home Internationals as well as the 2004 World Youth Championships in Norway. A senior World team member in 2019 and world team manager since 2020, his credentials don't end there as he is now Welsh Ladies Team Coach from 2023. An all round angler that has competed at the highest levels in rivers and stillwaters, Nathan will be a great help developing fish-beating products. 

Instagram

Dennis Gamboa (CAN)

Dennis Gamboa, a seasoned professional in the art of fly tying and has devoted his life to perfecting this craft. With an impressive career spanning over three decades, he has earned a prestigious reputation within the fishing community of the picturesque British Columbia, Canada. Dennis's love for fly tying goes beyond his personal creations; he is committed to sharing his vast knowledge and techniques with others, evident through his extensive experience as a fly tying instructor for more than 25 years. His commercial techniques are highly esteemed and sought after by tyers of all skill levels. Through his classes, he not only imparts his expertise but also ignites a spark of creativity within his students, encouraging them to explore their own unique styles at the tying bench.

Instagram | Facebook | Online Store

Mark Yodogawa (CAN)

Mark grew up in the coastal city of Richmond, British Columbia.  Fishing as long as he can remember, he spent his summers commercial fishing with his dad and winters on the Thompson River, gear fishing for steelhead.  The obsession really took hold when he found his grandfather’s fly-tying kit and picked up his first fly rod in his late 20’s.  Mark now loves all things flyfishing, from lakes to rivers and small creeks, he ties all his own flies and is continuously experimenting with new patterns and materials.  British Columbia is an incredible fishery with pristine lakes, rivers, and ocean possibilities all within a few hours in any direction.  This variety of possibilities demands a variety of methods from Czech nymphing, indicating, and floating lines to swinging or stripping sinking lines, and Mark loves to use them all. While indicator fishing with chironomids (buzzers) on Interior lakes holds a special place in his heart, it is important to be adept at using a variety of methods while using a variety of flies to achieve optimal success.

Facebook | Instagram | TikTok 

Garrick Eckard (ENG)

 

Born in Zimbabwe in the early eighties, Garrick's father, an avid angler, showed him the ropes fishing for Tilapia, Florida bass, Catfish and Tiger fish, among other species. It wasn't until a trip to Nyanga in the Eastern Highlands that Garrick first came across fly fishing for trout at age eleven. Garrick caught his first rainbow trout in a small river on (in his words) one of his first unsightly abominations of a fly, and that was that. His fly fishing journey had well and truly begun. After many years, he still has a passion for fly tying, fly fishing and entomology, getting sampling done in local waters as nature offers us the best inspiration for that next buggy, fish-catching, wrapped hook.

Facebook | Instagram | TikTok

Cody Kutil (USA)

Originally born in Wisconsin, now residing in Minneapolis MN, Cody is a lifelong midwesterner and lucky to call the Driftless Area his angling home. Cody is a self-taught fly tyer and for the past 5 years, has been enthusiastically diving into new patterns, materials, and techniques. Cody primarily ties flies for Trout, Smallmouth Bass, Carp, and Panfish but loves the challenge and variety that comes with tying flies. Cody is most active on Instagram and TikTok where he regularly posts time-lapse videos of his recent work.

Instagram | TikTok

Jo Stephenson (ENG)

Jo has been fishing since age 17, after being taught to cast a lure for pike. In her early 20s, Jo travelled for a year, fishing for various species as she travelled, and it was her time in New Zealand where she discovered fly fishing and fly tying.
In 2015, Jo took part in a BBC television series called Earth's Wildest Waters: The Big Fish. A competition-based program where contestants took part in various fishing challenges around the world. Jo also managed a Salmon Lodge in Northern Norway for two seasons which was tough work, but gave her the chance to discover a new world of fly fishing, which teaches patience and ultimate optimism! In fly tying Jo mainly focuses on predator and saltwater patterns often with natural materials. However, more recently Jo has been experimenting with foam and different popper heads for predatory species.

Facebook | Instagram

Del Spry (ENG)

Del started fly fishing from a young age, fishing the many tarns in Cumbria which he still enjoys fishing today. During his military career Del was fortunate enough to be based around the midlands reservoirs where he started competition loch style fishing. Del has fished at the highest levels in competition fly fishing, last year he was honoured to represent England at the world championships in Slovakia. Based up in North Cumbria most of his fishing is done on the River Eden and its many tributaries for Trout, Salmon and Grayling. Del also provides a professional guiding service on the Cumbrian rivers and lakes.

Instagram | Website

Jason Haddix (USA)

Jason resides in Colorado where he enjoys fishing and tying for the many different species the area has to offer. He has been fly fishing/tying for over 30 years. Since his beginnings in the sport he has become a demonstration tier, full time commercial tier, speaker, writer & guide. Many days you will find him at Arbor Anglers in Lafayette, CO teaching tying classes or just hanging out sharing his knowledge of local fisheries. When not in the shop he also operates a guide service & commercial tying business where he ties streamer patterns, deer hair bass bugs, pike/musky flies, carp flies, trout bugs and more for shops/guides. If he’s not in the shop, at the vise or on the water you can find him tying or speaking at shows/shop events across the country.

YouTube | Instagram | Facebook | Website

John Kent (CAN)

I have been commercially tying flies for the past 30 years and totally geared towards stillwater fishing. I live in the middle of BC's stillwater flyfishing Mecca in Merritt BC. I have had a career managing several fishing resorts with 9 years spent at Tunkwa Lake, one of BC's premier chironomid lakes. Many of my patterns were developed during my time there. For the past 12 years Ive been doing tying demos at outdoors shows conducted between Abbotsford and Chilliwack BC. I would have to say that developing chironomid patterns is definitely my passion!

Instagram

Mackay Jessiman (CAN)

I was born and raised in Halifax, Nova Scotia and I have been fly fishing for 11 years now. I was gifted my first fly rod from my father and safe to say I never looked back. I started tying flies not long after , buying my first starter kit added to the addiction I was lucky enough to have a family friend who was willing to pass down there vise and boxes on boxes of materials which changed an addiction to a lifestyle. Fly tying grew on me as the learning curve seemed unbreakable. Fly fishing has changed me in so many ways, tying flies , fishing , travelling and exploring are all things that have shaped me into who I am today.

Instagram | Website | TikTok

Lukasz Kolanko (CAN)

I am a 24 year old with a passion for tying a wide variety of flies. I was born and raised in Nova Scotia, Canada. Introduced to fly fishing in 2020 by my great friend Mac Jessiman, I’ve been hooked ever since. Once I caught my first fly on a fly I tied myself, the passion for tying was ignited. Targeting species such as Trout, Atlantic Salmon, Striped Bass, and American Shad; I love chasing anadromous species. Tying anything from a tiny nymph to a large streamer  for saltwater Striped bass, I love catching fish using many different techniques. 

Instagram Website | TikTok

Steve Yewchuck (USA)

Steve grew up in the small town of Narrowsburg NY, along the Delaware River. His love of tying flies started at a young age and has turned into a long term addiction. Guiding affords him the opportunity to do a lot of research, test his designs and develop his flies into productive patterns. He loves the aspect of design and working with foam to build big meaty predatorial fish flies. Steve is a fly designer for Montana Fly Co and a prostaff member for a number of top brands.

Facebook | Instagram

 

Tom Bird (ENG)

I started fishing on the rivers around my home in Manchester at age 13. Before truly falling in love with sport and moving into fishing Stocks Reservoir after a few years. It was here I persuade a career in fisheries. Working at Stocks while studied fisheries, before moving to Sparsholt College to gain to bachelor of Science in Fishery Management & Aquaculture. After this I moved to working for Fishery Management UK ltd as the Draycote fishery manager.

I have two loch style England caps and 1 Five Nations England Cap. I love fishing reservoirs & rivers which goes hand in hand with a passion for tying flies for myself and also private orders on request.

Instagram

Dan Barlow (ENG)

I am 19 years old with a passion for both fly fishing and Pike fishing. I have multiple caps for the England Youth Loch Style squad winning silver in Ireland. I have placed second in the English national final on Grafham. I aim to peruse a career within the fishing industry. My journey began in the heart of the Lake District where I started fishing on Esthwaite at just 3 years old, thanks to my Dad. Being brought up around boat fishing allowed me to step straight into loch style fishing, I have not looked back since! When I’m not competing I enjoy predator and Grayling fishing in my spare time. I studying freshwater and marine biology at University learning about the behaviour and patterns of fish and aquatic life.

Instagram | Facebook