A Conversation With My Internal Self and A Preemptive FAQ
Ok smarty-pants, what is up with that name?
Ichthyographia - An article or report written about fish; a treatise on fishes.
Wait, I still do not get it...
I am an ichthyologist; a scientist who studies fishes. It should be no big surprise, then, that I also have a passion for fishing. I have loved all things fish for over 30 years. I chose that name because I want to write about fish, fishing, and the science of fish and it only seemed appropriate.
So, do you like have a degree or something in fish?
Indeed, I have a PhD in ichthyology (Tulane University). My dissertation focused on systematics and evolution of suckers (Catostomidae) of the genus Moxostoma, Scartomyzon, Thoburnia, and Hypentelium. Probably the most exciting part of my collegiate opus was the discovery of new species of Scartomyzon-like suckers in the highlands of Mexico.
Well, you sure talk all smart and stuff but do you actually fish?
Definitely, I have been an avid angler since my mother turned me loose on stocked trout when I was 4 years old. I was born and raised in Piedmont region of Southwest Virginia. As a child, I spent nearly all of my free time, particularity the summer months, chasing my finned quarry. I began fly fishing at about 8 years old, mostly as a means to catch small bluegill to use as bait for catfish and bass. I have caught many species of freshwater and saltwater fishes and I have fished in waters from Maine to Mexico.
I guess you have a really cool job, huh?
Actually, now, yes. As of the Fall of 2011 I will be a full-time faculty member in the Natural Sciences Department at Norther Essex Community College. I am responsible for teaching introductory Biology and Ecology.
If I were you I would, like, go work for a fishing company or something like that...
Here is the real kicker...get ready for it...before I got this hair brained idea to go back to college and become an ichthyologist, I worked in the fly fishing industry. Ironically, it was my first and last steady job. I used to manage the fishing department at a local Orvis retail store. I was also a guide, fly fishing and fly tying instructor, and product tester. This occurred in the 90's pretty much at the peak of the fly fishing boom. It was good time, I probably should have stuck with it, but I can't really go back now. I have also worked part-time at other shops and I once started a blog/online fly tying/guide business at www.fish-bugs.com (now defunct).
What exactly is the point of this blog?
Before returning to college, I had delusions of writing articles and books about fly-fishing. Through my own pursuits as both an angler and ichthyologist, I believe that have developed a unique perspective on fishing. This blog is my attempt to finally fulfill this desire and to share my own angling theories and opinions. It is my hope that the information presented herein will be useful to someone and (possibly) entertaining. Since I moved to the Boston metro area recently, I also hope to chronicle some of my own fishing trips as I explore New England waters for the first time.