| I have always had an interest and passion for the study of fish and fishing, in particular practicing the art of flyfishing. I believe I am one of those rare individuals that knew what I wanted to be when I grew up ever since early in grade school. I still have copies of letters I wrote to Oceanography schools in sixth grade asking about admission requirements. Growing up, the Jacques Cousteau specials were very big TV nights for me and I couldn't get enough of them! I am formally educated in Fishery Management and Biology and have a Bachelor of Science and Master of Science degree in these disciplines. For my day job, I am a professional Fishery Biologist focusing on management of freshwater ecosystems and fish habitat. Given my passion for saltwater flyfishing and the fish I pursue, I am a glutton for the scientific literature as I attempt to learn more about these fish and their behavior. And like many of you, I subscribe to numerous fishing magazines (much to my wife's displeasure when they pile up in the house!).|
I started flyfishing in grade school when my father took my brother and me flyfishing for stocked rainbow trout in Southern California. I vividly remember receiving my first Pfleuger fly reel (early 70's but who's counting) in my stocking at Christmas and still use that reel today on my 2-weight trout outfit. I started saltwater flyfishing in college when the local flyfishing club I belonged to scheduled a monthly outing to Redondo King Harbor to flyfish for the Pacific bonito that frequented the harbor. My outfit included an $8 fiberglass blank I wrapped in the college dorms and a Pfleuger fly reel (my passion is reflected in the choice to spend $8 on a flyrod vs. saving it for Friday's happy hour!!!). I don't even know the line weight of that flimsy and whippy fly rod. I do recall getting my big behind kicked by those little speedsters! I don't know if that was a good thing as I have been addicted to the sport of saltwater flyfishing ever since. Maybe it's the visual of the take, the sound of the reel spinning at a very high RPM or the hum of the backing going through the guides that fires me up and keeps me wanting more. In the late-80's or early 90's, I read the newspaper reports of the Long-range trips Steve Abel chartered on the Royal Polaris to go after the big boys off of Mexico. That was it, as I knew I had to do one of those trips. In 1994, I got out the credit card and went on the trip of a lifetime - an 8-day trip to Magdalena Bay, Baja on the Royal Star out of San Diego. I am an individual that has severe motion sickness and even had to pull over on a windy mountain road to regain my composure. Getting motion sickness on a windy road is not so unusual, but I was driving and still got sick!! So for me to go out on these long-range trips was a gut check. On the 8-day trip, I was up day and night fishing. When folks were sitting in the dining area sipping beverages and recounting the days events, I was at the rail casting my steelhead 8-weight to the small dorado going in and out of the boats lights. We caught lots of skipjack tuna until our arms hurt, managed to have one great day on dorado (dolphin), ran across numerous yellowfin tuna and also chased literally hundreds of striped marlin. I managed to land a real big striped marlin (in excess of 170 lbs as shown in the photo) but could not submit it as a world record at the time as my shock tippet was 12 ╝ inches (1/4-inch too long for IGFA rules)! I learned a valuable lesson on that one. My next adventure was to go on the second trip of a lifetime in 1997 again on the Royal Star. This was a 14-day trip to Clipperton Island, an atoll 800 miles south of Cabo San Lucas, Mexico. We chased wahoo, big yellowfin tuna, and also fished off the beach targeting trevally and jacks. One tuna I hooked had my Abel 4 spool arbor showing before it stopped and I had 480 yards of 50 lbs spectra backing on the reel!!!! Sorry to say, I lost the fish after two hours when the hook pulled free (ugh!). I consider these long-range trips to be Graduate School for saltwater fly anglers as you take your lumps on flies, their design, equipment to use and especially rigging and knots. I won't mention brand names but the good equipment stood out as it didn't break under the strain of the marlin and especially the yellowfin tuna. Being that I am a detail person, I also observed which patterns worked better than others.
These trips led me to start sharing the knowledge gained on the long-range trips and start tying saltwater patterns on a special order basis. It was during the process of tying up many dozens of baitfish patterns, mixing the epoxy and then using a Bar-B-Q rotisserie in my home office to rotate the drying flies that I realized there had to be a better way. I also was not happy with my fly box full of yellow-headed flies after a saltwater flyfishing trip to Southern California, Baja, or Florida. In addition to a desire to increase tying efficiency, I always had headaches from the epoxy. Losing brain cells from the harmful epoxy vapors was not a risk I wanted to take, regardless of how much I loved tying the flies. So I spent many hours, weeks, and months thinking about how to make tying baitfish patterns more efficient, safe, and yielded a better product than one could produce at the vise with epoxy or silicone. That is the genesis of the Ready Head.
Once developed, I realized that the Ready Head had cross over applications in the conventional market as shown in the Options page of this website. Conventional anglers along with fly anglers can take advantage of the versatility of the Ready Head.
With the support of my wonderful wife, we decided to take the big leap and invest into producing this product. We chose the company name Ichthyo-Sys« as it is derived from ichthos (fishlike) and sys (short for systems). She is the CEO and I am the product development specialist (i.e I get to go fishing and test the product!!). The photos attached to this site and Testimonials are proof that the system works on fish in addition to helping the fly tier. I look forward to hearing from you on patterns or uses of the Ready Head and your success stories.
140 Mt. Belford Ct.
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