August 20, 2012 in What's Happening
I have had the pleasure of knowing Paul since I moved to Long Island over 8 years ago. He still blows me away today every time we fish together. He’s that guide that always seems to know the right tide, the right area and when to be there. Its almost like he has fish DNA somewhere in him that puts him one step ahead of the fish. Paul has also been a huge influence on Rise Fishing. His knowledge has helped in our rod designs and he is always the first to put our rods to the test. We recently sat down with Paul to pick his brain to see what has made him a top guide.
Tell us all how you got in to fly fishing?
“When I was three years old, my mother sat me down at the end of dock in Newport Beach, CA, with rod in hand. Little did she know that from that day forward, she would have problems getting me off that dock. I began fly fishing for trout in 1971 in Idaho, where I got a summer job guiding, and never looked back. On returning to college in Southern California that fall, I started to explore the beaches of Baha with a fly rod, and became infatuated with saltwater fly fishing.”
How did you end up guiding where you are today?
“I moved to the East Coast in the early ‘80s and decided to pursue my passion for fly fishing full time. After spending five years working at Orvis in New York City, I opened my own store, “Dixon’s Sporting Life”, in East Hampton. At the same time, I began guiding in and around the Hamptons, specializing in sight fishing for striped bass in the spring and summer and chasing the famous Montauk blitzes in the fall. Then the Ocean Reef Club in Key Largo, FL, offered me a guiding position in the mid-‘90s, which was a damn sight better than shoveling snow up north during the winter months. Now I divide my time between the Hamptons and the Keys.”
What’s your favorite fish and memory?
“My passion is sight fishing for any species, whether it’s for stripers, bonefish, or permit, but tarpon are at the top of the list. One of my most memorable guided trips was fishing for tarpon with Bob Popovics and Lance Irwin in Key Largo. Lance hooked a 172-lb tarpon, which I had to jump in the water to untangle the fly line that was wrapped around a sea fan. We ended up boating it and I’ll never forget that fish!”
If you had to choose one fish and one place to fish, where would it be?
“I have been fortunate to have fished all over the world, including the Seychelles, Belize, Wales, the Bahamas, Mexico, and Venezuela but I will always hold a special place for sight fishing stripers on the flats of the east end of Long Island. However, if I had to choose I would fish for tarpon in the Keys above all.”
Who are your biggest influences?
“My biggest fishing influences were my father, who spent every weekend fishing with me when I was a boy; Lefty Kreh, who’s humor and encyclopedic knowledge of the sport never fail to impress me; Bob Popovics, who I consider the most innovative saltwater fly tier in the country and whose patterns I use the majority of the time; and my wife, Ellen White, who puts up with it all!”
At all times of the year, Paul can be reached either by mobile phone at 516-314-1185, or by email at email@example.com. Check out his website at www.flyfishingmontauk.com.