Commercial fly tier Andrew Grillos, visits the Driftless

Commercial fly tier Andrew Grillos, visits the Driftless

Trout anglers gathered at the Bad Axe Country Club, located a few miles Northwest of Viroqua, Wisconsin, to hear renowned fly tier and retired fishing guide Andrew Grillos speak.

Currently based in Bozeman, Montana, Grillos spent an evening at the country club, demonstrating his fly-tying techniques while sharing some of his experiences in presenting flies in different situations and stream/river conditions.

The inventor of the Hippie Stomper fly, a fly that Grillos says, “brings strikes from fish that have refused just about everything in the box”, started fly fishing at age 10, and by age 14 started tying flies. Not long after that, Grillos became a commercial fly tier at 16.

Grillos’ academics soon followed, choosing his college based on the fishing surroundings in Gunnison, Colorado, he worked on achieving a bachelor’s degree, all the while working as a full-time fishing guide.

After a 10-year stint in Gunnison, Grillos found himself spending 4 years guiding all over the Great Northwest, specifically Washington State, gaining invaluable experience.

Over the past eighteen years, Grillos gained other experience working for some top industry outfitters located not only Washington, but Alaska, Argentina, Chile, and New Zealand.

He has stated that trout fishing in the Northwest was very different than what he was used to in Colorado, saying, “It was similar to the angling I experienced while guiding in Southern Chile.” 

Now located in Bozeman, Montana, Grillos, retired from guiding, has admitted to taking a different direction in his life, focusing on the educational side of trout angling, sharing his vast knowledge of fly tying, and how to properly present and float flies gained in his guiding both in the United States and abroad.

The event last Saturday was sponsored by Viroqua’s Driftless Angler, and held at the country club that boasts excellent trout angling opportunities in the North Branch of the Bad Axe River running through the property.

Members of Trout Unlimited, along with other Wisconsin fly fishing enthusiasts from the mid-west, watched and listened to Grillos share some of his techniques and suggestions on tying flies.

Although Grillos enjoys all trout angling, he noted that his overall passion is fishing for Steelhead. He stresses that his preference is catching a steelhead on a swung fly, fishing summer runs using a full-floating long-belly line, and winter fishing on a short, heavy Skagit line.

Grillos also does not limit himself, enjoying fishing a float and jig, noting he does not mind gear fishing or nymphing.

Focusing on education, Grillos holds a multitude of classes ranging from fly tying to fly tying casting, from beginner to intermediate, holding them in small fly shop venues all the way up to the International Sportsman’s Expo.

Grillos strives to have anglers that attend a workshop or class leave with practical knowledge that will enhance their own angling experience.

For more information on Grillos, and his services, visit http://www.andrewgrillosflyfishing.com/

More information on Viroqua Angler can be found at, https://www.driftlessangler.com/, and Bad Axe Country Club at, https://www.facebook.com/pages/Bad-Axe-River-Country-Club/171558930352725, or by calling (608) 634-3022.

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