1.) Briefly tell us what all you do in the fly fishing industry as an ambassador of the sport and roll model for other anglers?
My role in the fly fishing industry revolves around my fly fishing school and outfitter business. Most of my time is spent helping grow the sport through education. All of our school programming is based around the premise of getting rid of the historical stereotypes of our sport. People need to realize that this sport isn’t has hard as they think, it’s not as expensive as they think, and it can be the perfect family activity. All of our guides and instructors do their part to teach proper angling ethics, weather it be streamside etiquette, ethical catch and release practices, or even something as simple as picking up some trash by the river. My whole team does their part to make sure every student goes home with a positive attitude after their class, makes sure they learned something, and most importantly had fun.
2.) Where do you see your future going in the sport of fly fishing? What would you like to accomplish and why?
Even with new box stores popping up on what seems like every corner, even with the new Madden video game getting more ‘hype’ than imaginable, I see the future of our sport growing. Every year I’m amazed at the amount of increased participation in our programs. In general, fly fishing is a sport that LOTS of people want to at the very least try once. Our job as industry professionals is to give them the few simple tools to do that. Although there is a place in our sport for $700 rods, and $400 wading jackets, and the Latin name of a Salmon Fly, this will not help the sport grow. Taking an hour or less to teach a beginner how to cast 30’, show them a few bugs, and if they’re lucky get them into a fish or two, will. Simple. Education and teaching at the most basic of levels is what is going to grow out sport into what we all want it to. We’re not trying to reinvent the wheel. If as an industry if we can figure out how to give everyone the chance to give our sport a try that wants to, great things can happen. We just have to remember to keep it easy and fun on their first go around, if we can do that, we may just turn a few of them into lifetime anglers.
3.) You have already done so much as an angler and instructor, what’s next for Matt Heron?
Without letting the ‘cat out of the bag’, we have some plans in the works that could possibly involve the expansion of our fly fishing school to new areas, as well as working on some beginner specific products that will increase the positive experience of all new fly fishers. If I’m not doing that, I’m scouting out new bonefish flats for out travel program...hey, somebody has to do it!
4.) What do you personally like most about the sport of fly fishing?
What a question, part of me wants to ask how much time do you have, the other half has no clue how to answer. If I have to pick just one thing, I would have to say that it is the relationships forged with other anglers. For reasons that can be hard to explain, there seems to be a bond among fly anglers that is much stronger than it is in other sports. It’s no coincidence that over the years many of my best friends started as fishing buddies, including the best man at my wedding. There aren’t many things in this day in age that can instantly bring to strangers together faster than chucking a few bugs around.
400 Squaw Creek Rd.
Olympic Valley, CA 96146
Favorite SA Line: Mastery Textured GPX, Mastery Textured Grand Slam