About JB

I grew up surrounded by fish, flies, and water. The summer of 1972 found our family standing on the banks of Squaw Creek in Montana’s Gallatin River drainage. As my father surveyed the creek, he spotted the tell-tale flash of a nymphing fish. Handing me his rod, he pointed out the location and told me to cast. My two-handed, two-year-old compliance was not exactly graceful, but it put the fly where it needed to go. The fish moved again, my father shouted to set the hook, and soon I was clutching my first trout on a fly rod, a 13-inch rainbow. From that point on, fly fishing was always a part of my life.

As I grew up, I also got a formal education in fly-fishing, listening in as my father taught his schools across the country. Watching him teach, and listening to his lectures, instilled in me a desire to pursue fly fishing as a profession.

My father published his first fly-fishing book, Nymphing, when I was nine years old. Seeing all of his long-hand and typewritten effort bound so neatly into 192 pages inspired me to want the same. Four years later, my first real article was published in “Fly Tyer” magazine. That article started me on the road to regular writing and illustrating.

Around the same time as that first “Fly Tyer” article, my father produced the now-classic instructional video, Nymphing. Seeing the 16mm cameras, the boom mics and the hotel-room dailies, I knew that I had to do something like that. My desires became reality in 1986, when my father and I hauled our Video-8 equipment out to Montana and shot The Fabulous Bighorn, the tape that kicked off the Skills of Fly Fishing series. Such productions continued through my high-school and college years, ultimately driving me to study film as my major.

My educational backgrounds in both fly fishing and film melded in 1991, when I worked on Robert Redford’s silver-screen adaptation of Norman Maclean’s famed novella, A River Runs Through It. The film brought me almost full-circle—the main fishing-scene locations were only a couple of miles from where I caught my first-ever trout on Squaw Creek.

After River, I moved to Los Angeles to work full-time in the film and television industry. Some of the projects during that time involved fishing to a degree, and other projects, while far removed from angling, introduced me to good friends who also shared a passion for the fly. I loved my time working with film, but left LA after five years to pursue fly-fishing endeavors more deeply. Since my days in LA, my life has been focused on fly fishing in one way or another.

In 2002, my fly-fishing focus was widened when I married my wife, Kelley. Kel also caught her first trout on a fly in Montana, and we said our vows on a mountainside near a rushing stream. Our lives together have seen many angling adventures, and my new-found role as Kel’s “ghillie” has made being on the water even more of a pleasure.

Throughout my life, fly fishing has taken me to the most wild and beautiful places, and shown me the deeply involved rhythms of water, land, and fish. Fly fishing has been a way in which I could lose my sense of time, but also a way to challenge myself so intensely that a second ticked by like a carefully watched hour. Fly fishing has been with me as long as I can remember. Fly fishing is part of who I am.

13 Comments

  1. Gary Cima says:

    Jason,

    LOVE your site. I will visit it often and share what I think others would enjoy. Always the best.

    Gary in Bend, Oregon

  2. Cliff Ponsock says:

    Jason,

    Found your site by accident and enjoy it very much.

    Thanks

    Cliff

  3. stuart paster md says:

    01/04/2013 Jason : I enjoyed the recent article profiling you in the most recent issue of Trout magazine winter 2013. In particular i love seeing your sketches of trout . I still have very fond memories of Vermejo park and your dads’ classes.

    I still fish a lot in New Mexico getting out as frequently as possible

    good luck on he new baby and best regards to your dad Gary. send me info about the fly casting institute.

    best regards
    Stuart Paster MD

    • JB says:

      Stuart! It is *really* good to hear from you! I have such good memories of those old Vermejo days and all of the friends made in those years. Pleased to here that you’re still getting out to fish as much as you can.

      Thanks for the kind words about my images and the article. TROUT did a really nice job with the piece, I thought, and I was pleased to see the interview conclude with a discussion of family and resources.

      I’ll pass along your greetings to both my father and little Brooke.

      I’ll shoot you an email about th FCI stuff separately.

      Again, really good to hear from you, and have a great 2013 season.

  4. Mr. Jason,

    I am really glad I found this great blog of yours and I am also glad that you are the son of Gary Borger, whom I consider as my first fly fishing teacher. I was really lucky to see “Fly Fishing for Trout with Gary Borger” before even purchasing my first fly rod. It’s truely a gem!

    I will definitely take my time and read your blog from the beggining!

    I thank you and wish you all the best for little Brooke! She’s gorgeous!

    Best regards,
    Kostis

    • JB says:

      Thank you for the kind comment and the little bit of ancient history involving my father. Hard to believe that it has been nearly 30 years since that video was produced. And thanks, too, for the nice words about little Brooke. She certainly has her daddy wrapped around her pinkie finger already….

  5. John Prothero says:

    Just read the article about your involvement in “The Movie” in “Trout” magazine. But for me, I appreciated how the article shared how you interweave your gift and passion for fly-fishing with art, and with your life. I have a passion for music and landscape photography, and see fly-fishing just as high an “art” as those passions are. I have photographed on the sides of mountains, with the music I love playing in my mind’s ear, and it only enhances and enriches my images.

  6. Michael Isom says:

    Hey Jason
    Sure miss you guys here in the South I hear the White River calling your name
    Mike and Sandy Isom

    • JB says:

      Miss all ya’ll too! We often talk of ribs (wet and dry), po’ boys, and our good friends (and good fishing). Hope it has been happening on the White this year. Be nice to see you one of these days….

  7. Ted Warren says:

    I would like one of your new books on Single Handed Casting, a Modular Approach.

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