About the Fly Doctor

I am a full-time, tenured faculty member in the Philosophy and Religion Department at the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga (PhD), where I teach courses revolving around the history of Christianity and Christian thought (occasionally, I even get to teach a course on religion and fly fishing). My official title at UT-Chattanooga is the LeRoy A. Martin Distinguished Professor of Religious Studies. 

From the point that I started graduate school in 2003 until the time that I was promoted in 2016 to associate professor, I basically didn’t have a hobby. I was so busy teaching, researching and publishing that I didn’t have time for much else. Around the time that I earned tenure, two of my friends from college contacted me to go fly fishing in the spring of 2016 to commemorate us turning 40. Not wanting to be a drag on the trip, I determined to hone my basic fly fishing skills. I quickly became obsessed with my new passion to the point that I was fishing at least once a week.


I fish freestone wild trout streams in the Appalachian Mountains, to stocked tailwaters in Tennessee, North Carolina, and Georgia. Floating or wading, using dry flies and nymphs, as long as I’m outside fishing, I know it’s going to be a good day.

Like many people before me, I spent a lot of money on fly fishing equipment, flies, and other gear. At the same time, I was becoming frustrated with the quality, price, and lack of variety in flies that I found in shops and online. So, I started tying flies. My signature fly for quite some time was the mini Chernobyl, a fly that I wanted to create in sizes 14 and 16 and in a greater variety of colorations than was currently available from big fly companies.

With the success that I had making these flies, and then moving on to tie classic and original nymphs, other subsurface flies, and a host of dry flies, I decided to launch a public website to sell my products. The Fly Doctor is a registered LLC in the state of Tennessee, and licensed to do business, with a logo based on the purple Renzetti Master Vise that magically turns a bunch of feathers, hooks, and beads into fish-catching flies.

My overall goal is to provide customers with reasonably priced patterns that are hand-crafted locally, and have been successfully field-tested. Simply put, I don’t make flies that I don’t have confidence in, and don’t use myself.  If you are looking for the cheapest possible flies on the market, you won’t find them on my website. I do not operate a sweatshop, nor do I support importing deficient flies produced overseas in Third World Countries by children and people who don’t fly fish. On the other hand, I also don’t make any flies that would justify an outrageous price. I price my flies based on what I would be willing to pay for a quality product. This is the Fly Doctor brand.