Site Comments

The following brief comments are unsolicited notes and emails I've gotten from a few of the thousands of folks who have visited this site over the years:

Dear Mr. Lewis,

Just had a look at the wonderful photo-essays on your site. Now I know that it's not the camera that makes a great picture but the photographer, but I'm still curious about what camera you're using to take these great pictures. I suppose some kind of digital, and do you proces your pictures afterwards?


Great site!
Just thought i'd drop you a quick note to tell you how much i enjoy your site. The photo journals are fantastic. Your craftsmanship is also beautiful and i hope to be able to order one of your rods someday soon.
Thanks. Richard

You've been taking and making some fine pictures Dave. Your skills have really improved over the last year and they weren't too shabby to begin with. :-).

I also love those small, hidden waters with their beautiful wild fish. Unfortunately, because there is such an obsession to stock more and bigger fish everywhere, wild streams are getting harder and harder to find in Southern New England. We need to recapture our appreciation of the 6" wild brookie in full spawning colors.

Thanks for posting the pics. Beautiful!


Hi Dave,

Just a note to say "Hello" and "Thanks" for your recent journal entries; Bumblechook Creek, and Elmer's Flies. The beauty of your photos has inspired me to visit my favorite wild cutthroat stream this Labor Day weekend.

There are still a few headwaters with native Bonneville Cutthroats, some of which approach 14 inches in length at this time of the season. With heavy snowpack this past winter, run-off has been long and strong. The XXXXXXX of the XXXXXXX seems about the size of Bumblechook and the 8',#4 T&T you built should be ideal for placing a hopper along the alders or under the meadow banks.

Hope all is well.


you have found the art of keeping it short and simple...........

the pictures in that short story are enough to make the heart sing. landscape to take the breath away, the composition of sky, mountain, water and meadow are the stuff of western legend. the rainbow is a perfect specimen and the cutthroats - well, there is no finer fish swimming in fresh water in my opinion.

i could look at those half dozen pictures and read that short narrative and be spirited away, many, many fact i'm there right now.

thanks dave



As usual, impeccably done. You sir, are a master. Thank you again.


p.s.: was that the South Fork of the Bumblechook????? (g)

My word Dave! Your photos look like paintings. The color is just amazing.

I would pay you good money for a photoshop color tweaking lesson. WOW! Ever thought of publishing a step-by-step tutorial for perfect fishing photos?

Beautiful fish!


Jeez, I just got back here and now I wish I was back there, damn.

Dave, it is just a real joy to read and view your work...



I don't know if you remember me, but I was very active on Flyfish@ for a long time and then dropped off. I've just resubscribed and am really enjoying it again.

I always have read your posts because I really love your writing style.

I also really enjoy your photography. MAN, this last story has some INCREDIBLE photos in it. What camera are you using?? Do you process these photos on the computer before publishing them?? The color and clearness of them are just stunning. I sure would like to know exactly how you take such brilliant photographs while fishing. How do you keep the camera safe?

I fall down regularly and sometimes even float my hat, so I'm afraid to take a digital camera on the stream.

I'd love to know your setup and maybe even some of your tricks. :-)
Its great to reconnect with you and the others.


I just happened on your site while looking for fly rod building pages and browsing through it was a pleasant experience. I got this down home feeling like sitting on the porch at my friends farm back in the mountains of North Caorlina. Being a photographer myself, your photos are beautiful and tranquil. Too bad about Oscar.
A short bio. I'm temporarily living in Utah after being displaced from the Daytona Beach area after Hurricane Francis decided to take the roof off of the music store where I worked and the owner decided to retire with the proceeds from the insurance...don't blame him a bit. I've fished using both spin and fly tackle all around estuaries along the east coast of Florida since the 50's. While I'm here I decided to do some fly fishing for trout in the beautiful streams throughout Utah, Idaho and Wyoming. I do hope to get to Montana while I'm here. I've also learned to tie flies and have spent many a cold night tying both trout and saltwater flies.
I just wanted to let you know I enjoyed the trip through your site. I've put your site in my favorites file and will visit often. I've made a few spin rods and I'm looking forward to creating a few fly rods. Your rods are inspiring, truly works of art.
If I get to your neck of the woods while I'm here this summer, I would love to stop by and see (and maybe buy one if I've got the bucks) your rods.
Thaks again for the photos, stories and beautiful rods.




Just want to say how much I enjoyed coming across your website. Astonishing photographic quality, amazing numbers of gorgeous trout and a real eye opener on barbs. I had about decided to go barbless, but your photos convinced me once and for all. I once took the eye out of a 10 inch rainbow in the Smokies with a large stonefly. Two years later I caught him again and found to my great joy that he was fine and healthy. He had grown skin over the empty socket and had gained about 3 inches. I look forward to updates to the page and would really like to own one of your rods. It's been a pleasant couple of hours. Keep up the good work.

Lexington, KY


I have done it now. :)
Lady Ann is looking intently at the beautiful pictures -- I admired them all morning and sent the web URL and how to data down the up stairs. Ann was stunned by how remarkable the photo's were. They are subjects for watercolors --- you know how that goes - you never have seen a fish you didn't want to catch and shoot, :), she never seeing them the way I do - they are subjects for the bristle and the fine paper. :)

There Are Bradley Smokers --- Just kidding.


Hi Dave,

I finally got the time and opportunity to visit your website. Apart from the mouthwatering rods on display, that I hope I'll be able to afford one day, I had a good look at the various picture stories. You are one fine photographer! As a landscape and fly fishing artist, I get great inspiration from photos like yours. The quality of the fish portraits is outstanding! And I really have to go fishing in the US some time it seems....

Many thanks,


Hi Dave,

I came to visit your site through a reference on BOB VENNERI's site (which I reached through Dan Craft's site...) I am getting myself mentally prepared to start building my first rod and when I saw your work and the craftsmanship I felt inspired. So..., I just wanted to tell you I was really impressed by your work you displayed on your web site.

Normally it is not the first thing a web site 'calls me to do' but seeing your work that was the first thing I wanted to say; acknowledge your craftsmanship. I haven't seen work from other builders that showed that elegance and eye for detail both in choice of materials and components, the balance in color etc, looking at a rod as a holistic unit with function and appearance.

The mental image (motivation) I have "for creating fly rods" is to build beautifully crafted work - and maybe one day create that special rod to give to my son. (He's four and a half so I have some time to practice :-).

I express the hope (in a way reluctantly because foremost I wanted to say what I said) that I may in the future write to you about building rods and find a willing ear to offer me some advice.

With kind regards,

Vashon Island (WA)


Thanks for taking the time to speak with me at the Somerset show. I am amazed by the craftsmanship that goes into your rods and really enjoy your website (especially the photo journals).

Again, you and Mary Lu display outstanding craftsmanship and a wonderful product.

Kind regards,

Dave --

A friend passed along your bull trout photo link. I sent it on to a hundred or so folks (g).

A real "Wow!" piece of photography and a great story. How you had the presence of mind to take pictures and handle the fish I can't imagine.

Happy New Year,

Hi Dave,

Just wanted to say thanks for posting that Big Fish story on yourwebsite. Reading it and seeing the pictures made my day.


Calgary, Alberta, Canada

Beautiful photography, Dave. Nothing being in the right place at the right time with the right equipment and ability.
Thanks for sharing it.

Dave ...

Great photos! You ARE one fortunate fisherman to have witnessed such an event .. you're one cool-head to have captured it so well with your camera. I am very impressed that you photos also were so well exposed, composed and focused as they are. Under such circumstances its nothing short of amazing!

I would like to include a link to your 'photo story' in our next fly-fishing club's eNewsletter .. would you mind? Thank you for your consideration.

Again .. as many have already said, thanks for sharing this incredible adventure with us.... the 'less fortunate' fisher-folks ... ;-)


Dave, once more, photo journalism at its best..thanks for sharing this spiritual experience. Joyce

Hi Dave

I hope you remember me .... I wrote some time ago asking permission to use a couple of your images for business cards? While I still have not got to that point yet I would like to link you to my site if possible. I find your work fantastic and would be honoured to have a link to you. Is there any particular image you use for this? What about the image on the front page at the bottom? With the fly rod and the rainbow? Just a thought.

Thanks for your time


I stumbled on your website the other day, and WOW is all I can say ... those are the best presented trout fishing pictures I've seen on the internet!!! Looks like you've been blessed with some beautiful scenery and some great fishing!!!

Thanks for sharing those pics with the world.


Hello Dave.

I met you and your wife at the College Park Fly Fishing Show. It was great talking with a couple of ex-Potomac Peddlers who love to fish as much as I do!

I just wanted to let you and your wife know that your story about Oscar is one of my kids favotire bedtime stories. I make a few changes (culvert becomes bridge for example) and make the ending a little more "child friendly" (can't have Oscar dying after all that!) and the kids LOVE it!

I just thought that I would bring it to your attention. Maybe between your writing and your wife's pen and ink skills, a childrens book might be able to be put together. Just a thought.

Thanks again and I look forward to being able to afford one of your beautiful rods soon!

See ya in the Shenandoahs this spring!


Dave: Thanks to the miracle of the internet, a non-fishing person like me stumbled across your website during a search for "willow tree" photos. The quality of your rods as well as the quality of your photos are simply outstanding. (I have a seven year old son who just tried fishing with his grandpa this year - I'd never really seen a fish up close and confess to being a little appalled at the gills - don't know what I thought a fish out of water would look like!) But the reason for this note is that I wondered what type of camera you used for these photos? I worked at Kodak for 24 years (downsized, last year, unfortunately) and although not a photographer myself, can certainly recognize the talent it took to the these photos. Your site mentioned you were a teacher? Perhaps a photography teacher? Anyway, I enjoyed the photos and just wanted to let you know.

New York


Just wanted to drop you a line to tell you how much I enjoyed your photo essays. I fished Mossy for the first time this past Sunday since I was at school in Harrisonburg in 98. I had a great day and look forward to getting back to that amazing river again soon.

Being back at work has been slow and I googled "Mossy Creek" to see what popped up in images. Thanks for making my computer bound day that much better!



hi dave,
i just want to say that your photos are outstanding! some of the best i've seen in quite some time. lead on! we share the same interests. i toy around with digital photography and make bamboo rods.

Hi Dave,

Just wanted to say how fabulous your pictures are. Inspires us to get to some of those places for a fish.

Nikki and Adam