Orvis Outfitter Team Member: Reed Teuscher

Reid Teuscher shows off a gorgeous wild brown from the Upper Delaware River in New York.
All photos courtesy Reed teuscher.

Welcome to our new series in which we profile members of the Orvis Outfitter Team, the customer-service folks who answer all your tackle and fishing questions via e-mail (fishing@orvis.com), telephone (800-548-9548), and live chat on our website. Spread out around the country, these experts have the experience and knowledge to help Orvis customers make the right choices and become better anglers. First up is Reed Teuscher, of Hailey, Idaho.

1. When did you start fly fishing? 

I first had a fly rod in my hand as a 7- or 8-year-old, and went almost exclusively with fly as a teenager. Growing up in the foothills of the Cascade Range in western Oregon, I was able to fish as often as I wanted within minutes of my childhood home.  

2. What’s your favorite water? 

There are so many places that have special meaning to me, it is hard to choose just one. The Kanektok and Kenai rivers in Alaska. The Owyhee and Deschutes in Oregon. The Green in Utah. Mexico’s Sea of Cortez. And while it is a shadow of what it once was, the North Umpqua River in Oregon will always be hallowed ground to me for the steelhead and people that have left their mark there. 

Even a trout guy can become obsessed with landing a permit.

3. What’s your favorite species to chase with a fly rod and why? 

I have run the gamut of favorite fish, as that happens when you have fished your whole life. I once lived to chase steelhead with Spey rods, but am now a trout junkie again. At this stage in my fishing career, tarpon are my favorite saltwater fish for their size and tenacity. For freshwater, I love browns and rainbows in all shapes and sizes, wherever they live from the Rockies to the Pacific. 

4. What’s your most memorable fly-fishing moment? 

Having worked in the fly-fishing industry for almost 25 years, I have worked most jobs available in this community. My most memorable moment was guiding a woman in remote Alaska who did not want to be there. She came with her husband and adult son and did not know how remote and primitive the camp was. I had her their last day in camp while her two guys fished together.  She was a single with another gentleman who was there by himself. She made it known that she would go out on the boat ride but had no intention of fishing.  That did not sit well with me. If she was in the pristine, beautiful location with salmon fresh from the ocean, I was not going to let her sit in the boat and stew. With kid gloves and gentle prodding, I got her casting a Spey rod. She landed chum and smaller Chinook salmon and got to be a part of her boatmate landing a 50-pound Chinook after a 45-minute fight.  The excitement was infectious, and she realized fly fishing may be for her after all.  By the end of her day, I had her connected with women’s group in Pennsylvania that would reach out to her when she got home. Turning her frown upside down and starting a fire in her for a sport I am deeply passionate about will always be at the top of favorite fishing memories. 

A late-season Alaskan rainbow.

5. What’s your most forgettable fly-fishing moment? 

When I was a steelhead snob, I thought the sun rose and set on steelhead, and my attitude reflected that. Steelhead are incredible fish but not the end-all like I thought at that time. Thank goodness, we hopefully get wiser as we get older. All fish are incredible, regardless of size or location. 

6. What do you love most about fly fishing? 

I love the connections and friendships I have made because of fly fishing. I would not know my best friends or have met the many amazing people I have if it were not for a shared love of fly fishing. 

7. What’s your favorite piece of Orvis gear and why? 

My favorite piece is our Orvis Carry-It-All. Every angler should own this regardless of how much gear they own.  I own two: one set-up with my saltwater gear and the other set-up with gear for my local fisheries. The large size carries my rods from 2-weight up to 7-weight, my 11-foot Euro rod, and my 11-foot trout-spey rods in their rod socks. I also have my reels in the case, along with spare flies in fly boxes, a first aid kit, spare leaders and tippets, and spare sunglasses and Buffs. I know I can grab my CIA and be ready for anything.

When I travel, I load the case with rods, reels, a change or two of clothes, a fleece or light rain jacket, a book, charging cables, earbuds, spare sunglasses, and any meds I need. I do not check this but rather carry it on the plane with me, which most airlines allow. When I am going on a fishing trip, I want my gear to arrive with me. I don’t care if the airline loses my luggage (I can wash and wear the same clothes for several days or buy new ones), but I do care if my fishing gear does not show up. The CIA ensures I have the gear I need regardless of the outing.   

They’ve got steelhead in Alaska, too.

8. What’s your go-to fly when nothing else is working?  

Anything purple! Purple Haze, Purple Chubbie, Purple Soft Hackle. We don’t know why purple works, but we do not argue with success.   

9. What was your favorite fly-fishing trip?  

My favorite trip is one I can take with those most dear to me. Spending time with my family and friends on a river, lake, or ocean making memories that will last a lifetime are most precious to me. 

10.  How has working as a member of the Orvis Outfitter team affected your own angling? 

I always strive to fish and associate with anglers better than me. The Outfitter team is loaded with folks with a wealth of knowledge on locations around the world and knowledge on techniques and concepts that I am not an expert at.  Our teams’ conversations about various fisheries and how to approach certain situations have expanded my knowledge considerably.

A roosterfish from Mexico’s Sea of Cortez.

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