For those who enjoy fly fishing, the name Orvis is highly recognizable and garners respect within the community. Chef Mark DeNittis of JPFreek recently had the opportunity to sit down and visit with Stann Grater, an avid and experienced fly fisherman who is also a long-time Orvis guide.[Not a valid template]
Chef D: How did you get to into your current adventure job?
SG – I started fishing with my father when I was old enough to sit still in a boat for more than thirty minutes. My fly fishing career began on the Kootenai River, near the small town of Libby, in Northwest Montana in the early 1970’s. Libby is near and dear to my heart not only as my roots in fly fishing but it was my first full charge Chef’s position. After 20 plus years in the Food Service industry as a Chef, Caterer and Consultant, I spent ten years working for a regional microbrewery. Getting paid to brew and drink great Northwest Micro Beer is not a bad gig if you can get it! Great food and good drink seems to go so well together.
For the last 12 or so years I have been working for the Orvis Company as an International Fly Fishing Instructor. In this position I get to work all over the world helping to unlock the mysteries of fly casting for those just starting, as well as work with Professional Guides in the U.S. and the Bahamas. When I’m at home, I work as a Fly Fishing guide on the local and regional waters near my hometown of Spokane, Washington.
Chef D: Was any formal training required?
SG – I do have an Associates Degree in Culinary Arts from Spokane Community College. As for the Fly Fishing part, there in nothing better that spending years teaching Orvis Fly Fishing Schools around the country and working with some of the best fly casters in the world, like my good friend and mentor Truel Myers.
Related: White Water, Kayaks, and Good Times
Chef D: What is the best part of your adventure job?
SG – Getting to meet, learn from, and fish with some of the best people is the sport of fly fishing and of course, getting to experience the great outdoors. After all, these sporting fish don’t live in ugly places!
Chef D: Is your specific adventure job considered a rare or fairly common opportunity?
SG – Yes and No. The Guiding part of the job is fairly common. There are a few thousand professional fishing guides. The rarity of what I do is the training and teaching part. It has taken me over ten years to develop the specific tools and techniques that I use to unlock the mysteries of fly casting. The best practitioner’s do not always make the best instructors. There are a few things you do not want to teach your significant other; how to drive a car, swing a golf club, or cast a fly line. Leave those tasks to us professionals.