My name is Jason Brett Meszaros and I am 30 years old. I was born in Atlanta, Georgia in 1978. Thanks to my dad, I began fishing at a very early age and I haven’t stopped since. I went through the typical progression of fishing with bait to fishing with lures. By the time I was in highschool I was fishing almost exclusively with the long rod for trout. I grew up in Georgia where I fished on the Chattahoochee River and in the North Georgia Mountains. Along the small trout streams and rivers in North Georgia was where I really developed my skills with a fly rod. By the end of highschool I was tying my own flies and I had started working for Orvis as a salesman at the Buckhead store.
After highschool I attended Virginia Tech in Blacksburg, Virginia where I recieved a Bachelor of Science degree in Fisheries Science. My studies only improved my understanding of the science (and love for the art) of fly fishing. The limestone spring creeks located near Blacksburg became my laboratory where I could test new fly patterns and continue to learn about fish, aquatic insects, and their interesting habitats. My fly tying skills progressed and I developed a passion for creating effective patterns. While I was in school I continued to work for Orvis as a salesman at the outlet store in Salem. It was around this time that I began teaching fly fishing and fly tying to my friends and family.
My degree in Fisheries Science helped me “land” several jobs related to biological and environmental consulting. These positions helped me gain valuable experience; especially in the areas of aquatic surveying, aquatic entomology, malacology, and non-game species conservation. During this period of my life I was able to see a lot of the Appalachian Mountains and I was sad to leave Virginia.
I moved to Atlanta and began working as an Aquatic Ecologist for CCR Environmental, Inc. This position allowed me to use the knowledge and experiences from Virginia in my home state. My primary duties were to perform aquatic surveys for rare aquatic species and assist with report preparation. Many of our clients had commercial, residential, and energy-infrastrcuture interests that required surveys to be performed in order for them to attain the necessary permits. It didn’t take very long for me to decide that consulting was not for me and I moved to Prescott, Arizona in 2006.
I began working for the local fly shop, Lynx Creek Unlimited, in 2007. I soon started teaching fly fishing and fly tying classes and I developed great relationships with the local anglers. I immediately got involved with the local fly fishing club called The Prescott Flycasters. When Lynx Creek Unlimited went out of business in June of 2008 I began working for Manzanita Outdoor. The owner of Manzanita Outdoor hired me to develop a fly fishing department for the store. I was responsible for selecting fly fishing products for the department and training my associates. I decided to start my own fly fishing instruction business and The Drag Free School of Fly Fishing was born. I have since assumed the Store Manager role at Manzanita Oufitters (the name for the business, to go along with our new location in downtown Prescott).
Oh…and by the way…the fishing in Arizona has been some of the best I have ever experienced. I especially enjoy exploring the many canyons along the Mogollon Rim (check out the Photo and Video Gallery). Who would have thought that an aquatic biologist from the east coast would have ended up in the desert, and stayed there?