Scoring a paycheck to fish incessantly seems like a savvy career move—if you can find the right mix of employer (preferably a company churning out badass gear) and locale (somewhere near steelhead, or poon flats, smallies ponds, tidal redfish… a carp ditch). Insatiable flyfisher Russell Miller began the process in Boulder, CO, in the late ’90s, transferring his on-the-water determination into a shop rat position at Front Range Anglers. After a few years of grinding it out as a guide, he took over the shop’s e-commerce business, marketing, and content creation.
Miller—featured in today’s The Seattle Times—left Colorado in the summer of 2002 and now works his “dream job” at Far Bank Enterprises (Sage, RIO, and Redington) on Washington’s Bainbridge Island. “We are the largest manufacturer of fly rods on the planet, and RIO Products is a leader in fly line manufacturing,” Miller says.
In addition to possessing an enviable quiver and piling up impressive business acumen along the way, it helps that he can czech nymph, too. Miller’s resume includes being a member of Fly Fishing Team USA, which pocketed bronze at the 36th FIPS Mouche World Fly Fishing Championships held in Vail earlier this fall.
His most recent assignment?
I got paid to drive a 1985 VW Westy around the western United States promoting the Sage brand and living #vanlife. We logged 10,000 miles on the trip, stopping at 26 of our top retailers hosting Happy Hours, and put together 10 different On the Water Demo Days at the best river destinations in the West. It was a pretty incredible trip, all in all. I still can’t believe I pulled off three months out of the house with a 1-year-old at home, and my wife still encourages following my dreams.