Featured Fly Tyer: Jeffrey Feczko

Jeffrey Feczko is a professional guide, world traveler, captain and a pleasure to talk to. Even the Dos Equis guy wants to live life like Jeff does. There’s nothing this man can’t do, so we decided to sit down and chat with him about just one facet of his fascinating life: connecting flights.

Flylords: Let’s start with a little about yourself, who is Jeffrey Feczko?

Image courtesy of Jeffrey Feczko.

Jeffrey: Jeffrey Feczko is a freak who likes a challenge. I am a lifelong angler, self taught angler and USCG 100T master skipper guiding in Bristol Bay Alaska and Baja Mexico.

Additionally, I am also an award winning Rio Signature company recently receiving the award for best saltwater model at IFTD. I have guided Alphonse, Astove and Cosmoledo and fished all over the world including but not limited to: Gabon, Ecuador, Colombia, Guatemala, Honduras, Mexican Caribbean, USVI/BVI, Christmas Island, BC possibly places of others I don’t remember.

Flylords: Do you have a favorite fly that comes to mind?

Jeffrey: Oooof that’s tough – my Camaronsiton is certainly a model of confidence. Easy to hook, looks like a huge jiggly shrimp but also passes for a mullet/bait fish. Everything from brown trout to GTs have been caught.

Flylords: What gets your creative juices flowing? How are new flies born? Where do you start? How do you choose the materials?

Jeffrey: Usually new patterns arise just by trying to replicate a new food source with a little extra movement or when a particular fish has frustrated the sh*t out of me and I have to stop their behavior. I like my durable and usually expensive materials, haha.

Flylords: Of all the gear involved in the fly tying process, what’s one piece of gear you could never live without?

Jeffrey: A bobbin, mono thread and sharp scissors.

Flylords: Which part do you like more: fly fishing, or tying them?

Jeffrey: I enjoy both quite a bit – but really, fishing them is why I do it.😂

Flylords: How did you become a Tyer of Rio’s signature products?

Jeffrey: I always saw Brita Fordyce’s flies and was so in love with how beautiful they were that I would show her my wackiest creations – she must have loved it because not long after she asked me to join and of course I I forced. I was and am truly honored for the opportunity.

Flylords: Do you have a favorite species that you follow? What distinguishes that fish from others?

Jeffrey: Barefoot turkey from the beach with hands down. They are uniquely beautiful and can reach over 100 pounds, while also having a very small range of availability – especially when you can do it from shore with a fly rod. They are volatile like a Permit, but explosively aggressive like a GT – however, their behavior is completely unpredictable. Seeing a Roosterfish surfing a sunlit wave is what I see when I close my eyes, which sometimes leads to insomnia. They are truly the love of my life.

Flylords: What is the process of making a fly and then selling it? When do you know it’s ready for production?

Jeffrey: The fly must be a unique and consistent producer. I write a material recipe and take a step-by-step photo with instructions, then throw six in a bag and send them to Rio – the rest is up to them.

Flylords: Do you have any advice for anyone looking to start hooking up?

Jeffrey: Just go for it, start with some basic patterns (Gotchas, Clousers, Deceivers, EP baitfish) and explore from there. Think outside the box and see everything as if it could be used as material. As cliche as it sounds, many times less is more. YouTube is also a great resource!

Flylords: How did you come up with the Feczko Cheeseburger? Why should anyone fish for it?

Jeffrey: I love a cheeseburger, how could you not? I think my model looks the equivalent of a cheeseburger, but for fish. It’s versatile as hell, looks like a lot of different types of crabs, passes for a shrimp, and is basically just a Berkley bait with a pug eye. I created it in the Seychelles while running Alphonse. It just really happened, triggerfish will drive you crazy there 1 – because they’ve obviously seen a few flies, and 2 – they’re just hard to convince anyway, they all seem to have individual personalities. However, they absolutely loved the Cheeseburgers.

Flylords: What’s Next for Jeffrey Feczko?

Jeffrey: I’ve got a few months left in Baja, then Alaska until October, then Mag Bay with Los Locos until mid-January – after that it’s a secret.

A big thanks goes out to Jeffrey for taking the time out of his busy guidebook schedule to answer these questions. It was a pleasure to talk to him and pick his brain about the incredible life he lives every day. We wish him the best in his adventures! If you want to follow him on Instagram, his username is @tothegills.

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