Who is Von Beardly?
That’s an excellent question. Von Beardly is just a handle of a guy with a beard who shoots photos/video and likes to fish.
I think all the ladies will appreciate this question… How long have you been growing the beard for? Do you trim?
I’ve been rocking a full-time beard since 2010. I do not trim (generally). The fact is that God gave men and women hair for a reason. I don’t know all the reasons but I do know that when your hair reaches a certain length that’s all you get and your body can then dedicate all that protein and energy elsewhere instead of into a never ending hair farm that gets harvested on the daily. The ancient and modern yogis believe that your hair is an appendage of your body and can increase sensitivity spirituality stamina patience and energy. You won’t see me cutting my curly locks anytime soon. Besides, back in the day short hair and shaved faces were signs of conquered people. Slaves if you will. Case in point.
When was the first time you picked up a fly rod? How has that moment changed your life?
I’ve been spin fishing since I was old enough to hold a pole. When I was 21 I dated a woman who wanted me to take her fly fishing (ladies that’s a pretty cool move). She didn’t want to fish. She wanted to watch me fish. And that’s just what we did. From that moment on it became my favorite way to catch a fish.
How long have you been in the fly fishing industry, how did it all begin?
I did my very first gear reviews and promotional photos in 2004. Fisknat Nets, Korkers boots, and Cliff Fly Boxes. The catalyst for me was the washingtonflyfishing.com forum. I think many of us spent more time on that website than we did actually working at full-time jobs.
If you were stranded on a tropical Island and only had one fly and one rod what would they be? Also you can choose one celebrity to accompany you…
Of course since that would mean saltwater I would have a 12wt. LOOP Cross S1 and a LOOP opti BIG reel. The fly would be a Clouser. No doubt about it. My celebrity side kick would be Brad Pitt of course. At some point early on we would probably come to blows and after I choked him out we would be BFFs. Besides, the movie that they would make about us would be epic.
Speaking of celebrities, do you have any role models in the fishing industry? Hmmmm that’s a good question. If Toshiro Mifune fly fished he would be my number 1. But since he was more of a Samurai than a fly fisher I have to default to Frank Smethurst. I’m really not a fanboy but ever since I saw Running Down the Man I wanted to meet Frank. He’s just as cool in person as he is in the movies.
You seem to have quite the appetite for insects. What is your favorite bug to eat, and why?
No doubt Green Drakes. They taste like fresh almonds.
Many of us have heard the stories about the Legendary Neck Beard, tell us a little about your relationship with him.
Oh boy where do I start? Imagine a cross between an Apparition, Sasquatch, Ichabod Crane, Horace Greeley,
And Barney Fife and that one annoying know it all friend who won’t stop talking, but who is actually a total Expert and has wicked accurate deadly intel on all things fishing.
He fishes with what I call the Frankenstein rod which is actually about 6 different rod pieces that he dumpster dived from behind sportsmans warehouse and pieced together by overlapping, wrapping and epoxying. And he fishes with one of those old school auto wind reels… so when he’s shouting at you from across the river “He’s spooling me, he’s spooling me!” What he really means is that he is nearing the end of his 90 ft fly line. He looks like he couldn’t catch a fish in a million years (if there is such a thing) but he is one of the most effective Fishermen/ Fly Tyers/ Sportsmen I’ve ever met. And he is an expert at observation and gathering intel on fishing holes. Don’t be surprised if you find him standing in your favorite secret spot sometime in the near future.
What is our relationship like? Well I certainly did not like him when I first met him, He was fishing in my run. But he grew on me. He doesn’t have a cell phone and doesn’t own a tv or a computer so he’s a little hard to get a hold of. If you need to find him your best bet is to lurk around the lower Henry’s Fork during the Months of March April and May.
You are one hell of a photographer… What are some tips you can give an aspiring photographer.
I think that Brian O’keefe said something to the effect of, “know when to put the rod down and pick the camera up.” I think that’s pretty good advice. From me: Good Camera Bodies are easy to come by. None of the big camera companies are making junk these days. Get yourself a good body and invest your Money in high quality lenses. While I think that having a pro quality zoom lens with auto focus is essential I also think that doing research on and acquiring vintage manual focus lenses that are adaptable to modern camera bodies can be a game changer for filming and photography especially for landscapes. Most of my best selling landscapes have been shot with vintage manual focus lenses.
Favorite Camera/Lens Combo?
That’s a tough one. At the moment for the money Olympus M5 markii and the 40-150 Pro lens.
The craziest fishing trip you have been on?
Definitely the Costa Rica Challenge. You’ll have to google it.
One bucket list trip?
Whats next in the life of Marc Crapo?
I’ve recently Joined April Vokey and Mikey Weir as an Ambassador for the International Fly Fishing Film Festival. I will have a film in the 2017 Film Festival and will be hosting a number of shows around the US. I will also be putting together, for release online, Episode 1 of The Beard Chronicles: The Legend of Neckbeard. So watch for that in 2017.
P.S. after 41 years of solo hunting I met the woman of my dreams and we were married in July 2016.