After graduating from New York University, Rich gave up the city and went to work at the Battenkill Angler's Nook in Shushan , NY for $50 a week plus room and board. He tied flies, raised hackle, sold fly fishing gear, and guided on the Battenkill. Eventually, he and George Schlotter formed Battenkill Flies and Materials to raise and market genetic hackle, and to package and sell other fly tying materials. Along with this he also wrote for Fly Fisherman, Fly Tyer and other publications, sold real estate, and bar-tended. All in all a pretty good life.
However all things change and after 6 years, a new wife and a child the partnership ended. Rich then returned to his college roots in economics and went to work for Glens Falls National Bank from which he retired after nearly 34 years, in 2014. During this time Rich continued to write, teach and give seminars on fly tying and casting, and continued to tie flies. He estimates he has tied over 30,000 dozen flies over the years.
My love affair with the Battenkill began when I first fished it almost 60 years ago. It was so strong that I gave up the opportunities offered by a blue ribbon education to move to its banks and work in a fly shop for $50 a week and room and board! That was 47 years ago, and I have lived in several places but never more that a few miles from the Battenkill.