Employee Spotlight – Matthew Mendini
Next up in our employee spotlight series is TroutRoute’s Marketing Specialist, Matthew Mendini, who just recently relocated to Minneapolis for TR! Matthew was raised along Wisconsin’s coast of Lake Michigan, hunting in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan more often than fishing before attending school in Chicago at DePaul University. A couple of years ago, he moved to Colorado with his partner, Becca, hoping to enjoy the state’s outdoor recreation opportunities. It wasn’t until just at the beginning of this year that he got hooked on fly fishing after receiving an old rod from Becca’s brother. Matthew spent many hours on the water this summer exploring Colorado’s waterways and utilized TroutRoutes for each new adventure. When not on the water, Matthew enjoys photographing various products in his home photo studio, cooking (Italian food is his specialty) with his partner and going on adventures with their husky, Koda.
Matthew is excited about the ability to help get the resource that has helped shape his fly fishing journey into the hands of new and experienced anglers alike!
Get To Know our Marketing Specialist, Matthew!
1. How/why did you start fishing/fly fishing?
Growing up, I sporadically fished with friends on the weekends for perch or walleye and don’t get me wrong, I enjoyed it, but it never grabbed a hold of me the way it did some people I knew. That all changed earlier this year when I was given a fly rod by my partner’s brother who knew I would enjoy fly fishing and the community and lifestyle that surrounded it. He was not wrong. It took me hours of time spent on the water to catch my first fish on the fly and I loved every single minute of it which was a big shift for me in my fishing journey and went a long way in officially getting me “hooked” on fly fishing in a way that I could never have imagined.
I would have to go with an Elk Hair Caddis. By far one of my most fished and most successful flies when fishing any random day out west. I also love the variation that can come from seemingly such a simple fly.
3. What is your favorite fishing memory?
This is easy. My favorite fishing memory would be when I caught my first catfish with my grandfather. We brought the fish inside, skinned it and cooked it up fresh for dinner and I still remember the pure joy that I experienced with him in that moment. It is incredible that something people have been doing for thousands of years can still bring us so much happiness.
4. What is a destination that you would really like to fish/travel to?
I would have to say Christmas Island is currently atop my list of travel destinations. The top fish on my “dream” species list is the incredible Surge Wrasse and the waters around Christmas Island are known to hold some of the most beautiful so I hope to make it there one day and watch one of those neon bullets take a fly.
5. Favorite fishing trip snack?
Always have to go with a good ol’ backpack squished PB&J. Raspberry jelly all day.
6. How has TroutRoutes effected your personal fishing?
Well, TroutRoutes actually is the main resource that helped me get into the sport earlier this year and is how I found the small creek that I caught my first fish on the fly on! Without TroutRoutes, it is likely that I would have become frustrated with the amount of gate-keeping within fly fishing and taken a very different route on my fly fishing journey than I was able to through the use of TroutRoutes Pro.
7. What are you most excited about in your position as Marketing Specialist for TR?
As someone who recently got into this sport and was welcomed by this community, I am excited to help promote TroutRoutes as an incredible resource and powerful tool for not only those new to the sport like I am but also to those who have been fishing for years as a way to find new waters and explore new areas… that’s what fly fishing it all about to me.
8. What is your favorite tool/feature within the app?
That’s a tough question considering we have so many but if I had to select just one, I would say the ability to download maps offline would be my favorite and likely one of my most used. I have always been a big advocate of getting out as far away from other people as possible when fishing/hiking so I often find myself out of the range of cell service. The ability to download maps within the area that I know I will be comes in handy almost every time I go out.
9. How do you think that TroutRoutes can impact the sport of fly fishing as a whole?
This is something we talk about in the office ALL the time so I have been able to think about this quite a lot and it honestly excites me because I think TroutRoutes has the ability to become the number one resource for those who are looking to not only find new waters and new places to explore but also for those who are looking to simply learn more about the sport, become better anglers and in-turn, better stewards of the lands we use.
10. What value driven initiative(s) that TroutRoutes is involved in are you most passionate/excited about and why?
When looking at the current organizations we have involved ourselves with, I would have to say that I am most excited about our partnership with Backcountry Hunters and Anglers. We current are involved at a state level here in Minnesota but are planning to expand to a national level of involvement. BHA seeks to ensure North America’s outdoor heritage of hunting and fishing in a natural setting is preserved, through education and work on behalf of wild public lands, waters, and wildlife and I think that as more people come to this amazing sport of fly fishing that we have the obligation to help preserve and protected for those who come after us.