Mentor Staff Biographies

Mike Abramowitz

I love to fish for many species of fish,  big or small, that will bend the rod. I have been fly fishing for many years and have fished throughout the US to include MD, VA, PA, NY, CT, NH, ME, MT, WY, TN, CO, CA, AK and VT. Additionally I have fished overseas in Patagonia, Belize, the Caribbean and in Canada. I have been active with various Trout Unlimited sponsored volunteer activities to include Project Healing Waters, and Casting for Recovery.  A number of my articles have been published in the "MidAtlantic Fly Fishing Guide" Magazine. I love to tie flys and build non-bamboo fly rods. Over the past few years, I have given a "Safety While Fly fishing" presentation to a number of local fishing groups and TU chapters.  I look forward to helping many new PPTU members have memorable experiences while out there enjoying themselves along the streams.

Bob Kaiser

I have been fly fishing for about 18 years, primarily in Maryland and Pennsylvania, but also NY, ME, NH, WV, and MI.  My focus has been on trout, but also pursue other species as opportunities permit.  Smallmouth bass are lots of fun, as are panfish on a light rod.  I am typically out fishing 2 days per week, tie my own flies, and I fish all year.  Nearby favorite streams within a 2 hour drive include the Gunpowder, Morgan Run, Big Hunting Creek, Owens Creek, Little and Middle Patuxent in Maryland, and Conewago Creek, Yellow Breeches, and Big Spring in Pennsylvania.  I have mentored multiple people starting fly fishing, and participate in Trout in the Classroom field activities.  Wade fishing streams with north country spyders and other wet flies is my favorite style.

Bob O'Donnell

I've been fishing since childhood and fly fishing since I was in high school. Growing up in Pennsylvania there were plenty of rivers, lakes, ponds and streams to explore. I got into fly tying while in high school and college, took a hiatus for several years while serving in the military but started up again shortly after moving to Maryland in 1988 and eventually joining PPTU. The group renewed my interest in tying and trout fishing.

Besides tying flies, I've built a few fly rods and volunteer in many fly fishing activities as time allows. I've mentored both individuals and groups in fly casting instruction and often assist in Orvis run fly fishing schools. I'm currently working on obtaining my Casting Instructor certification from Fly Fishers International. I'm an artist by trade, so when I'm not fishing or tying flies you'll find me either painting or drawing.

Craig Vanderkolk

I grew up in Michigan doing some outdoor activities, but never taking advantage of the wonderful fishing opportunities.  I remember tying flies for fun as a teen but never caught a fish on any of them until I discovered them when I started fly fishing again in the 90’s. 

For many years I fished the gunpowder and occasionally when I traveled to conferences around the country.  In the past 5 years, I became somewhat addicted to fly fishing and it has helped me through the ups and downs of covid.  I try to fish once a week and often in the warmer weather, twice a week.  I’ve enjoyed traveling around Maryland and now around Pennsylvania to fish the great streams in our area.  My favorite streams are the Savage and North Branch of the Potomac, both of which I’m dedicated to learning as much as I can about fishing them.  

I try to take one western fishing trip a year and recently fished the San Juan which was the best fishing I’ve ever experienced with 10+ fish per day that averaged 18” on size 22 flys and 5.5x tippet, unbelievable. 

I haven’t taught many people how to fly fish, but look forward to passing on some of my knowledge and love of fishing.