Meet Our Staff

OWNER & TRAVEL DEPARTMENT DIRECTOR

David Leake

David Leake has nearly fifteen years of experience in the fly fishing travel and retail industry. In addition to being the owner of the company, David manages the travel department at Tailwaters. David has traveled throughout the world developing our travel offerings. These destinations include, but are not limited to, Alaska, Argentina, Bahamas, Belize, Brazil, Canada, Chile, Costa Rica, Mexico, New Zealand, Russia, Seychelles, Venezuela, and of course all through the United States. David is the copywriter for all of Tailwaters brochures and pre-trip information and editorial content for the company. David is a graduate of the University of Texas at Austin, and has three children, Lynsie, Patrick, and Sam, with his wife, Melissa.

General Manager

Neil Turner

Neil has been a long time loyal customer since our early days on McKinney Ave, and joined Tailwaters Fly Fishing Company full time as our GM in Fall 2019.  In addition to being an avid fly fisherman, Neil brings a wealth of operations and business development experience to our team from his time as a multi store restaurant owner/operator.  With a warm and loveable personality, Neil lives for customer service, building relationships, and maintaining a happy and productive work environment at the shop. After attending Texas Tech University, Neil spent time in Telluride Colorado working for Telluride Angler. Neil has two decades of experience fishing for trout throughout the US in Wyoming, Idaho, Nevada, California, Alaska, and Arkansas.  These days, if not in the shop you will likely find Neil in the Vail Valley, striper fishing on the Brazos, or on the Texas coast. Neil also sits on the board for Borracho Pescador out of Fort Worth that combines fishing and awareness to raise funds for Rett Syndrome in conjunction with Casting 4 A cure – chiefly through BP’s charitable redfish tournament each year in Port O’Connor, TX. Neil resides in East Dallas with his wife Lauren, and their two daughters Hazel and Winnie.

Creative Director + CMO

Matt Jones

Matt Jones is our Texas-grown media and marketing guru. Matt is responsible for all our graphic design, photography and digital marketing. In addition to traveling the globe shooting much of our travel department’s imagery, you may also recognize many of Matt’s photos published in all forms of fly fishing media including the Drake and Fly Fish Journal as well as the use of his images in marketing and media for Patagonia Clothing Company, Costa Sunglasses, Loon Outdoors, YETI Coolers, and much more. Matt is an avid angler, but almost never puts down the camera for the fly rod. He lives in Colorado with his wife Andi, son Hank, and 2 dogs Brinkley & Maple. 

Buyer + CFO

Craig Tatum

Craig is from the coast of Texas and is our go-to guy for everything buying, accounting, inventory, and finance.  With a history of self employment in service businesses, Craig has an incredible work ethic. His scrupulous work balancing budgets, laying out buy plans, ordering and revising, handling payables and receivables, inventory control – and just about anything else related to the finances falls in Craig’s lap.  Craig’s perfectionist approach makes him the perfect man for the job and there is no doubt we are very lucky to have Craig in charge of the company checkbook! A graduate of the University of Texas at Austin, Craig lives in Rockwall with his huge family and German Shepherd, “Hoss”.

INSTRUCTION MANAGER, HEAD LOCAL GUIDE & RETAIL SALES

Sean Polk

Our longest-tenured member of the Tailwaters staff, Sean came to us nearly a decade ago from the Orvis Company where he was their “Fishing Manager.”  Sean is well known in the DFW area as a fly fishing super-guru with a deep depth of knowledge about all the local fisheries. He is also an incredible instructor and has expanded our fly fishing schools, lessons, guided local day trips, and destination school events. Some of Sean’s favorite places to fish are his home waters of the Paluxy River, Belize, the Pacific Northwest, the marshes of Louisiana and the Gulf Coast of Texas.  Sean is an avid hunter, grill master, avid fly tier, and connoisseur of fine whiskey! Sean is most often who will greet you when you walk in the shop and is the ultimate resource for technical gear and tackle questions. Sean is very well-traveled and also hosts multiple trips each year for our travel department.

Outfitting Manager + Travel Specialist

Kristian Cole

Kristian Cole started part time in January 2016 and has since evolved into one of our most critical team leaders wearing many hats.  In addition to his knowledgeable and enthusiastic presence on the sales floor, Kristian takes the lead with outfitting our travel business clients.  Kristian is a fine casting instructor, and also helps teach at our schools and clinics. With an aptitude for incredible customer service, Kristian is also working into a more solidified role in our travel department.  Before coming on board our staff, Kristian spent a ton of time fishing on the Texas Coast while attending Texas A&M Corpus Christi before moving back to his hometown in Dallas. Well loved by all our customers and staff, Kristian and his can-do attitude no doubt has a very bright future as a lifer in the fly fishing industry.

Retail Sales + Instructor

Jeff Jackson

Jeff has been a staple in the Dallas fly fishing scene for over 20 years dating back to the early days of Orvis Dallas as well as Westbank Anglers and Blue Drake Outfitters in Inwood Village. Most recently, Jeff has spent the last 12 years in sales and marketing with Temple Fork Outfitters. His upbeat attitude, friendly smile, and deep knowledge of the world of retail, fly fishing, fly tying, casting instruction, and customer service make him an invaluable member of our team. Jeff also has a very impressive fishing resume with experience from Baja to Belize to the Amazon.

Retail Sales + Instructor

Laura Ducker

Lara Ducker is from the Texas Hill Country town of Kerrville. With over 16 years of fishing experience, her passion for fishing started at a young age and grew even more when she discovered fly fishing. Having this love and passion for fly fishing, she enjoys instructing and helping newcomers into the sport. Lara’s warm smile is a welcome asset on the sales floor – especially for our lady customers outnumbered by all the guys on the staff!   Lara is a great casting instructor as well. She currently resides not far from the shop with her pup Hadley!

Inventory Manager

Bo Glascow

Bo joined the Tailwaters team in December 2015 and has taken on the role as our Inventory Manager. With Skateboarding and art as his passions, we’re sure fishing and camping is not far behind. Bo is a Dallas native but Colorado has been home to him for the past 10 years. Tailwaters shop dog, Nollie, is never far behind; come say hi to her next time you are in the shop!

OFFICE MANAGER + TRAVEL DEPARTMENT ADMIN

Ana Schiwietz

Ana started working for us in March of 2016.  Before coming to Tailwaters, Ana worked at a wildly successful web-based children’s clothing company learning her way around e-commerce and social media platform sales.  While Ana is a huge asset helping to manage the day to day in our travel department, she also plays a key role in developing and managing our web store, assisting with event organization, generally keeping the office running smoothly, and so much more.  She wears a lot of hats and can be counted on for just about anything…. including bringing homemade baked goodies up to the shop each week! Ana was born and raised in Dallas, is a graduate of John Brown University in Northwest Arkansas and is a huge Razorback fan. 

Retail Sales + Marketing

Chris Gay

Chris is the newest member of our team and has a lengthy background of both guiding and traveling the globe with a fly rod. Growing up in North Georgia allowed him to discover fly fishing. From there he went on to get his marketing degree from Montana State in Bozeman, MT, while spending his summers guiding in Southwest Colorado.  After school, Chris took off for Belize where he helped manage and create creative content for Turneffe Flats Lodge, one of the most respected lodges in the Caribbean. Chris has enjoyed his time fishing all over the US, Bahamas, Belize, Costa Rica, but his favorite destination is New Zealand. For three months he cruised the South Island of New Zealand in a beater Subaru chasing mondo brown trout.  With his guiding experience, Chris has been a great addition as one of our casting instructors. Chris is also a fantastic photographer and assists with gathering, organizing, and creating content for our marketing efforts.

Retail Sales

Carter Smith

Carter began his career in the outdoor industry as a rafting, rock climbing and backpacking guide in Colorado. He spent his college summers on the Arkansas River and caught the bug for trout on the fly. His time back at school consisted of getting a read on the bass fisheries around College Station. After graduating from Texas A&M, he guided backpacking trips until he moved to Dallas and got married to his wife, Becca. Along with fly fishing, Carter also he enjoys mountain biking and live music.  Most recently, Carter was accepted into the Dallas Fire Academy – and will continue part time work on the sales floor as often as we can get him.

Travel Expert

Schuyler Marshall

Schuyler joined the Tailwaters Travel department in 2017, working remotely from Austin, Texas. He brings a lifetime of fly fishing experience and a love of the outdoors —, especially in remote places. He grew up an avid trout fisherman, fishing throughout the western U.S. (including living in Alaska for three years), Patagonia, and New Zealand. After moving to Austin, Schuyler caught the saltwater bug while fishing the Texas coast and then throughout Central America and the Caribbean. His latest passion is fly fishing the jungles of Amazonia. He has guided with Telluride Outside and is an IFFF Certified Casting Instructor.

Travel Ambassador

Patrick Duke

Patrick Duke is a Colorado native whose father introduced him to the fly rod at the young age of eight, and he quickly found himself tying flies by age 10. He moved to Gunnison, Colorado for college where he received two bachelor’s degrees in both fine art and business, as well as a “PhD in fly fishing.” Patrick has spent the last 15-plus years exploring the Gunnison drainage and guiding year-round. Specializing in float fishing, his guiding endeavors have taken him to the Arkansas River and the Black Canyon of the Gunnison Gorge. He now focuses his seasons on the headwaters of the Gunnison River, guiding out of Dragonfly Anglers, the longest established fly shop in the valley. Patrick has created a strong industry presence working as a brand ambassador for Howler Brothers, Thomas & Thomas, Hatch, Cortland, and Tailwaters Fly Fishing Company. In the offseason his focus is switched to traveling and fine art. Patrick’s oil paintings have been featured in Southwest Art Magazine, and he exhibits his art in two different Colorado galleries. Between guiding and oil painting Patrick is an avid traveling angler. From the marshes of Louisiana to the jungles of Bolivia to the flats of Cuba, his traveling experience makes him a natural fit for the Tailwaters family and an ideal host for your next angling adventure. To learn more about Patrick Duke visit ArtandAngling.com

Website:www.artandangling.com