Jason Randall is a Woodstock veterinarian who founded Animal Hospital of Woodstock in 1991 with his wife, Joann. In addition to sharing their work day, the Randalls share a love of fly-fishing. Jason’s love of the sport borders on maniacal.
He plans a minimum of two fly-fishing outings a month to various locations near and far. When he’s not in a pair of waders, traversing moving water, he is thinking about what his next fly-fishing book is going to be about. He already has two books to his credit, and the third is on the way.
Randall took up fly-fishing rather recently. He was on vacation in Colorado with Joann and his children, Erin and Evan. They were with the family of Good Shepherd doctor Dan Pesavento and his family. Pesavento suggested giving fly-fishing a try, and Randall immediately was hooked.
“I wasn’t always a fly-fisherman,” Jason Randall said. “I remember getting up at 3:30 in the morning to go bass fishing with my dad. All day in an aluminum boat eating a sticky bun from a gas station and drinking a cup of tepid hot chocolate.”
“Now that I fly-fish, I hit the water at 10. Stop for lunch. Fish some more, come in for a great dinner. Fish for another hour or so and then come in for a good Scotch. That doesn’t sound too bad, does it?”
Randall is certified in Fish Health and Medicine and is a member of the Worldwide Aquatic Veterinary Medical Association as well as the Society for Freshwater Science. Although he doesn’t practice these specialties in his veterinary business, it helps him understand the world of the trout and salmon he so loves to chase.
“The intellectual and scientific aspect of fly-fishing is really appealing to me,” Randall said. “There are so many scientific disciplines involved. You need to understand weather, water currents and movement. You need to understand entomology to know the diet of the trout.”
Randall began writing for a national duck hunting magazine in 2001. After he was bitten by the fly bug, he began to write for fly-fishing publications. In 2012, his first fly-fishing book was released, “Moving Water – A Fly Fisher’s Guide to Current.”
His second tome, “Feeding Time – A Fly Fisher’s Guide to What, When and Where Trout Eat,” will be on stands in a couple weeks. He has signed a contract for a third book to come out in 2014.
Randall’s books are good sellers and he is in demand as a seminar speaker. He drew full-house crowds at the past few Great Outdoors Expos in Woodstock.
“Jason does a great job instructing people on the art of fly-fishing,” said Dave Kranz from Dave’s Bait, Tackle and Taxidermy in Crystal Lake. “Jason has a great style and makes his topic very understandable for both the beginner and the veteran fly-fisherman.”
The 56-year old Randall hopes to someday get to a couple of items on his fly-fishing “bucket list.” He’d love to fly-fish on Russia’s Kamchatka Peninsula and also travel to the Patagonia region of South America. There will be an awful lot of Midwestern expeditions and an awful lot of domestic trout and salmon caught before then.