Matt Lewis was born and raised in Geneva, Alabama where the rivers are the main source of recreation. Camping, kayaking, and fishing with friends and family were all activities that deepened his love for flowing water. While in graduate school he discovered fly fishing and has developed an affinity for small stream bass, especially the redeye bass. Although he fishes for anything that swims, Matt really enjoys the solitude of backcountry angling and he prefers Jackson Kayaks due to their ability to handle the rigors of rocky, upland streams.
Matt has written a couple of articles for fly fishing magazines and published his first book, Fly Fishing for Redeye Bass, in 2018. The book is a guide to everything you need to know about redeye bass and how to catch them. Writing the book changed the trajectory of Matt’s career from human genetics to fisheries genetics to give these fish and the rivers they call home a voice for conservation.
Matt lives in Opelika, Alabama with his wife and daughter where he is pursuing his PhD in conservation genetics from Auburn University’s School of Fisheries and Aquatic Sciences. Matt’s research focuses on understanding the genetic differences between bass species and how we can use that information to better protect them. Matt uses fly fishing to get people out on the streams and rivers of the southeast as an important part of driving home the need for better awareness and conservation for our pristine waterways. He is also on the National Advisory Council for Native Fish Coalition, an organization that works to protect native fish in their native habitat.