Andrew Grillos is here today to tell us how the Hippie Stomper came to be.

Andrew is known for a number of his commercially tied flies at Umpqua Feather Merchants but we also dig into some of his flies that didn’t make it to Umpqua but works awesome.. like the Pizza fly that he’s been feeding trout since 2005.

He also shares a powerful recovery story from a devastating stroke at the age of 37. He talks about how he finished a 100-mile ultramarathon in 32 hours, 2 months prior to his stroke.

What kept Andrew going and what is it like to be an inch close to death? Listen to his story to find out!


Click below and listen to the Podcast about the Hippie Stomper Fly with Andrew Grillos:

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(Read the Full Transcript at the bottom of this Blog Post)


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hippie stomper fly
Photo by Jake Burleson

Show Notes with Andrew Grillos

04:55 – Andrew chose his undergraduate degree based around fishing and snowboarding in Gunnison Colorado. He studied at Western State College. He snowboarded 100 days a year and fished in between. Then he became a guide for High Mountain Drifters.

07:30 – He then guided in Alaska and Southern Chile

09:30 – We talk about how the Hippie Stomper came about

hippie stomper fly
Photo courtesy of Umpqua Feather Merchants

12:50 – Around June 20th is one of the best times to fish the Gunnison River

15:30 – Matt and Jerry owns the Driftless Angler in Wisconsin

16:45 – The Heavy-metal Worm pattern

hippie stomper fly
Photo courtesy of Umpqua Feather Merchants

17:45 – Andrew has 15 flies in Umpqua. He was also active in their blog.

18:30 – Andrew wanted to do more commercially produced flies than Brian Silvey and he eventually did. Brian had 15, Andrew did 22. Brian Silvey was on the podcast at WFS 148.

20:00 – Russ Miller told the story of how Umpqua Feather Merchants began at WFS 303 – Andrew tells the story of how he met Russ at a trade show

23:11 – Andrew shares what it’s like relearning his patterns after having a stroke in November 2020

27:10 – Andrew used to guide in the Olympic Peninsula, Skagit River

29:10 – Steelhead tip: Read the water – imagine what your fly is doing at the end of your line. Don’t mend it left and right, make your cast good, and fish your fly.

30:20 – A sparkly big fly is what Andrew prefers for steelhead

31:40 – Andrew went to New Zealand for 6 months with his wife. He got so obsessed with fishing there.

hippie stomper fly

36:25 – One of his favorite flies to tie is a steelhead hairwing

hippie stomper fly

38:20 – The Steelhead Coachman was a pattern by John Hazel

steelhead coachman
Photo courtesy of Umpqua Feather Merchants

43:10 – Click here to watch the video documentary about his stroke

44:10 – Andrew gives a shoutout to the healthcare providers that helped him recover. Their hard work is truly appreciated. Now Andrew can trail run and fish again.

46:45 – Andrew guided Louis Cahill in Alaska, 2010. Louis was on the podcast at WFS 206.

56:00 – Big foam dry flies work great in the Gunnison river or even like sofa pillow and huge stimulators.

1:00:40 – Andrew describes the Gunnison Canyon

1:05:30 – Andrew’s been feeding trout his Pizza fly since 2005. It’s been denied for years though for commercial tying.

hippie stomper fly

1:08:15 – Andrew talks about how he did the ultra-marathon. He finishes 100 miles in 32 hours and tells us how and why.

1:12:50 – His favorite fish that he caught was the steelhead from the Skagit river

hippie stomper fly

1:14:20 – Fish Hunter that has the best marabou feathers and colors

1:17:40 – Andrew will be working with Tom Morgan Rodsmith. Matt Barber and Joel Doub from TMR was on the podcast at WFS 161.


You can find Andrew on Instagram at @andrew_grillos_flyfishing

Visit his website at


Hippie Stomper Fly Videos Noted in the Show

Click here to watch the documentary video about his stroke


Related Podcast Episodes to the Hippie Stomper Fly

WFS 303 – Umpqua Feather Merchants with Russ Miller + Euro Nymphing Bonus

Steelhead Fishing in Oregon with Brian Silvey (WFS 148)

Read the Full Podcast Transcript Below

hippie stomper fly
Denver Rathbun Photo

Conclusion with Andrew Grillos

So there you go..

What a story from Andrew.. that truly is awakening. That reminds us that things can happen even when you’re in your best shape. So it’s best to not take things for granted and appreciate all the little things we can do because sooner or later we won’t be able to do them as easily.

I’m happy that Andrew survived that big one.. and thankful for the people that helped him get back to the life that he enjoys.

I hope you get even better Andrew. Stroke can’t kill your passion! We are deeply inspired by your testimony and hope that as we remember your story, we change for the better.. the way we think, act, and speak.

Thank you Andrew. Cheers!



  1. I loved the show with Andrew Grillos until he started talking about showing respect to others and following the golden rule. I agreed and applauded his attitude until he described the aftermath of his stroke and being with a bunch of old senile older folks in diapers. Let me tell you something Andrew, it did not sound like you had much respect and empathy for the citizens of the greatest generation that worked their asses off and sacrificed so one day you would have the freedom in this country to be the trout bum that you are. Remember that Andrew Grillos. My mother is one of them, 100 years old – sitting in a nursing home, senile in diapers. She didn’t have time to brag about running ultra marathons and fishing all over the world. She was busy working in a world war II factory, raising a family on a farm, thinking about people and praying for people. So Andrew Grillos, remember these people in your thoughts and prayers – learn to think about and pray for people and show some respect!