Gary Kalinka

  Gary represents Nextcast for the Great Lakes region. He is one of the original “ghetto casters”. A tongue-in-cheek phrase he coined for 2-handed fishing in an urban environment. Born and raised in Grand Rapids, Michigan, he calls West Michigan home. 

Gary is a R&D engineer at a medical device manufacture. He works with the world’s best surgeons to create “access to better outcomes”. He is also an inventor, holding numerous patents for a wide range of products.

Gary started his fly fishing journey in 1976 at the ripe age of 12. He promptly destroyed a handed-down bamboo fly rod learning how to cast. This set-back provided him the opportunity to build his first rod, a 7 ½’ 5wt, Fenwick Feralite. And just as every beginner experiences, he snapped off and lost many flies. Once again, Gary found another opportunity. He took tying lessons at a local shop and became “that kid” hanging out and spending his lawn mowing money. His first steelhead encounter left him shaking on the river bank in 1978 and there was no looking back!

Forever a student of the sport, he competes at the Spey-O-Rama World Championship, learning from the best casters in the world. If he is unable to be on the water to fish or cast, he can be found in his backyard, practice casting a single hander. Gary introduces many beginners to fly fishing and he regularly demonstrates long rods and long lines at regional spey casting events.

Gary has been fishing Nextcast lines since 2006. His favorites are the WA55 and WA70 and comments “I use a WA55 in brutal winter weather on my home waters. This is the perfect line for lift, cast, swing and step in sub-freezing conditions. The WA70 is the best new line on the market and I’m really looking forward to fishing it this winter.”