About Captain Chris Ricci
Catching fish since the age of 2. Identifying mushrooms for over 25 years.
Boy Scout prepared. Coast Guard licensed. CPR and First Aid trained.
Captain Chris Ricci at your service! My aim is to give you the highest quality outdoor experience available. I have been finding mushrooms since the age of 15 and catching fish since the age of 2. There is no substitute for time on the water or time in the woods. That is what it takes to consistently find your target species of fish and fungi.
I grew up in a fishing family in St. Louis, MO. My father, grandfather, uncles and cousins taught me how to fish. My grandfather built a cabin at Lake of the Ozarks, where I spent most of my summer vacations catching bluegill on balls of white bread or American cheese. One day in 1985, my uncle tied a Texas rigged firetail junebug worm on my Snoopy pole, and I caught my first largemouth bass. After that I was hooked.
I carried a fishing pole everywhere I went (and still do). I have been fortunate to be able to fish throughout my life in many parts of the world. From floating Ozark creeks to jigging for big tarpon to casting under mangroves for snook, trout and redfish to catching Colorado trout through the ice to big boating yellowtail and mako sharks off Catalina Island, I've fished a lot! Still, black bass (Micropterus) and bluegill (Lepomis) will always hold that number one place in my heart. Thus it is fitting that I ended up making a life and raising a family just 30 minutes from the spectacular fishery that is Navajo Lake.
I am a lifetime B.A.S.S. member with one Lake Mead U.S. Open under my belt. I was a marshal for the Bassmaster Elite Series at Grand Lake in 2018. I acquired my MMC from the U.S. Coast Guard in 2020 and have been guiding on the water ever since.
My prowess for finding and identifying mushrooms began in the mid 1990's. I would collect mushrooms from yards, city parks and woods wherever I went. I made spore prints and attempted to identify my finds by cross-referencing descriptions in three particular field guides, which I still use today. I joined the Missouri Mycological Society and went on group forays. It took some time, but I eventually found a mushroom I knew was safe to eat. It was a Leccinum from upstate New York. Everywhere I traveled, I would add to my known list of species, and my confidence in mycophagy grew.
I have hunted (and eaten) mushrooms in Colorado, New Mexico, Missouri, Illinois, New York, Massachusetts, Washington, Oregon, California, Florida, North Carolina, Tennessee, Mexico, Senegal, South Africa, Botswana, Malawi, Zimbabwe, Tanzania, Kenya and Ethiopia. I am a self-taught mushroom cultivator and a wild mushroom supplier to restaurants and farm markets. I trained my dog, Daisy, to hunt truffles. And I am blessed to live tucked right up against the San Juan Mountains of southwest Colorado, one of the great mycodiversity hotspots on planet Earth. It is here that I have been guiding mushrooms forays and teaching mycology for the last 15 years.
Licensed, Bonded and Insured
Fish & Fungi LLC is an equal opportunity service provider operating under special use permit on the San Juan and Uncompahgre National Forests.