A.J. Campbell grew up fishing trout streams in Vermont and New Hampshire. After a stint in the U.S. Navy, he settled in Maine and began his writing career. He was first published internationally in 1978. In 1981, A.J. became a Department Editor for Salt Water Sportsman and remained with the magazine for 25 years. He was Rod Editor for Fishing Collectibles Magazine and Salt Water Editor of The Maine Sportsman. Through the years, Campbell has been a USCG licensed captain and a Registered Maine Guide. In 1996, he wrote Successful Shark Fishing which included a pioneering chapter on fly tactics.
Campbell started collecting antique fishing tackle in 1968. In the mid-1970s, he began taking notes for a collector’s book on fly rods and reels. The research project culminated as Classic & Antique Fly Fishing Tackle, published in 1997 with a second (softcover) printing in 2002. Presently, A.J. is working on a new illustrated book, The Isaak Walton: Fred Thomas & His Trade Rods. He is a well-respected authority in the fly fishing community.
A.J. fished internationally for three decades, angling in 20 countries. He became known and recognized as a world-class angler, establishing an IGFA World Records as the first person to take a salt water record on a 2-lb test tippet. He also ranks among the few anglers to catch and release a fly-caught wahoo, a giant blue-fin on stand-up tackle, and a dry-fly blue shark. Today, he fly-casts for native Maine trout from his wooden canoe.
In addition to A.J.’s recognition as an authority on collectible fly tackle and its history, his other interests include researching the history of steppe tribes of Central Asia. He is also is a living history re-enactor and a Certified Instructor in traditional steppe archery. His writings include two ancient-era novels, The Demon’s Door Bolt (humorous sci-fi) and Forging the Blade (historical-mystical). A.J. also designs archaeologically based reproductions of Sarmatian arms and armor.