Born into a commercial fishing family, Dale grew up off the grid north of Ketchikan. In his youth, he crewed on the family salmon troller and tugboats, then operated his own fishing vessel for fifteen years. He was employed by the Alaska Department of Fish and Game as a Fisheries Biologist for five seasons, and spent twenty-three years in the visitor industry operating vessel sightseeing tours and charters. He sold his tour business in 2014 and now devotes his time to writing, art, and trout fishing. He and his wife live in Ketchikan.