Pace was born in Atlanta, Georgia where, believe it or not, he caught any fish within a 2 mile radius. At 7 years old, he attended a week long fishing camp on Lake Seminole in southern Georgia where he first used a fly rod. Bass and bream were his primary targets with a few Georgia shell-crackers to spice things up. Pace attended the University of Georgia and studied zoology. He moved to Boone in 1993 so he could be closer to his passions like rock climbing and mountain biking. He loved the High Country so much, he stayed and attended graduate school at Appalachian State for several years studying saw-whet owls.