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OUR GUIDES

Guide and Avid's managing owner, Ryan Smith brings a background in biology, conservation and photography. Since he can remember, fly fishing and appreciating the outdoors has been a way of life.

When fishing our saltwater beaches, you will be instructed on how to increase distance and power in the wind, so you can reach our cruising sea-run quarry. On the river, you will find Ryan chasing steelhead and searching for the next piece of holding water.

Growing up in Oregon and a few years in Montana, Idaho and Wyoming prepared him for our challenging Puget Sound fishing. Ryan is a certified casting instructor through the FFF.
Brita Fordice is a native to Washington state and learned to fly fish at the age of 8. Spending summers at her family house on the Stillaguamish river fed her desire to explore new fishing water. After a few years in Idaho and Alaska she returned to our emerald city. She has also extensively fished the waters of the Bahamas for bonefish, as well as a Florida for migratory tarpon.

Brita ties flies and is a virtual encyclopedia when it comes to recognizing and procuring tying materials from classic and modern flies. Fishing Puget Sound beaches, local lakes for big browns, and rivers for steelhead are her passion these days. She works in the shop Saturday through Monday and instructs all levels of anglers. Brita is also a pro staff member with Winston Fly Rods and Hatch Outdoors. Join her at an upcoming class or local guided adventure.
Joel Oerter grew up in Denver, Colorado, where he learned to fish on the waters of the South Platte and the Blue. Going to college in New York state afforded him the opportunity to explore creeks around Syracuse, and his summers were spent guiding on a small ranch on the Rio Grande near Durango. After teaching English in Normandy and waiting tables on the French Riviera, Joel moved to the Pacific Northwest in pursuit of the good life (and learning to catch steelhead!). When not working part-time in the shop or at REI, Joel is combing local beaches for sea-run cutts, practicing his double-handed casts, or composing a philosophical treatise on the merits of fish on the fly (and steelhead!). Stop by and introduce yourself to Joel. He teaches the Trout Rivers, Trout Tactics class and is also a certified casting instructor through the FFF.
Ben Waldschmidt grew up fishing with his dad and grandma for panfish, walleye, and bass in the lakes and rivers of northern and eastern Wisconsin and Ontario, Canada. Along the way, Ben started fly-fishing and not long after, started tying his own flies. Fly-fishing throughout Wisconsin, Michigan’s Upper Penninsula, and Ontario allowed him to fish for panfish, walleye, smallmouth bass, pike, Chinook salmon, and steelhead. In the summer of 2008, Ben moved to Washington and started exploring local rivers in search of steelhead. In his free-time he's likely to be on the river with his dog, Chromer, swinging a fly through a given run or sitting down at his vise tying steelhead flies.
Andrew Grillos is from Colorado where he was bitten by the fly fishing bug around age ten. Andrew began tying flies soon after as well. Andrew's fly tying progressed quickly and by the time high school began he was working as a part time commercial tier. When the time came to choose a college Andrew chose Western State College in Gunnison, Colorado based on the exceptional fishing in the area. Andrew's guiding career began at age 18, soon after making the move to Gunnison. Since then Andrew's guided in Colorado, Argentina, Chile, for Alaska West, and now in Washington. He's also been fortunate enough to spend 6 months living in a van while fishing all over New Zealand.

As Andrew's 13th year as a fly fishing guide approaches he's very happy to have found a spot on the Avid Angler Staff, working alongside others that share a similar passion for fly fishing.

Andrew is a Guide Ambassador for Simms Fishing Products, a Scott Fly Rods pro-staffer, an Umpqua Flies royalty tyer, Hatch Outdoors pro-staff and an ambassador for Greenfish.
 



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