A team with years of fishing experience
Our team of fly fishing experts have the expertise to help you with any of your fishing questions.
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 trout and 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 FFI.
Mark Shimazu is originally from Hawaii and has a degree in architecture from the University of Washington. He has spent his life chasing fish in the Northwest and beyond. Mark has been guiding for decades and focuses on float trips down the blue ribbon Yakima river just east of Seattle. Dry fly fishing is his forte and every guest gets a lesson in entomology and how to find feeding fish. When not in the shop, or on the water, you will find Mark tying flies, volunteering his time and helping train guides and staff.
Joe first picked up a rod on the banks of Tin Cup Creek outside of Darby, Montana. At the age of 12 he was hooked...literally hooked. It’s amazing how a few dozen 6 inch Trout and a yellow fiberglass rod can alter the course of a young man's life. Since that time Joe has turned his boyhood passion into a lifelong obsession. He has worked in the industry as a sales rep, a fishing guide, and has hosted destination travel both near and far.
Joe loves a good old fashioned road trip, chasing steelhead or trout around the Northwest. Why not..? It is in his blood. The original trip to Montana was in a 1973 Green Volvo Wagon, “The Green Machine”. He also loves ankle deep crystal blue water with white sand and shimmering tails, anything that requires a panga, a palapa, and sunscreen….oh, and anything that requires a prop with floats is good too.
As a member of the Avid team Joe looks forward to sharing his passion, experiences, and hopes to become a resource, helping our customers journey out on their own fishing adventures.
Sam's passion for fly fishing began at an early age. He is an innovative fly tyer and, at thirteen, became the youngest board member of a Trout Unlimited Chapter. You will find Sam in-store throughout the week, and he enjoys explaining how to tie or fish for any species that swims.
Leland began fly fishing in 1968 when he sent away for a complete fly fishing outfit from LL Bean and a beginning fly tying kit from Orvis. After receiving his new rod and reel, he laid down his spinning rod forever and began to teach himself to cast and tie flies. Exactly one year later to the day, he caught a small brook trout on his own fly. Since then, Leland has fished most of the streams and lakes of California, Oregon, Idaho, Washington; the well-known hotspots in New Mexico, Wyoming and Montana; the great steelhead rivers in British Columbia; and one well-guarded secret river in Idaho. Leland fishes and guides on the local Puget Sound beaches for searun coastal cutthroat and coho salmon with his surface fly exclusively – the "Miyawaki Beach Popper." He currently works part-time at Avid Angler in Lake Forest Park, Washington.
Aaron Bourget is a fervent fly-flicker and dedicated video geek. He grew up fishing the warm waters of Northern California before moving to Seattle in 1997. When he isn’t squinting through a camera viewfinder you’ll find him float tubing a lake or swinging flies in a cold river, waiting for the line to stop and the whole world to stop with it.
Aaron learned fly fishing the hard way, wading to his armpits and double hauling 9wt shooting heads for Sacramento River shad. He vows to help make your learning curve easier and safer than his.
Where did they go?
Jack Ritter - Manager Gong.io
Henley Ashmun - Traveling, reporting back soon.
David Jenkins - Airflo Sales Manager
Jacob Powell - Mayfly Outdoors Sales Manager (Ross/Abel/Airflo)
Gerald Malpass - back to Northern CA to chase stripers
James Garrettson - New Mexico guide at About Trout
Brita Fordice - Research and Development at Farbank (Sage, Rio, Redington)
Andrew Grillos - Mechanical engineer living in Bozeman, MT
John Paine - Advertising executive for Premier Media Group
Joel Oerter - Strategic Programs at AWS, Graduate from the UW Foster School of Business
Ben Waldschmidt - Returned to the Midwest, his stomping grounds
Nathan Keen - Finance Manager at Nordstrom