Staff

 

 

A team with years of fishing experience

From rivers to the sea our team of fly fishing experts have the expertise to help you with any of your fishing questions.

 

Ryan Smith

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

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.

 

Henley Ashmun

Henley was born and raised in Seattle. In college, fly fishing quickly developed into an obsession which led him to a Montana. Naturally, he honed his trout skills and worked with the experts at Blue Ribbon Flies. This led to the exploration of the numerous waters near West Yellowstone, Montana including the Madison, Henry's Fork and waters of Yellowstone National Park. Back in WA, he now works full-time at The Avid Angler. He has also fished steelhead extensively throughout Washington, Oregon, and British Columbia. Henley enjoys fishing dry flies and streamers for trout, as well as pursuing sea-run cutthroat and coho on local beaches. But his greatest passion is swinging flies. After permanently moving home to Shoreline from West Yellowstone, he continue to explore local fisheries, and tying flies.

 

Jack Ritter

Jack Ritter has had the opportunity to live and fly fish on some of the great rivers of the West. Growing up all over Washington State, Idaho, Montana, and Colorado - Jack is passionate about trout, fly fishing, and teaching. Jack enjoys breaking down the nuanced details of targeting and handling fish, and he enjoys helping clients better understand the natural resource and their impacts. Well versed in the fly fishing industries tool kit, Jack is happy to listen and share his insights on all things fish.

Jack graduated from Regis University in Denver with a Degree in Business. As a proud member of the Avid Angler Team Jack looks forward to working, teaching, volunteering, and engaging with the local fly fishing community.

 

Joe Donsky

Joe first picked up a rod on the banks of Tin Cup Creek outside of Darby, Montana. At the age of 12 he was 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 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.

 
 

Where did they go?

David Jenkins - Front range of Colorado searching for trout
Jacob Powell - In-house representative 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 - Graduate from the UW Foster School of Business
Ben Waldschmidt - Returned to the Midwest, his stomping grounds