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  • About Us


    Caddis Shack Guide Service has been guiding fly fishing in Michigan's Upper Penisula for over 20 years. We are licensed and insured. Combined we have over 65 years of fly fishing experience and spend hundreds of days on the water every year. But none of that matters without the passion, patience, and knowledge to ensure that anglers of all levels have a fantastic day on the water -- and that's where we shine.

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    Chris Gestwicki

    Chris started his fly fishing journey in Maryland, fishing the Big Gun Powder River. He stalked wild browns, rainbows, and brookies throughout the long pools of this fine eastern tailwater. He honed his dry fly skills but also discovered the addiction of streamer fishing (to this day, you can find Chris throwing the big stuff even during a hatch). After a tour of duty, Chris found his way to lower Michigan, where he discovered steelhead, salmon, and lake run browns. He chased these fish all over the state, including the St. Joe, Dowagiac, Big Manistee, Pere Marquette, and the Little Manistee River before eventually finding his way to Upper Michigan. Along the way, his streamer addiction morphed into a two-handed Spey addiction swinging big flies for big fish. His passion for swinging flies and triggering that massive lightning bolt strike has never slowed.


    Since moving to the Upper Peninsula in 2000 he's fished all corners, waters, and species in this area. When he's not swinging for steelhead he loves to chase browns on the Escanaba River, brook trout in the backcountry, and float for smallmouth on the many Lake Michigan tributaries around our area. In 2002, Chris started Caddis Shack to introduce others to the amazing fish and waters in the Upper Peninsula. Since then he's introduced hundreds, if not thousands to the amazing experience of fly fishing. You won't find anyone more passionate, outgoing, and dedicated than Chris and it's what makes him such a great guide. He has a ton of versatility, from teaching beginners the basics to guiding an expert in catching the fish of a lifetime.


    Chris is also a full-time real estate agent with the longest standing real estate firm in Michigan’s upper peninsula. He loves helping people make their dreams a reality, and gets to do both with fly fishing and real estate.

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    Jason Brownewell

    Jason an original resident of Colorado has been chasing trout in some form almost his entire life. In his childhood and teen years he called the Rockies his home and chased wild trout in the clear, cold water of the mountains. With age and a driver's license came a sense of adventure, pursuing his passion "trout on the fly" he started venturing into Wyoming, Montana, Utah, Idaho and even going as far north as Canada. Fast forward a few years and Jason marries a Yooper Girl (for those that don't know a Yooper is a person from Michigan's Upper Peninsula). His better half hatches a plan and introduces him to Chris to get Jason hooked on the Upper Peninsula. And, well he was hooked, within a few short years, he's living here and raising a family.


    Jason loves to pass on his fishing knowledge and skills to clients, whether it's reading water, casting, or sharing techniques to catch finicky trout. He loves helping them catch fish, but most of all he enjoys showing people around our beautiful area and waters. He has a tremendous ability to dissect a river and pull pockets apart (you'll swear he has x-ray vision when he asks you to try a little pocket a foot further over and you hook a fish). He is devoted to expanding his knowledge of fly fishing and the beautiful local waters we have to ensure great times out on the water for his guests. He always looks forward to the next season and what it will bring.

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    John Schmidt 

    John was born and raised in Grosse Point Woods, southeast Michigan on the shores of Lake St. Clair. He grew up fishing for warm water species such as bass, pike, muskie, walleye and perch. When not on the water hew was found in the woods of northern Michigan with his father hunting white tail deer. In his early teen years he was introduced to fly fishing by his older brother Michael. Trout on the fly became an obsession and almost every weekend and all other available time was spent in the pursuit of trout on the Ausable and Manistee river systems.


    In his early 20s John moved up to the Grayling area of northern Michigan with his newly started family and began a couple years of employment with the local area fly shops. Everyday learning the best techniques and putting them to good use on the rivers and evenually getting a license to guide. The crowded rivers of the lower peninsula eventually pushed him to seek better opportunities and solitude for him and his clients. Farther to the north he found the beautiful waters he'd been dreaming of. Some crystal clear and some tannic stained but all held amazing opportunities for fishing delight.


    Now in his late 30s, John has been fishing and guiding on many of the amasing rivers and inland waters of the upper peninsula. With his knowledge of the water and the woods, as well as specific local history, your time spent fishing with him is sure to be an amazing experience.