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  • Our Guides

    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

    Owner & Head Guide

    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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    Matt Erny

    Matt started fishing as a kid in Kalamazoo Michigan always chasing bass while growing up around the Kalamazoo River and many nearby lakes.


    Fly fishing came in a different way to Matt than most, he started tying flies and fishing them on a noodle spin rod for steelhead and salmon and before Matt realized it he was tying flies and selling them “out of the trunk of his car” fast. Matt built his first website dedicated to selling his fly patterns and at that point did not even own a fly rod. It was around 2005 he finally picked up fly rod and made the change from gear to fly rather quickly.


    Streamer fishing and designing streamers for smallmouth quickly became his addiction, and still is. That has taken Matt all over the midwest in search of bronze and tying flies, but the shores of Lake Michigan steal the show for bass, carp and pike fishing.


    Although he started fly fishing in 2005 trout were not priority until 2018. Since then Matt has been Taking his warm water experience and applying it to trout as well as deep diving into the traditional trout tactics, this has given matt a wide range of skills on the water.


    Matt has found a love for sharing and helping others to explore the water differently over the years. Now in his late 40’s the kids are all gone and it’s time to just go fishing. We know that you will enjoy and learn from your time fishing with Matt.

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    Melissa Goudreau

    Melissa an original resident of California. Spent her childhood years in the foothills of the Sierra Nevada mountain range. Melissa‘s love for the outdoors blossomed in her youth spending time backpacking, hunting ,and fishing for trout in the mountains. Melissa enjoyed fishing for rainbow trout in the cold mountain streams. When no fishing pole was available, Melissa would lay by the stream watching the trout eat, ,and even hand catching a few. Melissa’s passion for water increased with family trips to Catalina Island, and deep-sea fishing with her father, catching her first shark at nine years old.


    Melissa‘s family moved to West Michigan during her teenage years continuing to hunt and fish with her mother and father. Melissa carried her love for the outdoors through her 20s and 30s while raising her children. She spent time, learning herbal plants, organic farming, and teaching survival/outdoor skills . Melissa spent summers with her children in the Upper Peninsula. Fishing Lake Huron from the family summer home in the Les Cheneaux Island chain. Exploring inland lakes and streams, chasing brook, trout and warm water species. Backpacking the north country trail, and the porcupine mountains, honing her fishing skills and water knowledge.


    Melissa’s passion for fly fishing came full circle in her late 30s. Melissa made a move to Southern West Michigan to expand her knowledge of rivers, and begin rowing on the Kalamazoo River.


    Melissa’s Joy is to teach and pass on her fishing knowledge and skills to clients. Melissa‘s ability to navigate water and ecosystems to find beautiful fish while teaching about native plants and bug hatches; make her a great guide.

    Melissa is also a therapist for children and young adults with ASD. Her love for serving the community comes through in all areas of her life. Helping people achieve their dreams is her ultimate goal. I also sent it to you