Fly Fishing Guide

Chris Wessel

I am from Nova Scotia, Canada. I was introduced to fly fishing at a very young age by my grandfather, who believed the importance of being close to nature was second only to family and God. He was an avid angler, and I learned everything about fly fishing from him and other anglers. I learned how to tie my own flies when I was 16 years old.

I now guide anglers in Western Newfoundland for Atlantic Salmon and wild Brook Trout. I am also a Wildlife Officer employed by our province.

There is no better feeling than seeing a fish rise and take on a fly that you have tied. During the off-season, I spend countless hours tying and dreaming about the next time I will be on the river. These days, my biggest draw to the river is not only hooking fish, but also meeting like-minded individuals who care about the species and the sport.

One of my favorite quotes: “The finest gift you can give to any fisherman is to put a good fish back, and who knows if the fish that you caught isn’t someone else’s gift to you? Game fish are too valuable to be caught only once.”
-Lee Wulff

WHAT’S YOUR FAVORITE TYPE OF FLY FISHING

My favorite type of fly fishing is dead drifting dry flies for Brook Trout and Atlantic Salmon. While I tend to have more success for Salmon with sub-surface patterns, there is no better take than when you can see the fish’s mouth break the surface and clamp down on your fly.

YOUR FAVORITE OUTDOOR ADVENTURE STORY OF ALL TIME?

While growing up, I read two books that I have now re-read a couple of times. In both novels, the young main characters leave home to live on their own in the wild. Stories of humans getting in touch with nature are my favorite.
The books were “Crabbe” and “My Side of the Mountain”.

WHY DO YOU LOVE LIVING WHERE YOU LIVE?

The call of freedom draws me to Newfoundland and Labrador. The island portion of the province where I live is almost all public land, and you can go anywhere. I fish and hunt where I please, without having to ask permission. Our human population is fairly low, which means competition on rivers isn’t terrible and decreases the further you are willing to walk.

FAVORITE BAND OR MUSIC STYLE?

I literally listen to everything. One of my playlists could start with Wutang and end with Willie Nelson. My favorite all time band is the Rolling Stones. Lately, I have been into Indie and 90’s East Coast Hip Hop.

MUST HAVE ACCESSORY WHEN IN THE WILD?

I always have a way to make coffee. Whether I’m making instant coffee with hot water from my Kelly Kettle or actually percolating coffee on a fire, the black gold is never far away. My coffee making abilities have become my staple among the fishing crew. Coffee offers an excuse to stop fishing, rest by the pool, and enjoy a good “Yarn” (a local term for having a chat).

FAVORITE CAMPING FOOD?

My all-time favorite camping food is Kraft Dinner. If you grill a few wieners with it, you get pure bliss. It weighs next to nothing, and the trash is easy to burn or pack out. BOOM.

FAVORITE HOOK AND VICE CAP?

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