Ernie Denison first began guiding for The Fly Shop® in 1989. Over the years, Ernie has chronicled nearly every inch of water in Northern California and Southern Oregon, and he typically puts in over 300 days a year on the water. Ernie is as much a part of the area's ecosystem by now as the river otters and osprey that share the rivers with him… and he's just as adept as they are at finding fish. With all of Ernie's experience and knowledge, it's no wonder that he's our most requested guide; bookings often come a year (or two) in advance, so plan well ahead to spend a day with this top-notch guide.

Ross Wilkerson has been guiding for The Fly Shop® for over a decade now (starting in 1996), and grew up fishing the waters of the North State. Ross specializes in guiding the Trinity River for steelhead, Chinook salmon, and sea-run brown trout from August through February, but he also loves to take anglers into the majestic McCloud River. Ross is happy wading his clients on the riffles and flats of Hat Creek, the Upper Sacramento, even the Pit River, and his 21' drift boat is ideal for taking groups of 1, 2, or 3 anglers down the famous Lower Sacramento River. Ross has international guiding experience, too, having spent several seasons at El Saltamontes lodge in Chile.

Larry Lewis has been with us since 1997, and he spent several years guiding in Alaska before re-locating to Northern California. His friendly, laid back personality has made him a favorite for many of our long-time guide service customers, and Larry has developed a very loyal client base guiding primarily on the Lower Sacramento and Trinity Rivers. Larry is a true gentleman, very patient with beginners and informative for more experienced anglers.

Bryan Balog joined The Fly Shop's® Guide Staff in the fall of 2002. In his first month of guiding, he took 26 trips on the Lower Sacramento River. Since then he's proven to be one of the best guides in the area, consistently boating good numbers of fish on whatever river he's on, whether its giant rainbows on the Lower Sacramento or powerful steelhead on the Trinity River. Bryan's hard work ethic and great personality makes every day on the water a memorable one, and the result is one of the highest return rates out of any of our guides.

Mike Parker came to The Fly Shop® in 2003 after spending five seasons with Lees Ferry Anglers on the Colorado River. Mike's patience and sense of humor make him the perfect choice for both beginner and advanced anglers. He may be the old man on the block around here, but he's one of the hardest working guides we've ever had, putting in long, hard days on any and all of our local watersheds. Mike is a true professional, one of the best in the entire industry, and we're proud to have him on our guide staff.

Chris Parsons was a new addition to our guide staff back in 2003, and things have never been the same since. Chris' positive attitude and hard-working demeanor sets the bar high for any guide, anywhere. He's also a patient instructor, certified by the Federation of Fly Fishers, who likes to work with anglers of all skill levels. Chris specializes in chasing steelhead and trophy trout on all of our local rivers and lakes. He'll fish anywhere there's water, but especially enjoys the Fall River, Lower Sacramento, and Trinity Rivers. View Chris' website at

Greg Dean has been fishing the waters of Northern California for over twenty years. As early as 1997 Greg began guiding independently in the area, and he joined The Fly Shop's® guide staff in 2004. His great passion and enthusiasm for fly fishing, and his ability to infect both novice and experienced anglers with that passion and enthusiasm, led very quickly to Greg becoming one of the most requested guides in the North State. Greg's ability to fish such a wide variety of waters and species in our area – from steelhead on the Klamath to shad on the Lower Sacramento – provides an almost unlimited array of angling options for fisher-folk interested in trying new things. Greg is also our resident Stillwater expert, guiding and fishing many of our local lakes whenever he finds time in his busy schedule.

Dennis Franco (aka: Popeye) began his guiding career in 1989, rowing many of the fabled steelhead waters of the west, including the Smith, Rogue, Klamath, Trinity, Bogachiel, Eel, Gualala, Garcia, Yuba, American, and even 7 years on the rivers of the Kenai Peninsula in Alaska, before coming to The Fly Shop® in 1998. Dennis is one of the most versatile guides we have on staff, utilizing either his drift boat or jet boat to fish such watersheds as the Lower Sacramento, Feather, Yuba, Klamath, and Trinity Rivers. Dennis' willingness to try different things sets him apart from other guides on other rivers, and you can expect a fun and exciting day on the water with him, whether chasing elusive rising trout on the Lower Sacramento, steelhead on the Trinity, or shad and stripers in the summer months.

Brian Bommarito grew up fishing the fabled waters of northern Michigan. A 22-year Navy career allowed him to pursue numerous exotic species all over the globe, but Brian and his family finally decided to settle down and call Redding "home" in 2005 when he began guiding full-time for The Fly Shop®. His easy-going personality and genuine enthusiasm make for a great day on the water. Brian is an FFF certified casting instructor who welcomes beginners and will tailor an instructional and productive day to hone the angling skills you'll use all over the West. When not guiding, you'll likely find him casting a long leader on the area's numerous stillwater venues.

Lonnie Boles learned how to row a drift boat on the Sacramento River before he was old enough to drive a car. He started guiding on the river in 1989, and first joined The Fly Shop's® guide staff in 1992. Since then, Lonnie's become one of the premier guides in the region, putting in close to 300 days a year on the water, working seasonally on the Lower Sacramento, Trinity, and Feather Rivers, and also targeting Shad and Stripers on the Lower Sacramento.

Todd Carnes was born and raised in Redding, has been fishing this area since the age of 12. One of our weekend guides, Todd has been a valuable asset to our operation since 1996. His great demeanor and wonderful sense of humor are a perfect addition to a scenic trout-filled float down the Lower Sacramento River. Anglers fishing with Todd should expect a lot of laughs, good fishing, and delicious home-made cookies from his wonderful wife.

Joe Vasquez came to us from the Sacramento area back in 1999. He specializes on the Yuba, Feather, and Lower Sacramento Rivers. Joe, a family man and FFF Certified Casting Instructor, has unsurpassed patience with beginners, as well as the expertise to further educate more advanced anglers with ease. He seems to have a nose for sniffing out the few fish that might be feeding on dries on any given day. Joe mostly guides weekends for us, so his available days often fill up well in advance: call early to get a date with this mellow-mannered professional.

Matthew Swan started guiding for The Fly Shop® in 2006, after coming from Lee's Ferry on the Colorado River and Hubbards Yellowstone Lodge in Montana, where he still guides during the summer months. Matt's professionalism and experience has made him a great addition to our guide staff. From September through May Matt works hard to ensure that his guests are having catching fish, learning a lot, and having a great time while fishing the Lower Sacramento River, Trinity River, even the Upper Sacramento, McCloud, and Pit Rivers as well. Matt is a Federation of Fly Fishers Certified Casting Instructor, making him a good choice for both beginner anglers and experienced hands alike.

Shane Kohlbeck first started guiding for The Fly Shop® in 1997. In the years since, he has also spent time guiding all over the world, including Los Roques, Venezuela, Penrhyn Atoll, Rapid’s Camp Lodge in the Bristol Bay region, Alaska, and Hoodoo Lodge in the remote Southwest Alaska, as well as continuing to guide all of the fabled waters of Northern California during the fall and winter months. Now that Shane has settled down and tied the knot, he's back to guiding full-time on the Lower Sacramento, Upper Sacramento, McCloud, and Pit Rivers. Shane's experience and expert instruction (he's also an FFF certified casting instructor) make any day on the water a productive fishing and learning experience.

Mike Brazzi has been fishing the rivers and streams surrounding the Redding area since the early '90s, and began guiding with The Fly Shop® in 2006. Mike is an easy-going guide, fun to spend a day on the water with. He enjoys teaching the art of fly fishing, and is a good choice for anglers of all skill levels. Mike spends a lot of time of the Lower Sacramento and Trinity Rivers, but the Pit River is one of his specialties from March through November.

Kris Kennedy was born into a fly fishing family and raised behind the fly bins at The Troutfitter in southern California. Since, he has worked at The Fly Shop® in both retail and outfitters, and now spends his days guiding all over hell and back, from the wilds of the Upper Nushagak River in Alaska at Egdorf’s Wilderness Camps to the unexplored rivers of Patagonia at one or our Signature Fly Fishing destinations - Patagonian BaseCamp. He fills in the gaps of a busy annual guide schedule here in Northern California in the fall, winter, and late spring. His experience and warm personality have made him one of our most requested guides.


Matt Dover started his own independent guide business on the Lower Sacramento River in 2000, and started guiding for The Fly Shop® in 2006. Matt is a hard-working, patient guide, who is quickly developing a loyal following with almost everyone that spends time in his boat, whether floating the Lower Sac, upper Klamath, or Trinity River, or fishing one of our rarely-fished local lakes.

Mark Kaesemeyer began his guiding career in 1995 near Flagstaff, Arizona on Stillwater ponds from float tubes. From there, he moved on to Lees Ferry on the Colorado River, putting in 10 years guiding both walk and wade trips and jetboat excursions. In addition, Mark spent 5 summer seasons guiding in Alaska on the Kvichak and Alagnak Rivers. Mark knows how to guide, and is swiftly learning our local waters here in Northern California, starting with The Fly Shop® in 2007 on the Lower Sacramento and Klamath Rivers.

Justin Miller started teaching at our FishCamp® program during the 2004 season. He has since proved to be a dedicated angler and instructor, and is an FFF Certified Casting Instructor. For the 2007 season, Justin began guiding spey-casting and fishing trips on the Trinity River, and guiding on the Kamchatka Peninsula in Russia during the summer months. In the fall and winter, he spends every waking moment chasing steelhead.

Michael Caranci started with The Fly Shop® in 2001, teaching at our acclaimed FishCamp program ( That led into several years of guiding for the shop, specializing on the Lower Sacramento and Trinity Rivers. In 2005 Michael agreed to trade in his rowing bench for the Outfitters desk, now managing The Fly Shop's® Guide Service and directing The Fly Shop's® Fly Fishing School's and FishCamp, as well as hosting international fly fishing trips to exotic locations from Venezuela to Tierra del Fuego. He is also an FFF Master Certified Casting Instructor.



For reservations or questions please contact Michael Caranci or call 800-669-3474
*The Fly Shop is a permittee of the Shasta – Trinity, Six Rivers and Lassen National Forests and is an equal opportunity service provider.
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