The Guides

Paul Samycia


As owner of the Fly Shop and the outfitter at ERGC, Paul takes his fishing seriously. Having spent many years hunting and fishing in the Canadian Rockies, along with a Bachelor of Science in Zoology, his outdoor knowledge and skills are difficult to match. He is always up to the challenge of finding "new" waters to fish, or adventureous walk and wades. He is a wealth of knowledge and is willing to share his expertise on a guided fly fishing trip or just during shop chat. His hosted fly fishing trips to Crooked Island Bahamas have become an annual event and is an amazing salt water experience. The Fly Shop and guiding is full time for Paul and he greatly appreciates the patronage and support from clients old and new, as well as from the guides who have stood behind him for over 10 years!

Leah Milne

Leah Bull Kootenay

Leah is Our Shop Manager and she keeps everything on the day to day operation organized, and she does a great job at it. Her experience comes from her white water rafting back ground when she guided as well as managed an outfit in Jasper Alberta. Those who have booked trips with us know that Leah is an important part of the Elk River Guiding Company team. 

Darcy Richardson

Darcy, Bully and Guest

Darcy has a great passion for Guiding. He has been a full time fishing guide in Fernie for the past 17 years and now also guides bird hunts through the fall. In winters you will find him managing the Griz Bar at our local ski resort. To say Darcy is easy to get along with is like saying water is wet. Everyone who spends a day with him enjoys his company as well as his expertise. Along with ending your day with Darcy and having a camera full of photos, you will likely go home with a great new joke to tell your friends.

Steve Harris


Steve has guided fly fisherman on many of the Kootenays' finest lakes and streams for over 15 years. He is an excellent teacher of Fly Tying, Casting and Still Water tactics.  Being a local, Steve spends over a 100 days a year on the water, and when he is not guiding, he will be polishing his still water skills targeting the elusive rainbow trout. In the off season Steve ties flies commercially and works as a freelance writer. Steve also has a nack for creativity and his articles and fly patterns have appeared in numerous magazines and books. If Steve can't catch them, no one can! For more on Steve, check out his company web site at

Kevin Green


Kevin is a teacher...both on the river and in the classrooms of the Elk Valley. Full of life and always smiling, he is one of the most enthusiastic guides you will ever find. His eagerness for guests to become better fisherman and his knowledge of the local fishery ensures a day full of bent rods and happy clients. He will show you where the fish live and might even get more excited than you do with your catch. His love for fishing finds him travelling to Northern BC where he also guides for fall steelhead.

Louis Cloutier


AKA "Coach" Louis has held a guide licence In the Elk Valley since 1980, which is longer than any current guide on the Elk River. Louis and his wife Donna, run the Angler Guide Service. Being a Fernie resident for over 35 years, he has intimate knowledge of the local rivers and lakes. He is incredibly genuine on ensuring that your day becomes an experience to remember. His passion.....DRY FLY ACTION!!!

Donna Cloutier

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Donna was born and raised in Fernie and can claim the Elk River and Region 4 as her "Home Waters". As a young girl Donna fished with her father who introduced her to the local waters in the Fernie area. The fascination with fishing continued to a higher level with her other half, Louis and their company Angler Guide Service. Donna specializes on walk and wade trips and having over 10 years experience as an angling guide, Donna's passion is to "Match the Hatch" on her guided trips.

Randy Dolighan

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When it comes to Fernie’s angling guides Randy is the complete package. He is a consultant Fisheries Biologist who grew up in the East Kootenay's fishing the local rivers and still-waters. For the past three decades he has worked in Wildlife, Fisheries and Ecosystems management throughout the province of B.C. In the fall he migrates to Vancouver Island and guides for salmon and steelhead. Whether your main interests are to catch fish, education, or enjoy a peaceful day drifting the river you are certain to have a rewarding experience with Randy. He is passionate about sharing his knowledge and skills, and is particularly interested in connecting the next generation to the outdoors so we also have him guiding Eco-tourism river drifts. Trips are designed for anglers, adults, kids, or families. For more information check out our Eco- page under "guided trips. Due to Randy’s knowledge and exceptional range of river guiding skills he has developed a strong following so make sure you book early.

Sebastien Stewart


Sebastien is one of the most experienced guides you will ever fish with. With over 20 yeas of guiding, we are pleased that he is once again working full time with us at Elk River Guiding Co. His history is on the Bow River as a veteran guide who has specialized in the pursuit of the Bows largest fish.... on dry flies! However, "it has been a life long dream to move to Fernie, where the waters are still wild, and the fish are pure. After 16 yerars of ranching with my wife and two childeren in Alberta, we finally moved to Fernie, and havent looked back!" SS.

In the fall you will find Sebastien hunting Steelhead in "Skeena Country", and he has been fortunate to fish the salt for Permit, Tarpon, and Bonefish on many occasions. We are just happy that he has chosen our shop as we are fortunate to have such a seasoned and respected guide on our full time staff. 

Tom Klingspohn

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Tom has lived and fished in Fernie since 1992, Thats 20 years experience on our waters!. Operating his Ski instructional company "Peak Performance" in the winter,  and guiding full time in the summer, Tom has gained exceptional experience in teaching people and showing them how to enjoy the beauty of the Elk Valley. Tom is now going into his 10th consecutive year of guiding and will be easily recognized floating the Elk in his Hyde Drift Boat.

Aubrey Neufeld


Aubrey grew up fishing in the foothills of western Alberta and moved to Fernie 15 years ago to play in the mountains and fish. Nothing has changed! He spends his spare time camping and exploring in the Kootenays and builds fly rods in the off season. Aubrey likes nothing more than casting small flies to wary trout and a day with him will probably include you trying to catch one of his “project” fish. ( Both him and his boat are dog friendly as well!)

John Avery

John and Guest

John Avery, AKA Jumpin John or Longevity John, has been a Fernie fixture for over 13 years. John has worked in Fly Shops, Guided, tied flies, and is a fall time Steelheader. He is defined as a "character" as he always has something to say about everything. Having John on the oars telling stories makes a day on the river an enlightening experience. Make sure to ask him about the "bear" story! Be sure to let us know early if you want to request John as he is often booked by the other shops in town.

Tyler Carson


The always smiling Tyler Carson has been a resident of the Elk Valley for the past 13 years.  Before becoming a fishing guide he spent 6 years rowing whitewater rafts on the Elk and Bull rivers.  It wasn't long after that, the pull of flyfishing changed his focus.  A life long fisherman he received a fly rod for his eighteenth birthday and hasn't looked back. In the off season Tyler works teaching first aid at the College of the Rockies and as a Ski Patrol at Fernie Alpine Resort. This variety allows the kind of flexibility required to chase trout with a fly rod year round. Tyler is known for his patience, cheerful demeanor and passion for Cutthroat and Bull trout.

Sean McCullough

Sean and Nelson

Hunting and Fishing runs deep in the McCullough family. Sean's grandfather Charlie immigrated to Canada in the early 1900's to earn his living trapping, hunting and fishing in Northern Saskatchewan. He later settled on his favorite of the pristine lakes to raise a family. Sean's father John followed in his father's footsteps and became a trophy fishing and big game hunting guide. Charlie and John ensured that Sean was introduced to the world of hunting and fishing at an early age. As a student Sean spent many springs, summers,  and falls working part time for big game and bird hunting outfitters. A deep appreciation for hunting and fishing was formed. And over years of enjoying hunting and fishing Sean's outdoor pursuits eventually lead him to Fly Fishing and to the many productive trout waters in Alberta, Montana and British Columbia. Sean handles most of our Bow River trips.