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Meet Our Guides

Ohio anglers with experience and passion for catching the many species of fish Ohio has to offer.


Brian Flechsig

Serving as lead instructor and a guide for Mad River Outfitters, Brian is also the founder of the company. Brian began his guiding career right here on the Mad River in Ohio in 1989. Spending most of the nineties chasing steelhead along Lake Erie. Most notably, he spent 9 years guiding for trophy largemouth bass at the Wilds and was featured on an episode of the Walker's Cay Chronicles with Flip Pallot.

Brian’s not a full time guide, but he does still find a few days a season to float the Mad River in his AuSable River boat.

Guides For: Brown Trout, Largemouth Bass, Musky

Follow Brian: @MadRiverOutfitters


Pat Kelly

Pat Kelly has been fishing in Ohio since he was a young boy. Honing his skills in recent years, he has become one heck of a fishing guide. We’re thrilled to offer his services to our clients.

To say that he is a multi-talented guide is quite an understatement. His loyal following books with him season after season and if you get a chance to fish with him, you will too. Pat guides drift boat trips on the Mad River for Trout, jet boat and drift boat trips for smallmouth bass, pike and his specialty musky trips in Southern Ohio.

Guides For: Smallmouth Bass, Musky, Pike

Follow Pat: @PatKellyFishing


Ryan Ratliff

When Ryan’s not bringing in steelhead trout or brown trout on the fly rod, he’s honing his skills in the traditional Japanese method of fly fishing called Tenkara.

He serves as an instructor for our fly tying classes and being a help with everything fly tying around the shop. When you’re out on the water with Ryan, you can expect a trip of great technique and years of knowledge.

Guides For: Steelhead, Trout, Smallmouth Bass, Largemouth Bass

Follow Ryan: @o_h__fly_o


Ben Phipps

Ben grew up in Ohio and has been fishing for as long as he can remember. He has been dedicated to fly fishing for the past decade. Throughout his years, he has traveled all over Ohio, Michigan, and Alaska to take advantage of any fishing opportunity available.

During his time in Alaska, Ben was a fly-out guide in Katmai National Preserve area, guiding clients along the Naknek River as well as the famous Brooks Falls and other popular fly-out destinations. While there, he realized his genuine passion for fly angling and helping others learn and get involved in what we do!

Guides For: Steelhead, Trout, Smallmouth Bass

Follow Ben: @b.phipps22


Josh Trammell

Josh was born and raised in Northeast Ohio and caught the fishing bug early in life as he watched a neighbor fly fishing their backyard pond. At the age of 10 he started exploring all things fishing that Ohio had to offer. From there he has gone on to chase steelhead and warmwater species across the southern shores of Lake Erie and beyond, always looking for that next opportunity. Josh has also spent his last six summers guiding in the Bristol Bay region of Alaska for Naknek River Camp, where he also enjoys pursuing fish on two handed rods in his downtime. While not on the water, Josh can often be found hovered over a vice somewhere whipping up all sorts of fishy flies. Josh enjoys sharing his passion with others and hopes they can catch the bug as bad as he’s got it!

Guides for: Steelhead, Smallmouth Bass, Northern Pike, Hybrid Striped Bass, Carp

Follow Josh: @jtrammell_72

Trammell Bio
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Katie Johnstone

While on a trip in Alaska, Katie got a taste of fly fishing for the first time. From then on, she was hooked. With a heart for the outdoors and staying active, you can often find Katie spreading her love for the sport of fly fishing with her friends, fishing from her SmithFly and chasing smallies when in Ohio. Co-Founder of Ohio Women on the Fly, she has a passion for brining women in Ohio's fly fishing community together and inspiring more women to get on the water.

Guides For: Trout, Smallmouth Bass

Follow Katie: @_KatieJohnstone


Steve Pileski

Steve grew up right here in Columbus, OH and has been fishing for bass and trout in nearby ponds and rivers since 2001. From then on, his excitement and passion for fly fishing has only continued to grow.


Steve loves to target big Mad River Brown Trout with streamers on his Smithfly Big Shoals raft, but isn’t afraid to throw a dry fly when a hatch goes off. When not fishing for brown trout, he enjoys chasing around Smallmouth, Pike and Steelhead. 

Guides For: Trout, Steelhead

Follow Steve: @stevepileski

Donnie Knight

Donnie grew up in Miami County and has fished the rivers and creeks throughout the Great Miami River watershed since 1988. He’s a full-time wildlife biologist that guides fly fishing on the side.

He owns a Hyde Rocky Mountain Skiff for the big waters and a Smithfly Big Shoals raft for smaller tributary fishing and low water situations. He loves to target Smallmouth bass and Brown trout with frequent by catches of Saugeye, Pike, Carp, Rock Bass, channel catfish  and Largemouth not uncommon.  

Guides For: Smallmouth Bass, Brown Trout

Follow Donnie: @OhioFlyByKnight

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