Guides

10433269_10205460673777049_7660639668061845505_nJames Sampsel lives life as a passionist. He is most passionate about art and fly fishing. As an accomplished plein air painter his subjects are the river settings and the fish that he pursues as an angler and guide. James has been guiding for over a dozen years settling in Southern Oregon as perhaps the best year round steelheading location on the planet. He feels blessed and humbled to be guiding on historic steelhead rivers including the Umpqua, Klamath, Oregon Coast and where his heart feels most at home, the Rogue River. James has an easy going approach to teaching and utilizing all methods, but particularly appreciates the tradition, history and respect for the quarry that swinging flies offers. His childlike enthusiasm for the sport and it’s environs is infectious, offering guests a deeper understanding of what it means to be a steelheader and making days spent with him joyous occasions.

Kait squareKait Bailey is an Oregon native, spending her formative years on a farm, walking distance from the Molalla River, where she cultivated her love for exploring rivers and fishing. Fishing for her is a lifelong love and commitment. She views angling as a spiritual connection with the natural world and fly fishing for steelhead a delightful expression of this spirit. Kait is the consummate professional, has guided for over a decade, and devoted herself to fly fishing on the rivers she loves best, the Rogue, Umpqua, Klamath and Oregon Coast the past few seasons. Kait’s enthusiastic, professional and patient guiding style helps folks gain the knowledge, confidence and spiritual connection to become a successful steelheader. While Kait regularly nymphs and pulls flies with guests, her favorite technique is swinging flies which she feels allows a more soulful connection to the fish and places they live. She eagerly shares her passion for the sport with all and her easy going manner is appreciated particularly by those who are eager to learn.

Craig Nielsen, OwnerCraig Nielsen is the founder of Shasta Trout and business manager. A Northern California native, he has been chasing trout and steelhead with a fly rod for over 50 years and has guided professionally since 1992. Having fished all across the western states, B.C. and Alaska he especially appreciates the beauty and angling diversity Mt. Shasta offers. From casting Spey and switchrods for the Klamath’s fabled steelhead, dry fly fishing and nymphing on the McCloud and Upper Sac for trophy trout, to presenting tiny dries on local creeks, Craig enjoys it all. Most everyone appreciates his patience, angling versatility and local knowledge. A certified casting instructor, Craig has taught at Mel Krueger’s school, instructed two handed casting with Simon Gawesworth, and was one of the first authors on switchrods. Craig has been a featured guide for  Flywater Travel, The Ashland Flyshop, Leland, Ted Fay, Fish First, The Clearwater House and The Flyshop. He has presented to dozens of fly fishing clubs in California and Oregon and as a celebrity in the west coast ISE and Fly Fishing Shows.  He holds a Teaching Credential and a Master’s degree from Chico State where he worked as an Instructor, Administrator and Counselor before following his passion to guide full time.

Jerri Nielsen - Shasta Trout GuideJerri Nielsen is cofounder and assists in the operation of Shasta Trout. She has been flyfishing since arriving in the northstate over 30 years ago and teaches in our clinics and classes. A graduate of the Clearwater Guide School, she was a featured guide in their women’s clinics. Jerri is a versatile angler and the undisputed stillwater expert in the family. She most enjoys chasing high country cruisers from her float tube. Her easy manner, attentiveness and good humor are appreciated by all. Jerri enjoys motherhood and operates her own Aesthetics business in Mt. Shasta. Her fresh baked cookies are famous with family & friends alike.