Guide Profile Series- Tom Pearce

Guide Profile – Tom Pearce

Tom is STS Guiding’s most senior guide after Vic Carrao with over 21 years of experience guiding on the Fraser River. Tom began his guiding career back in 1998 working the summer/fall busy season. Back in the early days the STS Team consisted of Vic Carrao, Eric Skanning, Jordi Williams and Greg Wolf & Brent Gill who both worked for Gills Tackle as well as STS. Vic explained “We worked out of the back of Harrison Bay Store which gave us great access to both the Harrison and Fraser rivers. Within minutes of leaving our dock we could be fishing on either river”.

Back then Tom was a repeat customer of Gills Tackle & Guiding, one of Brent’s best customers who fished with him often. Brent was about to go on a lifelong dream adventure to Costa Rica to work as a fishing guide manager at one of these remote lodges. Vic remembers Greg Wolf asking him if he was interested in hiring Tom who at the time was considering buying Brent’s jet boat. Greg and Brent had great things to say about Tom and 21 years later he is still with STS.

Tom is a go getter, he is at the dock 2 hours before his trip preparing his gear and bait for the day ahead. An 8 hour charter is more like 12 hours if you include Tom’s prep time. He really cares about providing a great trip for guests, always competitive and wanting to do the best job that he can. Vic recalls “Before Tom, I was usually the first person at the boats in the morning. I remember after hiring Tom, I would arrive at the usual 5am and see a light on down at the boats. At first I thought someone was stealing stuff but no, it was Tom getting his gear ready”. Tom has made a name for himself over the years as one of the top fishing guides on the Fraser, if not in all of British Columbia. He is our most requested guide and has helped Vic make STS what it is today.

As with everything in life, nothing stays the same for too long. Tom has taken on many roles and responsibilities over the years for STS. These days Tom mostly guides his repeat clientele and helps STS with larger groups and fishing tournaments so he can spend more time with his son Kyle and wife Jessica. Tom also works with our good friend Curtis Besse at his Jet Boat repair shop located in Mission. Tom continues to evolve as does STS. He is considered one of the best guides on the Fraser River and has an established clientele that frequently return to fish with him. On the fun meter, there is no better guide on the Fraser. If you get an opportunity to fish with Tom, you will be thoroughly entertained. We are very grateful for all that he has contributed to STS and the fishing community.

Celebrating 25 years of Guiding Fishing Adventures: 1994-2019

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Guide Profile- Doug Elias

Guide Profile – Doug Elias

Doug is a local boy who was born and raised in Abbotsford, BC. He played junior hockey for the Abbotsford Pilots as a youngster then as an adult went to work for corrections Canada.

Doug began working as a guide on a part time basis back in 2005 deckhanding for Vic Carrao who at the time was injured with a separated bicep from an ATV accident. Vic recalls the accident like it was yesterday, “My youngest daughter Deanna was loading her ATV on the trailer after a ride and accidentally hit the throttle instead of the brake, I grabbed the back of the ATV as it was launched off the trailer, I tried to stop it with no luck, the force was so great it tore my right bicep into two parts”.

At the time of Vic’s injury (2005) Doug was already an avid angler who mostly fly fished local rivers and lakes. He was working full time as a corrections officer and fished for fun and stress relief. “I saw an advertisement on the STS weekly fishing report and thought, what the heck, why not” recalls Doug. I went for an interview and was hired to help Vic get through his season as his right arm was in a full cast from surgery. So like many of the long-time STS Guides, Doug started as a deckhand for Vic.

Doug recalls many good times and stories, most of which we won’t repeat here, lol. The old Harrison Bay days when STS ran their entire guiding business out of Harrison Bay Store dock. Doug worked side by side with Vic that first summer, then began running one of their boats and eventually purchased his own jet boat in 2007. Doug recalls on one of his first trips his rods and reels didn’t hold up and by the end of his day they had all broken. The Idaho Boys were a regular group that came up to fish each summer, “they were crazy fanatical fisherman recalls Doug” I think they broke two of my rods before lunch says Doug.

Since those early days Doug has transformed his part time passion into a full time job. Retiring from corrections in 2014, Doug is now going into his 6th season as a full time fishing guide and 15th season as one of STS’s top guides. More recently Doug has purchased his dream jet boat a 2017 23ft Thunderjet jet boat fully equipped with the latest and greatest fishing gear and electronics. Doug is an accomplished fly fisherman as well as sturgeon and salmon in both fresh and salt water. Doug has also played an important role in helping STS promote the Fraser River attending many trade shows as one of their representatives. If you’re booking a trip with STS don’t hesitate to ask for Doug, if he is not already booked, he would be a great choice for any group.

Celebrating 25 years of Guiding Fishing Adventures: 1994-2019

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Guide Profile – John Popowich

Guide Profile – John Popowich

John began fishing with STS over 15 years ago, as an avid angler John would take 2 or 3 annual trips on the Fraser River. STS put on an annual Jet Boat Seminar which John ha signed up for “While on the trip, head guide and owner Vic Carrao approached me and asked if I was interested in guiding. Vic was looking for a new guide and I mentioned to him that guiding would be my dream job” John recalls, “When Vic asked if I was interested, I immediately said yes.” Vic says that when he first met John he instantly recognized the guide potential in him. Guiding is 9/10th personality says Vic, “there are many great fishermen in our industry but very few great guides”.

John is going into his 9th season as a part time fishing guide, his full time job is construction so he mostly guides weekends and holidays. John is an accomplished sturgeon and salmon fisherman who can fish any style including fly fishing, spin or bait. There are some people in this world that you can instantly connect with, John is one of those people. He enjoys sharing stories, knowledge and his passion is obvious when you spend a day on the water with him. “I recall one of our very good clients telling me a story about how John got more excited than his guests when they landed a monster 10ft sturgeon.

John is married and has two young children, he enjoys all types of fishing including; fly fishing, sturgeon on the Fraser and a new passion, saltwater salmon fishing. John loves teaching and sharing his passion with not only his guests but also his family. John’s favorite thing to do is taking his family fishing and watch his little girl smile after tagging and releasing a small sturgeon. John also volunteers for the Fraser River Sturgeon Conservation Society mark –recapture program as do all of STS guides. Over the years John has been an integral part of the STS marketing team helping us serve customers at the Fraser Valley Boat & Sportsman Show.

“We are extremely excited with our team going into our 26thseason” say’s owner Tony Nootebos. John has been an incredible asset to our team for the past 8 years and we are looking forward to having him continue to provide great experiences for our guests. John has serious skills and a great personality so we are confident in him and his ability to provide you with the very best experience on the water.

Guide Profile #2 – Renee Coghill

Guide Profile – Renee Coghill

“I first met Renee back in 2014, I had hired a multi-media company to shoot some footage of the Fraser Canyon” says Vic Carrao, past owner and founder of STS Guiding. Right off the top, I could see her excitement and enthusiasm for what this day was about to hold. She sat beside me while I navigated through some rather large and technical rapids, her grin was ear to ear which surprised me as many people are filled with fear. We talked about her background in fishing and white water rafting which explained the excitement and lack of fear for big water.

I learned that she had guided in Ontario as a white water rafting guide, which again explained why she couldn’t wipe that smile off her face. I also learned that she was very passionate about fishing, boating and the outdoors. At the time, I was looking for a deckhand to assist me with some of my larger groups, Renee was freelancing in the Tourism Industry doing video editing for local business and Cities so I offered her a part time gig working on the water. As they say, the rest is history.

Renee has been working alongside Vic Carrao of STS since 2014, Vic say’s that although he only hired Renee to deck hand and assist with larger groups,”.. it turns out that she had some serious fishing skills along with an incredible amount of passion”. “I was dealing with some health issues in 2015 and was having a hard time driving the jet boat, Renee was doing a great job so I thought what the heck, let’s see if she can drive”. Well turns out Renee can not only take great pictures, video’s, play in a rock band, white water rafting and fish, she can also drive a 800HP 28ft twin engine jet boat.

Born and raised in Eastern Canada, Renee grew up fishing Ontario’s rivers and lakes with her dad who is an avid fisherman. Renee has over 20 years of multi-species angling experience from the Great Lakes tributaries in Ontario to here in the Fraser Valley BC. Her passion for white water and fishing are evident the second you board the boat, she enjoys sharing her experience and passion with the clients on board. When she’s not guiding, you’ll find her actively fishing on local rivers around British Columbia, targeting sturgeon, salmon and steelhead, picking mushrooms, hiking or playing her guitar around the campfire.

This past season was Renee’s first opportunity to run one of STS guide boats on her own without Vic. “She killed it” say’s Vic, nothing but great reviews from our mostly male dominated guests. After 5 years of boating and fishing beside Vic in the canyon, Renee has seen it all. “She is more than ready to run her own jet boat” says Vic. Renee will continue to work beside Vic in the Canyon for his July to Sept season then turn to the lower Fraser and Harrison during the spring and fall where Renee will be on her own running one of the company jet boats.

“We are extremely excited to have such an amazing young lady working with us at STS” says Tony Nootebos owner of STS Guiding. The only female fishing guide on the Fraser River working in a male dominated industry, how cool is that? Don’t be fooled by her looks, Renee is a serious and more than capable angler who puts big fish on the beach day after day. We wish Renee the very best for 2020 and are confident that you will thoroughly enjoy your day with Renee.

Celebrating 25 years of Guiding Fishing Adventures: 1994-2019

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Jan fishing report update

Fishing Report January 2020

General Overview:

With the end of January coming to a close, we’ve had quite an interesting start to winter steelhead fishing on local rivers. It has definitely been an unpredictable winter as far as weather and water conditions. With the big dumps of high elevation snow, followed by rapid warm spells and plenty of heavy rainfalls, we’ve seen constant spikes in river levels and murky, low viz water conditions. However, these spikes in the river haven’t been lasting long and seems that the turn around time for a nice steady drop has been happening over the course of 1 to 3 days.

Fishing Tip – Hit the river during those steady drops in water level and your lined up for some good days of fishing. During these almost “flood” conditions, Steelhead will shoot up river and be on the move while taking “rests” or “holding” in calmer, dead water or really tight to the river banks, avoiding heavy flow. You can find these pools or troughs behind features in the river like big boulders, logs in the water, or right along a seam where fast and slow water meet.

The Forecast for the following week here in the lower mainland looks like rain, rain, and more rain. If you’re more of a fair weather angler and don’t want to trek out in these less than favorable conditions, sit tight, once this flash of heavy rain comes in, we should see a lot more fish move up into the local systems. With that being said, Steelhead fishing has been slowly picking up with more hatchery and wild hens being caught in the last 2 weeks. Its just a matter of time before the big feisty bucks start to enter the system.

With the average visibility sitting around 16” or so on the Vedder/Chilliwack River for the month of January, there’s a mass variety of bait and tackle choices you can choose. If you have roe stashed away from Salmon season last year, it’s a good time to pull some out! Don’t be shy either, a quarter size or so doesn’t seem to be spooking these fish off, rather leaving a nice scented trail for them to find your line. Also, the classic 4 to 6” pink worm combos, beads and chartreus wool with a small piece of prawn/shrimp have all been hot ticket set up’s. Steelhead are aggressive against smaller fish that are in the rivers right now and are especially aggressive so tossing some spoons or spinners to trigger one of these fish into an explosive take, is always a good option. GibbsDelta Tackle by far make the most productive spoons for steelhead fishing, the Kit-

A-Mat, Koho or Ironhead series are all productive.

The fish are there, just keep moving and explore different water, once you drop your gear in front of one, its FISH ON!

Sturgeon Fishing Report

Winter sturgeon stacked up waiting for dinner.

Not much going on right now on the river, we have been doing some fishing for juvenile sturgeon as part of the mark recapture study which is ongoing through the volunteer tagging program with FRSCS. We haad some great results tagging lots of smaller fish. Along with those smaller fish we have also been seeing a few nice fish in the 4-6 foot range so if you are in the area and would like to experience this amazing fishery, please feel free to shoot us an e-mail at sts@guidebc.com

Time to book for 2020 – this is the time to book your next adventure on the Fraser. Weekends fill up fast for trips out of Mission and Canyon. We offer 6 & 8 hour days for sturgeon with our next peak fishery in spring beginning in mid March through to mid May. We still have 2 boats available for our April 18 Sturgeon Tournament and we still have a few seats on our April 25 jet boat seminar.

Trade Show season is about to begin, watch for us at your next sportsman shows.

Hope you all have a great week on the water.

Report written by Renee Coghill & Vic Carrao

STS Guiding Service

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sts

Local 1-604-671-3474

Toll free- 1-855-223-5453

Celebrating 25 years of Guiding Fishing Adventures: 1994-2019

Guide Profile Series

Guide Profile – Chris Burdekin

Like many of our guides, Chris was hired by head guide Vic Carrao. He has done many trips with STS dating as far back as 2012. On one of his trips with Vic in the canyon he was asked if he was interested in deck handing for a day. During one of our conversations Chris had talked about his passion of fishing, some mutual friends in the industry and his recent move to Mission. Vic recalls, “I needed a deckhand for an upcoming trip and Chris seemed keen on learning more about the guiding industry”. We’re always looking for good people and he seemed like a great guy with the perfect personality”.

Chris grew up on Vancouver Island fishing the Sayward and Campbell River area for salmon, as a young adult he then moved to the mainland and began fishing local rivers for salmon, steelhead and sturgeon. He is married with two children and lives where he plays in the community of Mission, sturgeon capital of the world. Chris has an extensive background in fly fishing and spey fishing for salmon and steelhead as well as trout. It didn’t take us long to see that Chris has some serious skills not only in fly fishing and sturgeon but his background in sales could be very helpful to our team.

Chris has worked hard for us in his first season guiding and has quickly proven to be a valuable asset. His strong leadership skills, flexibility and versatility adds greatly to our team. “Chris can do it all” says owner Tony Nootebos. I am thrilled to be able to add Chris to our already stacked team of fishing guides. Guiding isn’t always what it is cracked up to be, early mornings, long days and immense pressure can ruin a good angler quite quickly, it takes a certain type of person and Chris meets and beats all of those challenges. We are excited about 2020 and Chris continuing to grow with us. Please welcome our newest member to the team!

Best Regards

Vic Carrao

STS Guiding Service

www.guidebc.com

sts

Local 1-604-671-3474

Toll free- 1-855-223-5453

Celebrating 25 years of Guiding Fishing Adventures: 1994-2019

STS on Social media:

Join our mailing list – http://visitor.r20.constantcontact.com/d.jsp?llr=vi9yq5bab&p=oi&m=1101609593109

Guide Profile Series

Over the next few weeks we will be highlighting STS Guides with our Guide Profile Series. If you would like to share your story while out on a guided trip, we would be thrilled to hear it.

Guide Profile – Chris Burdekin

Like many of our guides, Chris was hired by head guide Vic Carrao. He has done many trips with STS dating as far back as 2012. On one of his trips with Vic in the canyon he was asked if he was interested in deck handing for a day. During one of our conversations Chris had talked about his passion of fishing, some mutual friends in the industry and his recent move to Mission. Vic recalls, “I needed a deckhand for an upcoming trip and Chris seemed keen on learning more about the guiding industry”. We’re always looking for good people and he seemed like a great guy with the perfect personality”.

Chris grew up on Vancouver Island fishing the Sayward and Campbell River area for salmon, as a young adult he then moved to the mainland and began fishing local rivers for salmon, steelhead and sturgeon. He is married with two children and lives where he plays in the community of Mission, sturgeon capital of the world. Chris has an extensive background in fly fishing and spey fishing for salmon and steelhead as well as trout. It didn’t take us long to see that Chris has some serious skills not only in fly fishing and sturgeon but his background in sales could be very helpful to our team.

Chris has worked hard for us in his first season guiding and has quickly proven to be a valuable asset. His strong leadership skills, flexibility and versatility adds greatly to our team. “Chris can do it all” says owner Tony Nootebos. I am thrilled to be able to add Chris to our already stacked team of fishing guides. Guiding isn’t always what it is cracked up to be, early mornings, long days and immense pressure can ruin a good angler quite quickly, it takes a certain type of person and Chris meets and beats all of those challenges. We are excited about 2020 and Chris continuing to grow with us. Please welcome our newest member to the team!

STS Guiding Service