Blake Merwin, Owner / Guide
Blake opened the brick and mortar Gig Harbor Fly Shop in March of 2009 after starting the business as Wilderness Angler.com in 2004. He enjoys exploring new aspects of fly fishing. He guides Puget Sound for sea-run cutthroat and salmon by kayak as well as on the beach in the spring, summer, and fall. In the winter and spring he guides for steelhead.
He’s an avid fly tier and gets a kick out of traveling to far-away fly fishing destinations.
He loves music (music degree and plays-has played the guitar, bass, piano and trombone) and has been overheard saying “Once upon a time, I was a guitar player in a metal band but traded it up for the care-free, laid back lifestyle of a small business owner.”
Justin Waters, Shop Associate / Guide / Instructor
Born and raised on the “Nature Coast” of Florida, Justin has been fishing since he could walk, chasing bass and bluegill around the lakes, ponds, and rivers. He was running boats before he earned his first drivers license. Learning about the redfish and other saltwater fish around salt flats and mangroves of Homosassa river, furthered his curiosity of the world underwater. Shortly after moving to Wisconsin at 18 he picked up his first fly rod to chase northern pike and small mouth bass. Finally (fulfilling a childhood dream) he moved to Bellingham, Washington and fished Puget Sound and the Skagit, Skykomish, and Stilliguamish rivers every chance he could through college. He recently spent a year working for Mike Lawson on the Henry’s Fork of the Snake River and has come back west to stay.
Justin guides for sea run cutthroat and salmon from our fleet of kayaks as well as off the beach. He also works in the shop and teaches casting lessons, tying classes, and trout fishing clinics.
Kipp Godfrey, Shop Associate
Kipp hails from Oregon and has fished extensively Oregon streams for trout. After graduating from PLU he was allured back to the Puget Sound area to chase the steelhead and trout of the Pacific Northwest. He is a great fly tyer and is our resident rod repair guy too!
Dave Thomas, Shop Associate
Dave is an outdoor enthusiast and loves to fly fish. Fly fishing has lead him to all sorts of interesting faucets of the fly fishing world including fly tying, kayak fishing, and fishing for species on the fringe of the fly fishing world: musky, lingcod, and more.
Alex Bradberry, Shop Associate/Instructor/Women’s Fly Fishing Program
Alex grew up in San Diego, California fishing local lakes and the San Diego Bay with her dad. Summers were spent fishing the Sierra Nevada lakes and rivers with her grandparents. Once she moved to the Bay Area, she found her love for fly fishing the small streams around Yosemite, as well as the larger steelhead waters of Northern California. After swinging the Olympic Peninsula for winter steelhead, she knew Washington would become home.
Maia Menard, Shop Associate/Instructor/Women’s Fly Fishing Program
You?, Shop Associate
Send us your resume and let’s see what happens.
Some of our friends:
Zack Williams, Shop Alumni/Guide
Growing up in Michigan, Zack started fly fishing when he was five cutting his teeth on smallmouth bass, trout, and Great Lakes steelhead. Over a decade ago, his first steelhead on a spey rod created a lifelong passion for spey casting and swinging flies which brought him to Washington and his favorite rivers on the Olympic Peninsula.
Besides Washington, his other favorite fly fishing location is Patagonia. Wherever he is, Zack’s best friend, his Chocolate Lab named Pate, is never far behind.
Zack’s passions are guiding for Steelhead with spey rods and teaching fly fishing to newcomers. He’s now working from Pullman, Washington and is the editor of spey magazine Swing the Fly.
James Harrington, Shop Alumni
James was born in Austin, TX and moved with his family to Gig Harbor when he was only a few weeks old. He began fishing around the Puget Sound region at age 5 and at 10, after moving with his family to Dallas, TX, he began fly fishing the local bass ponds and creeks. During his teenage years, fly fishing competed with his new found love of the bass guitar. After high school, James worked for a number of years as a professional musician.
In 2010, James returned to the Puget Sound region of his youth and quickly began immersing himself in fly fishing the beaches nearby and the rivers on the coast. James is also still an active musician and writer. Update 2015: James is back in Texas working in Fisheries for the state.
Erik Halom, Shop Alumni
While in college, he developed an affinity for the cold-water fish the Great Lakes region had to offer. Known as steelhead in the Midwest and lake-run rainbows elsewhere, the silvery anadromous fish took hold and proceeded to transform Erik into a full on fish bum. While steelhead carry a special place in Erik’s heart, he just enjoys fishing and is down to catch anything that swims. Erik is now working over at the Point Defiance Boathouse.
Jeff recently graduated college with a Psychology degree and thought, what better way to see text book perfect examples of crazy than by working at the Gig Harbor Fly Shop. He is an avid fly tyer and enjoys fishing for sea run cutthroat, salmon, and warm water species.
Jeff works in the shop, handles online sales, and teaches fly tying classes.
Jacob Hirst, Shop Alumni
After a few seasons of guiding in Alaska on the Kenai, Jacob settled down in the Pacific Northwest and chases anadromous fish in the salt and stream. He enjoys spey casting and fishing for steelhead and long walks on the beach. And he’s the only one in the shop with dual citizenship.