Guided Fly Fishing    |     Clothing & Custom Gear    |     Photo & Video Gallery    |     Fishing Report   |    About Us    |     Links & Resources    |   HOME
  Have a fishing story to share?
Do you have a fishing story or testimonial to share? We would love to read it! We will post testimonials to this web page and fishing stories to our fly fishing blog. You can EMAIL us with stories, testimonials or comments.
Special thanks to anglers allowing us to post your comments in this section. Your feedback is greatly appreciated.
  Post Your Review on yelp!
Please tell us more about your fishing experience with Small Stream Outfitters! In addition to the testimonials page on this site, anglers are also welcome to read and post reviews to our new yelp reviews page. Your feedback is greatly appreciated.
  Guided Fly Fishing Testimonials From Fellow Anglers

First Steelhead on a Fly
May 26, 2013

I went on a guided fishing trip with Jesse Sampson over Memorial Day weekend, 5/26/13. My goal was to add to my experience and skills with a two-handed spey, learn how to prospect for steelhead, and try to catch one of these chrome monsters as I'm new to steelhead fishing. I've been fly fishing for about 12 years, but am a recent transplant to the Pacific Northwest so I took the opportunity to float an Oregon river with Mr. Sampson.

Words can't express how much fun and rewarding this experience was. First of all, Jesse went ABOVE AND BEYOND any expectation I could have regarding the determination and knowledge of a professional guide. He was entertaining and polite, but most of all he is bird-dogged when it comes to putting his clients on fish. He worked tirelessly over NINE PLUS HOURS on the float trip, skillfully rowing his large pontoon-style drift boat over holes. He frequently got me out of the boat and had me cover water with my spey rod, offering meticulous instructions on everything from casting and placement, to tips about fly types and mending practice. I learned more in one day from Jesse than I had in the previous six months of casting instructions and videos.

And best of all, he got me onto fish. I dropped one on my spey rod, and I caught a muscular ten pound steelhead from his boat! He netted the beast after an adrenaline-soaked fight, quickly snapped a couple hero shots of me holding the silver bullet, and helped me release it quickly. My first steelhead on a fly couldn't have been a greater experience on the water. Thanks Jesse! I'm definitely going to try to book a trip with him next time I'm in the Portland area.

---- Sam Swenson
      Bellevue, Washington

Summer Steelhead and Sea-Run Cutthroat Testimonial
September 6, 2012

I have spent the better part of the past two decades fishing and guiding outings for Great Lakes Steelhead. For over thirty years I have also worked as a professional in the conservation field. I have had the privilege of guiding some wonderful folks chasing fish in Ohio.

This is in an area of the country where a river once burned and advances in conservation have been hard fought. Steelhead have been an important tool for me in my conservation work, helping to promote the value of natural resources and the remarkable potential that existed for their recovery.

I took every outing seriously as an opportunity not just for an enjoyable day fishing but for a chance to enhance people's appreciation of the natural world. To me every detail was important.

Dr. John Bergfeld once called me a guide's guide.

I had the pleasure to spend a day on the river with Jesse Sampson last week and I can say, without reservation, that Jesse Sampson is a guide's guide.

Jesse is someone who not only knows the natural history and life cycles of the fish he is pursuing, he knows the subtleties and the issues of the rivers he works on and clearly cares for.

He knows the fish and he knows the water, consequently he will put you on fish.

But just as importantly he will work to provide you with an experience to match your capabilities and skills.

His gear and productive rigs are top notch, always at hand and ready to go. But if you have the desire to try your own flies and techniques from your home water Jesse will get you where you need to be to most effective.

His optimism is unlimited and contagious. His enthusiasm is boundless, he has a great sense of humor.... and he packs a pretty good lunch too!

I can tell you I will be going back to spend a little more time with a guide's guide Jesse Sampson!

Tight Lines
Steve Madewell
Steelhead Alley, Ohio

Nestucca River Winter Steelhead Testimonial
December 30, 2009

Jesse --

Thanks for an amazing day fishing! I know I was nervous, needed to be coached though everything, missed some nice fish & really couldn't cast or mend well. But, I had a great time & you put me on to some amazing fish. The one fish we landed was beautiful.(First steelhead ever, first on a fly! A fish of a lifetime.) The one that got away...what a fish! If only I knew how to get it to the net.

Yours was my first ever guided trip. When I describe all the stuff a guide does to my friends, they are amazed: Find a place with fish, find the right bait, teach an angler how to fish, show them how to cast, show them why to cast, where to cast & when, then...get them to hook fish then coach them to fight the fish while you're rowing for good fighting water & a landing spot, drop anchor, then net the fish while the angler is all disoriented by adrenaline...Obviously there is more to the job, but you were great. You definitely know the value of teaching people like me. Solidly hooking two wild fish in one day while missing a few others is still amazing to me.

I'm hooked on steelheading. Nothing compares to them. I love catching little fish, especially when you have to find them in a creek, but fighting steelhead has tripped a switch in me. I'll be in touch with you next fall. With luck, the conditions will be good & we'll both have time to fish!

JP - North Carolina
Read the angling report from this day of fishing and see a picture of JP's first steelhead!

Nestucca River Chinook and Sea-Run Cutthroat Testimonial
October 20, 2009


I just want to thank you again for the great day of fishing! You are a fine, hard-working young man, and a pleasure to be with. We'll do it again in the spring.

Tony - Utah
Read the angling report from this week of fishing

Siletz River Chinook, Coho and Sea-Run Cutthroat Testimonial
September 28, 2009

Hi Jesse,

You know that was one of our best days fishing ever. Perfect weather and lots of hook-ups. We had a blast, thanks so much.

John and Christy - Portland, Oregon
Read Fishing Report

Siletz River Tidewater Chinook and Sea-Run Cutthroat Trip
September 20, 2008

Hi Jesse,

Thanks for the fantastic trip. It was definitely the high point of my fishing year!! Thanks again for the great day. The cutthroat fishing was what I was hoping for and hooking a chinook was the icing on the cake. I really appreciate all the work you put in. And be sure to thank your mom for the great lunch and your dad for the wonderful coffee. You'll notice in a couple of pictures that you are smiling even though you are bucking a headwind and an incoming tide!

Tight lines,
James - Portland, Oregon

  Size Matters...Excerpt From A Fishing Story

Written by Robert ~ Portland, Oregon
March 14, 2009

When Jesse invited me to scout with him the River, I asked him what time I should show up. He said between 4:30 and 5 AM. Even though I had to drive through cross-town Portland traffic and cross over the Willamette, there aren't a lot of cars on the road between 3 and 4 AM and arrived up 3:55. Even so, Jesse was waiting by his vehicle, loaded and ready to go.

The only vehicles on the road were loaded logging trucks, zooming at or just above the speed limit, and never, ever, slowing down. I've always said that if you can keep up with an Oregon logging truck, you are driving too fast. I told Jesse they must load the trucks the day before so they can take off so early. Jesse said most logging truck drivers are done by 3PM.....continue reading

To read the rest of this story please visit the fishing stories category on our blog!