Guide Profiles

Chris Lessway

Chris Lessway started fly fishing for trout and steelhead on the AuSable and Manistee river system at a very young age, where it quickly became his passion. He has been a professional fly fishing guide since 2001. A portion of his guiding career was spent guiding Colorado in the summer and spending the winter down in South America guiding on the Futalefu River in Patagonia. Chris is also an avid fly tier. He prides himself in tying and developing effective streamers and dry flies for the AuSable and Manistee Rivers. He is a member of the Regal Vise Pro-staff.

Another passion of Chrisí is photography and writing. A couple of his articles on Mousing and Spey fishing with a two-handed rod can be seen at

Chris is a very patient and knowledgeable guide. He welcomes beginners as well as the seasoned angler. Whether your looking to explore the North Branch out of his AuSable river boat or ply the Trophy waters below Mio throwing big streamers from the comfort of his drift boat, Chris is sure to provide you with an enjoyable experience that will make you want to come back again and again! He resides in Grayling with his daughter Mina (soon to be fly angler) and his chocolate Lab Lincoln.

David McCool

David McCool is certified as a Fly Casting Instructor by the Federation of Fly Fishers and in 2003 was Director of Instruction for the tenth Orvis® Corporate Fly Fishing School in the country.

When David is not teaching the art of fly casting or guiding clients; you'll probably find him chasing trout on the blue ribbon streams of northern Michigan.

A native of northern Michigan, McCool has an extensive fly fishing and hunting background and his travels have been reported in The New York Times, Fly Rod & Reel, Field & Stream, The Orvis News, AARP, the United Kingdom's Trout Fisherman Magazine, Detroit News, Traverse The Magazine and many other mainstream publications.

McCool is active in land and cold water resource protection efforts and was co-founder of the Boardman River Project, a grass roots organization formed to restore and maintain the integrity of the Boardman River Watershed in northern Michigan.

Pete Hodgman

Raised by an extended family of fly fishing fanatics, Pete has been fly fishing since the age of 15. With the exclusion of his college years, a day rarely goes by where Pete is not tying or fishing. From the early days of fly fishing the Pennsylvania rivers or the Housatonic River in his home town of Cornwall, CT, Pete quickly became addicted to chasing fish with a fly rod. After graduating with a degree in Computer Science from Eastern Michigan University in 1984, he began his career in the software industry, while continuing to chase trout, smallmouth, and carp throughout the state of Michigan.

In addition to guiding on the AuSauble river system, Pete currently guides both the Huron River and Great Lakes region for carp, smallmouth and trout where he is able to share his passion and knowledge of the sport.

Cameron Berry

Born in Southwest Michigan, Cameron comes from a long line of avid outdoorsmen. Conservation efforts, sportsmanship, and the upmost respect for mother nature was instilled in him at a young age. Taking up fly fishing at the age of 7 with a homemade rod from his uncle, he felt an instant connection with the North Branch via summer vacations. Being a TU member for around a decade, he has gained a deep appreciation for the wilderness and protecting it for future generations to come.
After attending Western Michigan University; in 2013, he began working at The North Branch Outing Club. April through August, you can find him chasing hatches across the Au Sable and Manistee river systems. Through these journeys, Cameron found enjoyment in smaller aquatic ecosystems with numerous creeks, streams, and tributaries of the Au Sable and Manistee. Post dry fly season you can find him mapping, and routing new spots, trying new techniques, and testing new fly patterns.
There isnít anywhere in the world Cameron would rather be other than on the North Branch posting up for a spinnerfall. Hobbies outside of fishing include upland bird and waterfowl hunting, cooking quality meals, and playing guitar.

Dale Gray

Hometown: Jackson, Michigan
Experience: Approx. 22yrs guide experience with pointing dogs on upland birds.
* Have guided clients at various hunting preserves in lower Michigan on pheasants, chukers and quail.
* Worked as a guide for The North Branch Outing Club the past 4 yrs. Guiding clients on wild grouse and woodcock.
* Has worked as a judge for the Andy Ammon Chapter of the Ruff Grouse Society field trial for the state qualifier for the Gun Dog of the Year in the state of Michigan for the past 10 yrs.
* Has experience training Labrador Retrievers and German Shorthair Pointers.
* Current dogs are Germain Shorthair Pointers: Copper and Penny

Goal: Provide our clients with a positive hunting experience, reflecting on the tradition of Michigan Grouse and Woodcock hunting in one of the premier grouse and woodcock hunting areas in the state of Michigan.