Our Team

Capt. Ethan Winchester, Director of Operations

Born and raised in northern Michigan, Ethan has been fishing the area as long as he can remember. Ethan gained his passion for fly fishing after casting his first flies on the legendary Au Sable River. During college, Ethan fished the western Michigan tributaries extensively for trout, salmon and steelhead, spending as much time in waders as in the lecture hall. His love for cold water resources and protecting the fisheries he loves led Ethan to founding and serving as President of the first collegiate sub-chapter of Trout Unlimited in the nation, Ferris Trout Unlimited.
After graduating from Ferris State University, his passion for the sport took him to Sweetwater Travel Company’s Fly Fishing Guide School outside of Livingston, Montana where he gained even more knowledge and skills required of today’s professional guides. During the past several seasons, Ethan has honed his skills with a fly rod and at the tying bench, even landing him the coveted position of an Alaskan guide at Kulik Lodge of the Bristol Bay region in the summer of 2010 chasing big Alaskan ‘bows.

However, his love for northern Michigan and its intimate fisheries brought him back to Boyne Country to introduce more people to the fishing he has enjoyed for much of his life. Ethan currently holds a Captain’s License with the United States Coast Guard, continues to be active in his local Trout Unlimited chapter and is a member of the Federation of Fly Fishers. Ethan enjoys teaching beginners and pushes advanced anglers to hone their skills on the river. 

If you are new to the sport, or have a passion as strong as his, Ethan will make sure you have an enjoyable experience on the water.

Contact Ethan at ewinchester@boyne.com.

 

Zach Ginop

Zach picked up his first fly rod while serving as the assistant caretaker of the Ford Ranch located on the Sturgeon River near Wolverine.  Within one year, he made a commitment to himself to fish primarily with flies and bring a trout to hand over 15 inches...every month of the year!  Zach spends the majority of his time fishing the Sturgeon, Pigeon and Maple River watersheds where he has been perfecting the large variety of flies and techniques used to master those rivers.  Accomplished on the vice, Zach ties commercially during the winter months while not chasing steelhead across northern Michigan waters.  Zach has been guiding friends and family unofficially for several years...watching the excitement of others in the outdoors has only fed to his addiction.  Zach decided to pursue life as a guide after spending his years on the waters of northern Michigan and several trips to Colorado.

Contact Zach at zginop@boyne.com 

 

Matt Sampey

Growing up on a lake in southeast Michigan, Matt's obsession for fishing began at an early age.  Teaching friends and family to fish was just part of being a "lake kid" and something Matt truly enjoyed.  Childhood weekends were spent at the family cabin on Bear Creek chasing trout and salmon where his love for river fishing and the beauty of its watery residents fascinated him.  However, Matt's passion for angling took a huge leap while he was attending Colorado Outdoor Adventure Guide School in Cripple Creek, Colorado.  Matt has spent the better part of the last decade guiding sportsmen and anglers in search of their outdoor dreams - from horseback pack trips for trophy Rocky Mountain Elk to chasing trout across the country.  Matt has had the privilege to fly fish in many great locations throughout the West and Alaska; however the waters of northern Michigan have always intrigued him the most.  Matt lives in Boyne Falls with his wife and two boys. 

Contact Matt at msampey@boyne.com

 

Greg Frey

Greg comes to Boyne Outfitters after taking a ten-year sabbatical from the fly fishing industry in order to focus on some of the finer things in life - family.  Living in Petoskey with his wife and two girls, Greg knows the local waters.  Greg's experience stems from guiding stints for Streamside Orvis located in Traverse City, and the former Whippoorwill Orvis in Petoskey where he learned the northern Michigan waters and fine-tuned his skills with a fly rod.  He even has a handmade McKenzie-style drifter that he floats on our waters.  Greg loves the lyrical side of angling, where he has had works featured in Fly Rod & Reel, Gray's Sporting Journal, and Sporting Classics to name a few.  During the off-season, Greg teaches fourth-grade elementary where his patience and teaching abilities from such truly shine in his guiding.

Contact Greg at gfrey@boyne.com

 

Jacob Giffin

Jake grew up fishing the classic trout waters of Montana.  When he was 12, in an attempt to get Jake to sit still, his parents purchased him his first fly tying kit...that was all it took!  Since then, Jake has been fascinated with all aspects of fly fishing including water ecology, entomology, fly tying, and of course...catching fish!  While attending college, Jake obtained his first guide position on the Wind River in Wyoming.  It was there that Jake discovered the satisfaction he gained from helping clients have a successful day on the water, as well as providing them with an enjoyable and memorable experience.  In addition the Wind River, Jake has guided clients across Montana as well as spending several summers in the land of the midnight sun...Alaska.  Jake has been a teacher and coach for the last seven years in western Montana and has continued to guide each summer.  In order to raise their two boys in northern Michigan, Jake and his wife have relocated to the area.  Jake is excited to continue his guiding career with Boyne Outfitters!

 

Keith Rusnell

Keith comes from a long lineage of fly anglers...5 generations of his family have fished the headwaters of the Jordan and Upper Manistee rivers!  Keith has spent his entire life fishing the rivers in northern Michigan.  His true love is the beautiful Brook trout that inhabit our northern rivers; however, he has also chased steelhead from Lake Superior to Lake Erie.  Keith ahs served with the Headwaters Chapter of Trout Unlimited for several years, helping with introductory fly fishing lessons, tying classes, and habitat improvement projects.  Keith looks forward to helping the novice angler, as well as the seasoned vet, expand their skills on our fisheries throughout the year.  In his spare time, Keith enjoys training his field-bred Springer Spaniel for HRC events, as well as wing shooting for grouse and woodcock each fall.  Keith lives with his wife and two children in the headwaters area of the Upper Manistee.

 

Robbie Skerratt

Robbie's passion for fishing sparked while growing up on Otsego Lake in Gaylord.  His grandfather was the first individual to introduce Robbie to the sport of fly fishing, but it didn't stick until he hooked his first King Salmon on a fly rod years later.  That was all it took to turn his passion for fishing into an obsession.  Northern Michigan's diverse fisheries are perfectly suited for feeding Robbie's never ending desire of putting fish to hand.  If you can't find him, chances are he is roaming the north woods with his black lab (and fishing partner in crime), Raven, and learning new water in his spare time.  Robbie loves northern Michigan and all that it has to offer.  When he is not out on the water, Robbie is chasing whitetails with the old stick and string, enjoying Michigan's world-class golf courses, or getting lost out in Pigeon River Country.

 

Andrew Behrend

Originally from southeastern Michigan, Andrew grew up camping in northern Michigan which is where his passion for fishing truly began.  Although Andrew originally focused on lake fishing for pike and bass, about eight years ago Andrew was introduced to his first fly rod on the banks of the Au Sable River.  Since that time, his focus has been on chasing trout, salmon and steelhead on the fly.  Andrew has recently made the leap to fully commit to fly fishing and turn his hobby into a lifestyle and career.  By making the move to Boyne Country and joining Boyne Outfitters, Andrew intends to develop his skills, learn the intimate fisheries of northern Michigan, and grow as an angler.

 

Shop Dogs

Since fly fishing and bird hunting tend to go hand in hand, we love our dogs here at Boyne Outfitters!  Here are a couple of our furry friends that frequent the shop.

Luna

Luna is a traditional field-bred golden retriever that comes to us all the way from Maplehills Kennel in western Wisconsin.  She loves two things more than anything…bird-hunting & fishing.  She has been riding in drift boats since she was just a small pup, and started chasin’ birds not long after.  She loves searching for grouse in the north woods, but her favorite thing is bustin’ roosters whenever she gets the chance.  Since she is with Ethan pretty much all of the time, she is in the shop most days and enjoys when people come to see her, even though she still has a crazy puppy demeanor she hasn’t quite kicked yet!

Smokie

Black lab. 10 years old.

Likes: falling into beaver holes, 800-fill down sleeping bags, and sleeping whenever possible.

Dislikes: long walks on the beach, being used as a pillow, and pugs.