Staff


Dave Steele

Dave Steele

Dave SteeleWell here’s a sad story! Infected at birth Dave has spent most of his life in pursuit of fish. As the son of a frequently transferred Bank Manager Dave spent the first third of his life living in communities such as Hazelton, Terrace, Kelowna and North Vancouver. With each region providing a style of angling unique to its location it’s not hard to understand how his appreciation of all that was fishing developed. In the Late 70’s and early 80’s Dave spent 1000’s of hours employed as a Salt water Guide at Stuart Island Resort. A job which he confesses provided an immeasurable amount of insight into the realm of communication and patience. During the same time period Dave spent most of his winters in search of Steelhead regularly spending Friday and Sunday evenings in transit on an Island bound B.C. Ferry. In the Mid 80’s it became abundantly clear that a passion would soon manifest itself into a profession, the opening of Highwater Tackle simply confirming that which was imminent.

As the owner of Highwater Tackle Dave maintains a hands-on approach to his business and can usually be found assisting customers. Mr. Steele is a seasoned fly fisherman and a respected casting instructor, his comfort zone of confidence as sound in the Skeena watershed as it is on any interior lake. His years of saltwater guiding combined with a lifetime of river fishing, a keen love of fly fishing and a willingness to share, too this day represents the foundation of Highwater Tackle.

Supporting the conviction “that one should contribute to that from which they benefit” Dave has worked with the Seymour Salmonid Society both as Director and President. Being of the belief that Sport fishing should be celebrated turned fisherman in to author, a challenge that began with bi-monthly submissions to a local newspaper and matured into eight years of columnist /contributor status with BC Outdoors magazine. With creativity the subject at hand it should be mentioned that Dave has built hundreds upon hundreds of custom rods and takes great joy in answering any questions posed by an eager rod builder.

Best described as an all-round fisherman this store owner maintains an all encompassing philosophy and is regularly heard to say. “My job is not to criticize or comparatively diminish. The task at hand simple, anyone with a desire to catch fish in a legal and ethical manner is welcome to all the assistance I can offer”. Their chosen method of angling is without relevance. ” With all that’s been discussed please load-up with questions, come see us at Highwater Tackle and ask away.

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Gill Steele

Gill SteeleIf there was ever a case exemplifying an osmotic metamorphosis of the predisposed it would certainly involve Gillian. Her evolution into the competent angler she is today comes from an innate understanding of all things fishy combined with a curiosity that continually searches for answers. Her fly fishing prowess was born in the Skagit Valley, refined on a number of interior lakes and eventually utilized to realize successes in the fast flowing waters of the Thompson River.

Over the years Gillian’s field of expertise has widened enormously, she’s become a well rounded steelhead fisher and an expert Coho angler. Her skills as a trout fisher go without saying. Inquisitive by nature Gillian has spent years following her father into canyons, accessing pools at day break and bush-whacking through coastal rain forests, all the while absorbing every tidbit of information available. Funnily enough and with respect to the osmosis factor it’s Gillian’s awareness of the very specific that sets her apart. Whether providing advice on how to spine a blank, engaging in a knot tying demonstration or describing a casting technique this young lady excels. Gill is always willing to share her knowledge and is more than happy to help with any fishing related question. I am forever impressed by her attention to detail and unrelenting patience. Whether you searching for Tyee’s on the West Coast or looking to perfect a dead-drift, Gill is more than capable of giving you a hand with setup, tackle choice and applied technique.

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Matt Suzuki

Matt Suzuki

Matt Steelhead SnowBorn and raised in Tokyo Japan Mr. Suzuki represents Highwater’s window into angling traditionalism. Matt moved to British Columbia in 1992 and fell in love with all that was available to the passionate fly fisher. Though Matt began his career in the fly shops of Japan his dedication to detail and focused approach enabled him to quickly develop the skills and knowledge base that best defines an accomplished west coast fly fisher. In today’s world Matt is well respected as an accomplished Spey Fisherman, tournament single handed distance caster and consummate tier of classic steelhead and Salmon flies. Though Mr. Suzuki’s self proclaimed focus centers around the pursuit of Summer Run Steelhead his knowledge of what it takes to become a successful fly fisher is vast. Matt’s list of endeavours is highlighted with endless hours spent on interior lakes and profound understanding of Province wide Steelhead opportunities. In addition to his finely tuned familiarity with fly fishing and fly fishing related topics Matt possesses an extensive knowledge of vintage fly fishing rods and reels, those manufactures by the Hardy Brother’s clearly being his favourite.

There is little doubt that the fine tuning of Spey fishing systems is clearly Matt’s forte, in fact I would strive to say that amongst the services we offer it’s likely the one that he most enjoys undertaking. If you’re looking to purchase a line for a Spey or Switch rod drop by and benefit from Mr. Suzuki’s knowledgeable recommendation. If you’ve got a reel and you’re wondering if it will accommodate a particular line the procedure is exactly the same, drop on by. Though I’m clearly stating the obvious, Matt Suzuki is fluent in Japanese and regularly delights those of Japanese origin who are yet to feel comfortable conversing in English.

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Malcolm Wigham

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Fledged at an early age, Malcolm’s passion for fishing took off full flight and developed into an insatiable desire unbarred from species or style. As an eager young fisherman he would expend countless hours in the shop asking big questions, learning, and absorbing as much a blooming mind could. Today he is an extremely well rounded angler with a thirst for knowledge that is never quenched. Whether it be spey casting on the Squamish for steelhead or float fishing with his silex on the Capilano you will always find Malcolm dedicated to his hunt for a finned target. When not engaging customers you can find this young man on the local flow carrying out a religious dedication to witness his fly line straighten out or watch his float go down. In the shop one can be sure that a greeting from Malcolm will include a big smile and readiness to provide guidance in any way he can.

Although adept at our local waters, Malcolm has also been given the opportunity to chase a variety of species across the North American tropics including Belize, Florida, and Mexico. Amongst his warm water pursuits have been tarpon, bonefish, snook, and even the challenging roosterfish. Malcolm is well versed in many tropical destinations and is familiar with both fly and casting techniques unique to the south.  As the newest addition to the Highwater Team with are excited and thrilled to have him on board!

 

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Indie

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You will be hard pressed to find a day when our very own greeter doesn’t meet you at the door. Indie the Australian Cattle Dog spends most of her time wandering around the shop, checking out customers and assisting in fly selection. As a dedicated angler, Indie likes to spend most of her time in the water surveying the bottom for fish holding potential and removing woody debris from the shoreline.