Hi, I’m Nathan Schepker. I am the owner/operator and head guide of Top Fly. We are a fly fishing only guiding service.
I have been fishing for as long as I can remember. Pretty much since I could walk, my dad used to take me out fishing in the boat… as soon as it was okay with mom. Thinking it would be a short, couple-hour trip was his mistake! I would fish until I was forced to stop and then cry when we had to go in (sometimes I still do this). Little did he know he had started a lifelong addiction, a good addiction.
Now I am making a living doing what I love and spending about 200 days a year on the water. I took up fly fishing when I came to Ellensburg to attend college at Central Washington University, where I graduated with an Environmental Science degree in 2017. I can’t say I’m putting my degree to good use being a fishing guide, but I wouldn’t have it any other way.
I started out the season in June of 2016 on the Yakima River fishing for trout until about May when I change gears to fish for smallmouth bass. Here, I go back and forth between trout and bass until the middle of June when the water gets too low for bass. Then, I switch gears to full-time trout and sneak away to fish for summer-run steelhead on the Klickitat River, and occasionally I go out to Westport and fish for salmon on the ocean.
In the fall, I bounce back and forth from the Yakima to the Klickitat fishing for trout and steelhead. Then in the winter, I do some trout trips and usually end up getting in some fishing for myself. I’ll pack my bags and head to the Olympic Peninsula sometimes and fish the Sol Duc, Clearwater, Hoh, and others, but most of my fishing is done on the East side of the state. I do like to go out of state to places like Montana and Idaho and fish some of the great fisheries like the Missouri and Big Hole in Montana, or Coeur d’Alene in Idaho.
I thoroughly enjoy what I do and take out a wide variety of anglers. Whether it is someone’s first or thousandth fish on a fly, I get the same amount of pleasure. I enjoy making relationships with people, the laughs and deep conversations that we get into on the water. For many people, it is a much-needed getaway from the busyness of city life and a change of scenery from sitting behind a desk and computer.
I cater each trip for the type of angler that comes out, whether you need help on the mechanics of your cast, dry fly fishing, nymphing, tightline nymphing, streamer fishing, or you are just out to enjoy the day and catch fish. To see the techniques we use click here.
We can spend most of the day anchored, working water, and making you a better angler, or work the water from the boat and cover more of the river. Each day you’ll find my boat clean, on time, and ready for you to have the best experience possible.
I tie most of my flies during the off-season, but the river conditions and hatches are always changing so I am typically tweaking flies daily to match what the fish want. Overall, starting with the night before the trip, I am already working to make this the best and safest fishing experience so from the moment you step in my boat you can relax and just think about the fish and surrounding scenery.
I can assure you that whether you are fishing with me or my guides, you will have an above satisfactory experience as we all have decades of experience on the water and are licensed professional guides that live our lives on the water. If anything happens that does not meet your expectations then I urge you to let me know and we can make things right.