Fishing with John is like fishing with a friend. Too often fishing with a guide is like one of those marriages where the wife tries to remake the husband, constantly on his case about some fault or other. John is a good teacher and can help you a lot but if you are not that good of a student he can just let you do it your way without fuss. You can go at your own pace faults and all and just enjoy yourself.
John Edstrom, owner of Headwaters Fly Fishing Company has been in the guiding business since 1987.He was employed as a guide by a Fly Fishing only Lodge - Bristol Bay Lodge near Dillingham, Alaska from 1987-1989- 3 seasons. John returned to Minnesota each fall and found a niche for guiding in Minnesota and Wisconsin as well. Since then he has been guiding fly fishers on the Upper Mississippi and St.Croix rivers for Smallmouth Bass, Western Lake Superior Rivers for Steelhead and on the Driftless Area trout streams. He also presents several seminars each year on fly fishing for Smallmouth bass and fly fishing for Steelhead. John has fished for steelhead all over the continent including Alaska, British Columbia, Washington, Oregon, California and Idaho, Michigan, Wisconsin and Minnesota.
John and his wife Julie have two daughters (Kendall and Megan) and an English Setter that loves to find ruffed grouse. They feel fortunate to live in a region that has almost unlimited fishing opportunities.
Bob Bickford is currently rowing his third drift boat spanning a guiding career that's entering its third decade. He is the only Minnesota guide with a "Winston Rod Co." pro staff designation. Bob served two consecutive terms on the St.Croix River association's board of directors and remains steadfast in his belief that individual anglers and industry personal support local conservation efforts. After twenty five years working in emergency medicine Bob is currently on a sabbatical and intends to guide full time this season.
John's been fishing the Western WI, SE MN, and MN North Shore for over 50 years. Has fished from the High Arctic to Belize and Atlantic Salmon to the famed Bristol Bay area in Alaska.
John has been involved in the Fly Fishing industry since High School (had an Import fly tying materials business, general manager of Burger Bros., sales manager for Scientific Anglers, and most recently retired from being a sales representative for various sporting goods companies…..including ROSS reels, Scientific Anglers, Cheeky Fly Reels, Eagle Claw, Seagaur line, Frogg Toggs waders, etc.)
John ran the Burger Bros. fly fishing schools for 25 years, and introduced many people to the fly rod. He always says "Sometimes the fly rod can be the most effective method for catching fish, but it is always the most fun". Born and raised in the Midwest, John loves the seasons of fly fishing, whether it's winter Trout, Ice out Panfish, Summer Smallies, night time Walleyes, MT trout waters, and of course fishing the hatches on the local Trout waters.
John and his Brother developed the first emerging mayfly pattern on Armstrong Spring Creek, MT. the Goplin's Loop Wing Emerger, back in the 70's. And still loves changing patterns at the tying bench to see what's more effective.