Since 1994 in Columbus, Ohio
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About Our Staff

Brian Flechsig

Brian Flechsig tied his first fly and caught his first fish on a fly rod when he was seven years old. Today, from his fly shop in Columbus, Ohio, which he founded in 1994, Brian outfits sportsmen, teaches classes and guides groups on fishing trips to some of the world’s best places to fish. He has been in the fly fishing business for most of his adult life. Brian is one of America’s new generation of fly fishing personalities and has been featured in a series of fly fishing instructional videos from Mad River Media, including the famous title, Carpin’ with good friend Dave Whitlock. Regular guest appearances on the popular television show “The Walker’s Cay Chronicles” with Flip Pallot, have made Brian one of the most recognized names and faces in mid-western fly fishing arena.

He is the author of “The Fly Fisher’s Guide to the Mad River”, Ohio’s premier trout stream and is active in many conservation activities and efforts to bring the sport of fly fishing to everyone. He is also the primary host of our popular YouTube Channel. 

Brian oversees the entire operations of Mad River Outfitters along with his sister companies Midwest Fly Fishing Schools and Ohio Fly Fishing Guides. He is very versed at many aspects of fly fishing....and holds a special passion for saltwater. He served as our head guide at the Wilds for 8 seasons and is also passionate about largemouth on the fly. He also still finds time for a few days on the Mad River in his AuSable River boat.

Brian hosts many of our store trips including the Amazon Peacock Bass Trip in January, the Labrador Brook Trout Tip in July, the Slide Inn Trip in August and the New Orleans Redfish Trip inthe Fall. You can find details on all of these trips here on our website of course. Stay tuned for more adventures!

Andy Jensen

Andy grew up in California fly fishing for wild trout in the pristine headwaters of the Owen's River, as well as the saltwater monsters of the Pacific Ocean. He has years of experience fishing for many types of local fish including trout, bass and steelhead, eventually turning to carp as the most constantly challenging and rewarding gamefish. He has spent the last several seasons researching the best pieces of carp fishing water in central Ohio, and began professionally guiding other anglers in 2007.

After hanging out in the shop and being a loyal customer since the very beginning, Andy joined our sales team here in the shop in the Spring of 2009. He has quickly worked his way up the ranks and now serves as our General Manager. He's the boss around the shop! He will also be doing some limited guiding this year aboard the Fly-N-Carp, his legendary "Ohio Flats Boat". 

Katie Johnstone

While on a trip in Alaska, Katie got a taste of fly fishing for the first time. Just some time later, she attended the Columbus Fishing Expo and picked up her first fly rod from the Mad River Outfitters booth. From then on, she was hooked. With a heart for the outdoors and staying active, you can often find Katie spreading her love for the sport of fly fishing with her friends, fishing and guiding from her raft and chasing smallies when in Ohio, brookies in WV and cutthroat in alpine lakes.

Always on the move, Katie is an avid rock climber and wakeboarder. Her top fly fishing memory comes from backpacking through the Wind River Range in Wyoming and fishing for trout in the alpine lakes. Katie helps out with everything from the website to social media and our soft goods department. Her passion for the sport, sharing it with others and teaching it makes her indispensable here at Mad River Outfitters and we're excited to see her future in the world of fly fishing!

Pat Kelly

Pat has been a lifelong customer of Mad River Outfitters, to the point that we finally had to put him to work!

At the age of 3, Pat began fishing for bluegill and bass on his family property in Southern Ohio. Around the age of 10, he fell in love with the art of fly fishing and fly tying. Since then he has spent most of his time honing his skills on our local waters chasing everything from trout on the Mad River, Musky in Southern Ohio and carp every where in-between. He's also spent a lot of time on the Florida coasts fishing everything from Redfish to Permit. After finishing high school he pursued a career as a chef but soon realized that it was cutting into his valuable fishing time.

Pat has been with us since 2008, he's our Fly Manager. He is most legendary for his Pike and Musky guide trips aboard his Jet Boat or Clacka Craft. He also hosts trips to Brazil and Bolivia.

Ryan "Buff" Ratliff

While just a few years old his family instilled in him a love for the outdoors. They taught him that it isn’t all about the casting or catching, but it is about the full experience. At 10 a friend gave him an old Garcia fiberglass fly rod and a Sears & Roebuck fly reel. With that old fly rod, the stream around his legs and the feel of a rod deeply bent, his love for sharing fly fishing with others was born.

Nowadays, Ryan's time is spent with his two children and wife. Mad River Outfitters has been an important part of his life for years. With a unique passion for fly tying, he manages our Fly Tying Department, guides and teaches classes.

If time allows, he loves tying flies, loading up the canoe and pulling out the two-hander or Tenkara. With all the memories fishing has blessed him with, it's hard not to want to help others be able to make some memories of their own. Sometimes these moments are on fishing trips, with his kids, or with those he runs into along the journey.

Linda Farner

Linda Farner has been with Mad River Outfitters since early 2011 and has climbed the "corporate ladder" become our soft-goods manager. She works in the shop 5 days a week, pretty much full-time these days. She's in charge of the "front" of the store and manages companies like Sherpa, Simms, Kuhl, Patagonia, Dubarry, Howler Brothers and more.

Linda does a good portion of the merchandising in the shop and also keeps the boys in line. She knows virtually nothing about fly fishing, but she tied her first fly recently, so that's a start. Linda lives here in Columbus and has for many years now but comes to us from Iowa.

She has a great husband Jon and two teenage boys and claims that she loves her life and her job! Stop by the shop and she'll be happy to help!

Paul Johnson

Paul Johnson heads up the shipping department here at Mad River Outfitters. He was introduced to fly fishing by his uncle six years ago while he was living in Breckenridge, Colorado. Paul developed a passion for the sport and has enjoyed getting to share that now with his son, Easton. Easton recently caught his first rainbow trout and it is a memory Paul will never forget.

If you run into Paul on the water, chances are you’ll find a few rubber legs, clouser minnows and crayfish patterns in his fly box at any given time. His newness to the fly fishing sport has only grown his desire to fish and learn more and having him as part of the team only grows that passion more. After all, getting outdoors is his favorite way to de-stress. Anything that you buy online goes through Paul as he packages it up and ships it out to your doorstep.

Dev Fogle

Dev Fogle is our resident video, social media and website photo guy. Born in the Midwest, he never managed to pick up any agricultural ability — nor did he have the takeaway to run. So he picked up a camera and started recording videos for local businesses here in the heart of Ohio. We met him while working on a project together and began our Mad River Outfitters YouTube Channel.

When Dev's not in the shop, you can find him backpacking with his cattle dogs, rooting for his wife Ashley at marathons and spending time with his daughter. With Brian's on camera talents and his camera work, they have grown the YouTube channel to be the most influential fly fishing YouTube channel in the world. Instructing thousands of anglers everywhere on the joys, humor and lessons that can be had in the sport of fly fishing.

Sam Crowe

Sam is a seasoned fly fisherman and a dedicated full-time shipping liaison at Mad River Outfitters. With a passion for outdoors fashion, a connoisseur's appreciation for wine, and a deep love for jam bands, Sam's interests extend beyond the waters.

Born with a fly fishing rod in hand, Sam's expertise and enthusiasm for the sport have led to a successful career at Mad River Outfitters. With an innate understanding of the intricacies of fly fishing and a keen eye for detail, Sam ensures that each customer's shipping experience is seamless and efficient.

Whether out on the water fly fishing or coordinating logistics behind the scenes, Sam's professionalism and expertise make him an indispensable asset in helping Mad River Outfitters operate efficiently.

Steve Pileski

Steve has been fishing for his entire life, and when he picked up a fly rod for the first time many years ago, it didn’t take long for it to become his greatest passion. Growing up in Columbus, Steve fished ponds and rivers for bass and panfish almost every day. Once he began fly fishing, his focus became directed almost exclusively on trout and bass. Ask any of his family or friends and they’ll tell you that he never stops talking about his favorite fish, steelhead.

In the shop, Steve can be found anywhere work needs to be done. From helping customers on the floor, to packaging and shipping orders around the world, he strives to do it all. When not at the shop working or out on the water fishing, Steve plays hockey regularly here in Columbus and coaches the sport at a local high school.


Meet Bella, she is the newest and unarguably the cutest member to our team. She can be seen running around the admin side of the shop, napping in a soft bed in the shipping area and playing with her toys. Like all of us here, she loves the outdoors. Bella and her big brother Rogue are always around to say 'hi' to all of our friends in the shop, in their special puppy kind of way.


Boradors Mad River Rogue to be exact...but we just call him "Rogue".  The now infamous fox red Labrador retriever joined our staff in September 2014 and we are thrilled to have him. He follows in the footsteps of our also legendary "Bear" who worked in the shop from 1994 to 2009 when he passed away, fat and happy after a long retail life. Rogue has picked-up the torch and carries the tradition forward.

Rogue is in the shop most days and serves as our official greeter. He'll usually come up and say "Hello" and "Welcome to Mad River Outfitters"...of course in his own Labradorean way. He's a real people "person" and especially LOVES when kids come to visit. Stop in and say hello! He'll be glad to see you. 

Dick Davidson

Dick's life-long passion for fly fishing began at age 8 in Wyoming and Montana when size #16 flies were considered very "small" flies. He has fished from New England to the Blue Ribbon streams of the West and also in Alaska. During his college years, Dick combined fly fishing and backpacking to fish infrequently visited waters located in the scenic areas of the Bighorn Mountains, the Teton Wilderness Area, The Wind River Mountains and in Glacier and Yellowstone Parks. Dick is also an avid fly tyer and enjoys teaching fly tyers of all ages who are new to this hobby. At age 10 he was a commercial fly tyer, selling Joe's Hoppers to his neighborhood friends, until he exhausted his dad's supply of Herter's fly tying materials. Today, Dick's favorite fly fishing destinations include the Mad River in Ohio and the Montana Mother's Day Caddis hatch.

As of September 2008, Dick is now back with us as Fly Tying manager and general computer geek.. He will also be teaching fly tying classes as usual and helping out with the new Entomology class. He is also very instrumental part of making sure the "technical" aspects of Mad River Outfitters work.......he knows computers as well as he does hatches!

Jim Andrix

For almost 13 years, Jim Andrix was as much a staple in the shop as our dog bear! He has been as faithful an emplyee as anyone could ask for.....and also one of our most talented.

Jim has been fly fishing since the early sixties and is truly a pioneer in many aspects of the sport.....he just does it quietly. He is our resident warmwater expert and will gladly tell you that he is not much of a trout fisherman but would much prefer a smallmouth bass. He is also an excellent carp fisherman and has been featured in the Mad River Media DVD- "Carpin" with Brian Flechsig and Dave Whitlock. He is also known for developing the now-famous Jim's Lil' of the most versatile flies of all time........ which has recieved national acclaim in recent years.

As of Spring 2010, Jim has taken an early retirement and plans on enjoying the actual fishing part of his life. He will still be around the shop on occaision and may be available for local smallmouth guiding. He will be missed on a daily basis but we are also very excited about the fact that he actually gets to go fishing now! Best of Luck Jim!

****Sadly, Jim passed away on April 23rd, 2023 after a brief battle with cancer. We have lost a huge icon in the storied history of Mad River Outfitters. Although he is no longer with us, his spirit will live on in everything we do from this day forward. Thanks Jim for all you did for us and all you taught us. We are forever grateful. As he always said...."Let's go fishin', stead of just a wishin'".