06 Aug Guide Profile: Jordan Oelrich
Jordan Oelrich is the owner operator of the Interior Fly Fishing Co based in Kamloops BC. It’s no secret that British Columbia has an incredible amount of diversity when it comes to fishing and Jordan’s backyard is no exception. The rolling ranchlands of BC’s interior are speckled with hundreds of lakes that produce big big trout.
The pro team at Interior Fly Fishing Co. have the area dialled and run a full service fly fishing guide operation throughout BC’s interior region. They also offer a variety of stillwater fly fishing courses, sharing their in-depth knowledge of lake fishing tactics and techniques.
When it comes to fishing anywhere there is no substitute to local expertise. Oelrich and his team know this and have British Columbia’s stillwater trout game covered like no one else. In this interview he shares a few tidbits that come only from countless hours on water.
Our latest guide profile starts now…
Where are you guys located and what region are you fishing?
We operate out of Kamloops, British Columbia. Kamloops is known as the Stillwater Fly Fishing Capital of North America, we are lucky to have over 100 lakes within an hour’s drive of downtown.
What got you into fishing to begin with?
I lived in a small cabin on Paul Lake outside of Kamloops for the first few years of my life, which was where I caught my first rainbow trout. I actually thought I was destined to be a professional golfer (I still love to play!) until I got into fly fishing around the age of 15. It was an immediate sickness, I couldn’t even fathom the idea of doing anything else, the rest is history.
What got you to start the Interior Fly Fishing Company?
I started Interior Fly Fishing Co. to give people a chance to experience what had made such a drastic impact in my life. I originally thought I would just be self-employed until I began seeing the viability of having a guiding operation based around stillwater fly fishing. It is an intricate game that leaves you very little room for error, I love educating people on this fishery. I don’t guide much anymore, spending more time overseeing our operation and drumming up new ideas!
Best and worst thing about running your own guide business?
You get to wake up and do what you really love to do, what fills your soul, which is something that I think a lot of people long for. A difficult thing would be untangling knots and netting 12-inch rainbows on an entry-level stillwater fishery during prime time while your friends are texting you pictures of two eight pounders in the net!
Has Covid-19 impacted your operation much?
In a sense, yes. We actually saw one of our best times in business history during our “Stillwater Academy” training program with Phil Rowley that operated this April. It is hard not having some of our US clients up this year, but we will be back at it in 2021.
Do you have a few chironomid tips for beginners?
Get over the idea that big fish won’t eat a tiny little fly, do your research, invest in learning how to do it right from the beginning. I spent years trying to figure it out until I met a few people that mentored me, and showed me immediately all of the things I was doing wrong (lots).
What’s the most common mistakes you see anglers making when lake fishing?
Becoming too impatient, thinking that they are missing the “magic fly” (it’s usually not the fly…), and fishing flies that are too big! Also, not diversifying their knowledge beyond learning to chironomid fish. Chironomids make up a giant portion of a rainbow trout’s diet throughout the year, but being able to catch fish when chironomids aren’t hatching is a valuable weapon to have in your arsenal.
Lake fishing etiquette, what should people know?
100 feet minimum between boats, never play a fish for more than 15 minutes, always ask before you anchor anywhere near somebody, you’ll be surprised to find that most people are very kind. Don’t be afraid to ask questions, but don’t yell across the lake to ask someone how deep they’re fishing or what they are using.
What are a few pieces of gear you always have in your guide boat?
Throat pump, 110spf sunscreen (I am either red or white, there is no in between), a pair of gloves if my hands start getting torn up from the anchor ropes, extra polarizes sunnies, emergency bottle of water in the guide bag, and a pack of gum!
When hitting up a new lake what are some things you’re looking for?
I like chasing big fish, and am willing to put in a full day of not catching to have the chance at a fish of a lifetime, so there are a few things that I look for in a new lake. The first being fairly light stocking numbers of sterile, non-reproducing fish (triploids). Next would be a shallow, nutrient-rich lake that is abundant in aquatic insects and invertebrates, especially shrimp. Lastly would be accessibility, I enjoy fishing lakes that are a bit harder to get into that might see slightly less angling pressure throughout the year.
What’s your go to lake fishing rod and reel combo?
We have a fleet of Scott Flex 9’6″ 6 weights with Ross Cimmaron II reels. I love the 10′ 5wt Scott Radian for a lake rod as well.
Any lake lines that you can recommend?
Scientific Anglers Anadro Stillwater Indicator for a floater, SA Clear Camo for an intermediate, and an S3/S5 for an all-arounder sinking line.
Prime time fishing around Kamloops, when do people want to come fish with you?
From early April into November, there is always something that will be fishing well, but it is extremely hard to beat the months of May and June. May is a pure chironomid show, while June you start to see a bit more diversity with damsels, dragons, mayflies and caddis all making appearances.
You’re doing online fly tying courses, what will people who sign up get out of that?
We do, and are definitely going to be adding some more down the road. Our flagship course, Chironomid Tying Mastery ( https://www.iffclearning.com/courses/chironomid-tying-mastery ) gives people 50 instructional videos on tying properly proportioned chironomid patterns that routinely produce.
You do some cool hosted trips, what do you have coming up for 2020 and 2021?
Destination fly fishing travel is my ultimate passion. Unfortunately our trips have been put on hold for 2020, but for years to follow we have a few great trips from fishing giant Tarpon in Costa Rica, fishing for bonefish, permit and tarpon in Belize, and chasing rainbows the size of small dump trucks in Bristol Bay, Alaska.
Your team is made up of some respected BC fly anglers, who does it include?
Our team is super great, they are the backbone of our existence. The first person we brought on, right from day one, was one of my best friends Dave Page. I guided with Dave in the Chilcotin for a few years, I think my wife was actually concerned with how good of friends we became at the drop of a hat. Dave is a great guy and a huge asset, people love fishing with him.
When I started doing some travel stuff, I began working with Kate Watson who is a wildly talented angler and tyer. We then brought on Brennan Lund, Brennan is an exceptionally keen angler that will literally fish clients until nightfall (he has no kids yet). We also have Cam Paille on board, he is an incredibly nice guy and an absolute stick when it comes to finding big rainbows on chironomids.
Last but not least, Beth Lucier handles our bookings and communications. She is an incredible angler, and does a great job for us. We are truly blessed with great people on board!
If people want to come fish with you what should they know?
That lake fishing is a pretty good time, and to have your expectations in mind when booking a trip. The same lakes that will harbour huge rainbows are often not the same ones that will put out 40 fish in a day, so knowing what you’re in for is definitely a big thing.
What are your socials?
You can find me on Instagram @interiorflyfishingco and the Interior Fly Fishing Co Facebook page is regularly updated. Visit the site for www.interiorflyfishingco.com for further information, and trip inquires.
About the Author
Yos Gladstone is the owner operator of Chromer Sport Fishing, a guiding company and booking agency based in British Columbia, Canada. A full-time salmon & steelhead guide, Yos spends 200+ days a year on the water fishing, guiding and hosting trips.