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Guiding Reviews

To everyone who sent us to Charlie Shadan—thank you! Charlie has an enthusiastic following, and we are now among his great fans. We would give him the highest recommendation to anyone who wants to fish northeast Massachusetts.

Charlie is a very special guide—one who improves your fly fishing prowess, no matter your level. Charlie also shares his deep knowledge of the Squannacook and Nissitisset rivers, pointing you to the best fishing spots and the best ways to approach them.  Of course you catch fish, but even more importantly, after a session with Charlie, you are infinitely better prepared to catch more fish on more types of water.  

Charlie is a superb teacher and guide.  He was highly recommended to my husband and me. We are now part of a large community who happily recommend Charlie to others. We can’t wait to have Charlie guide us again!  

Ellen Smith

July 7, 2017

Charlie took my wife and me out on a summer's day on the Squannacook. He asked that we provide him with some goals and aspirations for the day: that was a nice touch. It got us focused on what we were expecting and what we wanted to learn. We all agreed that this wasn't going to be a fish-ful day but a day to learn.

Charlie provided a well-organized, directed session covering our goals (and his) in detail. He worked with us individually to improve our casting and approach to the water. 

Bill Pastuszek

July 7, 2017

Charlie is an encouraging and insightful evaluator of individual strengths and ways to improve. He brings his high educational skills to bear in getting results. And he knows his rivers in meticulous detail.

I would highly recommend a session with Charlie to anglers of any level. You will learn a lot and have a wonderful day!

What a great day on the Nissitissit! We caught a bunch of fish but, more important, I learned a huge amount! You also have a great sense of humor, which, frankly, is a requirement for dealing with me. So it goes. You are such a generous guide and coach. I feel like I am going forward with 100% more confidence than I had before.

You're the best, Charlie!

David Powelstock

May 8, 2017

Having fun and learning don’t always go together, but they did with a half day on the Nissitissit River with Charlie. He’s an excellent teacher who knows the subject of fly fishing – and a pleasure to spend the time with. The best guides are also kind and patient human beings, and Charlie is certainly that. Anyone who has ever hired a guide with an “attitude” can appreciate those qualities. He structures the time - focusing on what you tell him you’d like to learn, shows you a few tricks of the trade you wouldn’t have thought to ask, and generally provides an overall great experience. Many guides facilitate your catching fish when you are with them – and we did that - but far fewer put such effort into making sure you’ll be able to replicate the fish-catching experience the next time you go out on your own. Charlie does that. Also, he’s is a consumer’s-best-bet as far as value for the guided dollar. Thank you Charles.

Michael Magee

May 8, 2014

I was looking for an introduction to Massachusetts trout streams and their required fishing techniques after moving back to Massachusetts from thirty years living in the Caribbean and the last few years spent fishing for Tarpon and Bonefish. Fishing for Trout in a New England stream is the opposite end of the spectrum from fishing for Tarpon. Charlie would have his work cut out for him.

Charlie first asked about my fishing history, skills and expectations for the day's outing. It was obvious that Charlie wanted to make sure that he fit the day's activities to both my skill levels and expectations to ensure the best outcome from the day. On the stream he was a combination of scout, teacher, cheerleader and gun bearer. Because I am so used to fishing saltwater flats or from a boat with plenty of unencumbered casting room I spent an inordinate amount of time fishing for trout in the trees. Of course I was never successful but Charlie, with a level of humor and patience rarely found in a guide, repeatedly removed my fly from the trees which landed there either because of poor casting or because on more than one occasion I struck the fish so hard that after missing, the fly ended up in a tree. When this would happen Charlie would humorously remind me, "Trout Brad, not Tarpon". Charlie spent our day together explaining and teaching the art of reading a stream, using different fishing and casting techniques and took me to places to show me where in the future I could fish the stream on my own. In addition, and as a result of Charlie's guiding, I caught some great fish.

In my years fishing I have had the occasion to fish with a number of guides and have attended one of the best known fishing schools. In Charlie Shadan I was lucky enough to find the epitome of both, a world class guide and a patient and talented teacher. I would gratefully fish with Charlie at any opportunity and have left with him a standing request, "Charlie, when you get a guiding cancellation call me and take me fishing".

Brad Clark

May 20, 2013