The Skipper

What John ‘Welzie’ Wells doesn’t know about fishing isn’t worth knowing. Together with his boat, the Hindsight, he’s the most sought after of Vancouver Island fishing guides, putting a lifetime of passion, enthusiasm, and expertise into creating outstanding expeditions for clients who come back year after year. Clients relish his humour and value his uncanny ability to provide just what’s needed at exactly the right time.

Mussel Slime And Magic Mom Moments

At the tender age of three, John Wells picked up his first fishing rod when his mom took him fishing off docks for Pile Perch. The many happy hours he spent Perch fishing with his mom built the foundation that would see him fishing for the rest of his life. His earliest, happiest, fishing memories include constantly needing to leave his clothes at the back door because they were covered in mussel slime after preparing the bait on the dock.

A couple of years later he met a fellow named Wally from Arizona in the US, at a campground called Pacific Playgrounds, who introduced him to the excitement of fly fishing and spin casting for Searun Cutthroat trout. Together, they spent hours fishing the mouth of the Oyster river. That was when John caught his first 40 pounder Chinook -on a fly.


To this day it’s about the people I meet and clients I have. That’s what keeps me in this business.

It’s All About The People

He got his first boat at the still tender age of seven, bought for him by his dad under strict instructions that he was only to use it within sight of his mother. He caused her a fair few grey hairs as she kept her eagle eyes on him from the beach while sun bathing.

Over the years, John’s adventures saw him fishing in Port Renfrew, Sooke, Bamfield, and Victoria, Esquimalt harbour which was his starting point.

He joined the ranks of British Columbia fishing guides in the Campbell River area, where he’d dedicate summer holidays to feeding his passion for fishing. He and his dad formed a partnership of sorts: dad would set up trips at the marina and John would take people out for fishing adventures.

By the time he was 12 years old he’d already built a good reputation as a great fisherman at Pacific Playgrounds. Coho salmon fishing was a top priority at the campground, but even back then a big highlight for John was meeting up with people who shared his passion and being able to take them out on the water.

He says, “To this day it’s about the people I meet and clients I have. That’s what keeps me in this business.”

Fun Adventures with Vancouver Island Fishing Guides

Many of John’s clients come back year after year. He likes to get them involved with setting the hooks and bringing in the gear involved, while making sure everyone is having a fun time while they wait for the fish to strike.

For John, it’s all about clients having fun and a true fishing experience. “Sure we lose fish”, he says, “but that’s what fishing is all about – you land some, you lose some”.

Finding the big fish, catching the trophies, yes, those things make for a great experience, but it’s not the full story. It’s not always about coming into the dock with the most fish. It’s also about making memories that echo down the years, last a lifetime and make you laugh again every time you remember the jokes and banter about the ones that got away as well as the ones you landed. Good BC fishing guides give you a great day to remember even if the monster fish evade your line.

With 24 years guiding in Port Renfrew under his belt, and a total of 45 years fishing in Port Renfrew, John ‘Welzie’ Wells knows these waters like he knows his own backyard. He’s been a Vancouver Island fishing guide for 40 years, and in business with Hindsight for 30, running extremely popular and successful fishing charters.