Maine Rafting Fishing Hunting Snowmobiling Guide: Chris Russell
Name: Chris Russell
Hometown: West Gardiner, ME
Age of First Rafting Trip: 17
Year you started guiding at Northern Outdoors: 1989
What type of guiding do you do? Whitewater Rafting, Fishing, Hunting, Snowmobiling
What do you enjoy most about working at Northern Outdoors?
My ‘workday’ is all about showing our guests a great time doing outdoor adventures, all of which happen to be my hobbies and pastimes. If you can find a job like that, you’d be there as long as I’ve been here.
What is your favorite river to guide, and your favorite rapid on that river?
The Dead River and Big Poplar Falls…. always trying to get a piece of the big hole, just not too much.
What’s your classic Northern Outdoors memory?
My first day of guiding for Northern was on a Dead River trip where the river was running somewhere around 20,000 cfs. I’d only been on this river a few times so I decided to follow the owner, Wayne Hockmeyer. Well he promptly flipped in the first rapid, so I dropped to the back of the pack and just tried to survive the day. The scariest thing that day was the fact that full trees were floating just under the surface and would suddenly come up out of nowhere, rear up and flip over in the middle of the river. None of us have seen the river that big since.
Where do you adventure when you are not working?
My wife Cindy and I usually head to remote islands in the Bahama’s. We’ve rafted the Grand Canyon, skied in Canada and Colorado together, and fished in Spain.
What do you do in the off-season when you’re not guiding for Northern Outdoors?
A lot of the same. Depending on the time of year, I might be grouse hunting with my bird dog or snowmobiling and there’s a good chance I’ll be fishing at least somewhere every month.
What rivers have you run outside of Maine?
The Gauley and New Rivers in West Virginia, Colorado River through the Grand Canyon, Yampa River in Colorado, Rapid River in New Hampshire, the Deerfield in Massachusetts and the, Jaques Cartier and Ottawa Rivers in Canada.
Which Kennebec River Brewery beer is your top choice after a day on the river?
Learn more about fishing with Chris: Maine’s Trout Fishing Secret: The Kennebec River Gorge