Welcome to Maple Country Anglers! Meet our Guide Staff
Ben Wilcox - Owner/ Head Guide My name is Ben Wilcox, the owner/guide of Maple Country Anglers, and a proud member of the USA Fly Fishing Team. Maple Country Anglers is a fly fishing guide service based out of the Burlington, Vermont area. I guide in Northern and Central Vermont, but I also offer wilderness fly fishing trips in the Rangeley, Maine area during certain times of the year, however most of our guiding is done within an hour of Burlington.
I grew up just outside of Burlington, VT. I headed to the University of Maine for college and spent a total of 6 years in Maine, long enough for me to discover that VT is the place I wanted to live. I feel very fortunate and be able to show you my home state, home waters, and share with you my passion for fly fishing. It is my goal to not only help you catch fish, but to share with you my knowledge of the sport and the area we are fishing.
I am a fully licensed and insured Professional Guide. Vermont has no standards nor requirements to guide within the state; anyone can claim to be a "guide" here. For this reason it is important to put your trust in a guide and company with the experience, training and knowledge to safely ensure a great outdoor experience. I have been a Registered Maine Guide (license # 5165975) for over a decade, and am certified in Fishing, Hunting, Outdoor Recreation, and Commercial Boat Operation. Earning the Maine Guide Patch is a coveted achievement in the Northeast. Guides are trained and examined in all aspects of outdoor activities including Navigation, Boating and Canoeing, Map and Compass, Wilderness first Aid, Lost Person Scenario's, Client Care, General Outdoor Knowledge, Laws and regulations. Candidates are required to complete a lengthy written test in each discipline they are applying for and pass a map and compass test before being examined in person by a board of highly esteemed Maine Guides. Candidates only receive their license upon formal approval by the board. As a Maine Guide I assure you that you are putting your trust in a trained professional. Additionally, I am a member of the Vermont Outdoor Guides Association. I have also completed Guide School at Maine's Outdoor Learning Center and completed Orvis' Advanced Fly Casting School, and am a proud member of Trout Unlimited.
In 2021 I earned a spot on the USA Fly Fishing Team. Representing my country in fly fishing competitions is a true honor and a goal I set for myself a few years ago. Competing in fly fishing tournaments and now as a member of the 15 man USA team, has given me the opportunity learn from the best in the country and the world and bring that knowledge back to VT and the clients who fish with me.
Fishing has always been an important part of my life. My parents frequently tell the story of the first fish I caught, a huge sheepshead which I dragged around the lawn for days. I was too young to even remember, but it clearly started a love affair with fishing and the outdoors. These days, it is all catch and release for myself and clients, but I thoroughly enjoy photographing our catches for years of memories. I have fished all over the east, most states of the Rocky Mountain West and Pacific Northwest as well as Hawaii, Alaska, and many Canadian Provinces.
I live in Essex, VT with my wife who is my number one fishing partner, a black and white mutt, and our three kids 4 and under. We hope to continue the tradition of fishing and hunting with them. Additionally, I own a large organic maple sugaring business with my father on around 500 acres in Underhill, Vermont called Amber Ridge Maple. I am fortunate enough to own a seasonal business that allows me most all of fishing season on the water.
Andrew Masenas - Guide
"I asked longtime friend Andy to guide trips for Maple Country Anglers last season. He is extremely knowledgable in VT's waters and when I first began fishing with him, was blown away with how intimately he knew our rivers and streams. A great and well rounded fisherman, he is honestly one of the most passionate and knowledgeable fly fishing guides in the state. Great with all clients, he can show our most experienced guests a new tip or technique, while his history working with school children makes him a great teacher to our smaller and less experienced guests as well." - Ben Wilcox
I have been a lifelong fisherman and outdoor enthusiast. As a youngster I was always fascinated with catching fish. I guess it’s fair to say I’ve had fishing in my vocabulary for a very long time. While I didn’t begin to fly fish exclusively until 2007, I did have the pleasure to learn the sport of fly fishing from my grandfather who taught me patience and to care for the river and the trout that inhabit them.
I have invested years into learning as many pieces of water in Vermont as possible and the techniques in which to employ to fool our native and wild trout species. This has paid off for clients and myself by being able to fish productive water in just about all conditions. While I focus most of my attention on trout, I do enjoy and am knowledgeable in catching other warm water species. I am CPR certified and have been fortunate in the past to be taught the art of guiding from some of VT's best fly fishing guides.
Since 2013 I have been a guide in Vermont covering water from the Otter Creek up to the Lamoille River. In 2018 I began guiding trips for Maple Country Anglers, joining longtime childhood friend Ben Wilcox. Both of us share the love of fly fishing and are excited to be able to share what we love with others. I am also an active member in Trout Unlimited and volunteer for Project Healing Waters. I have and participated in several local fly fishing tournaments and plan to continue servicing the fly fishing community through fly tying lessons and volunteering.
During the winter months I work full time at Essex Middle School while squeezing in time to fish for Steelhead and prospect winter trout lies. I live with my girlfriend enjoy the season activities of skiing and snowboarding, hiking, and camping (usually within range of a trout river).