StaffAt Suskeena we treat our staff like family and are fortunate to have a hard working dedicated team on board.
With only a handful of us in the crew everyone gives 110% throughout the season to make Suskeena a world class fly-fishing destination for Steelhead in B.C. Check out our team!
Meet the team;
Angela Van Velzen; Owner & Operations ManagerBorn and raised in England, Angela always had a sense for adventure and wanted the most out of life. She studied hard and graduated from the University of Southampton in England with a BA Hons Business and E-Commerce degree. She dove into a career in downtown busy London for 3 years as a Senior Sales Exec before realizing the quality of life was sub par to her passionate personality. She left with a bag full of ambition and set off around the world to travel for a year, enjoying many locations in the US, New Zealand and Asia. At the end of that year she found the beautiful province of British Columbia, Canada. It was here she found a love for fishing, hiking, biking, and dog sledding! She met her soulmate and now husband Eric and they embarked on world domination together. They took a leap of faith and thanks to the support of their closest guests and friends purchased Suskeena Lodge in November 2015. The past 14 years have been a wild ride, embracing the Steelhead industry on a professional and personal level. Angela still leads an adventurous lifestyle with her loving husband, three year old son Tucker, and recently born daughter; Sydney! Life as a working mom is busier than ever, and we look forward to sharing all the good times ahead on the river!
Eric Van Velzen; Owner & Lodge ManagerA true British Columbian man raised in Mount Robson Provincial Park, Eric excelled in anything he put his hand to. Fly-fishing drew on him from a young age and was the result of a deep rooted early exposure to water and wild places. His choice to honor his heart and devote his personal and professional time to fly-fishing and working hard outdoors resulted in working at some of the top fly-fishing destinations around the world including Tierra del Fuego, the Bahamas, and the Canadian arctic and most importantly the Sustut River in British Columbia. Guiding on the Sustut for 10 years led to the life altering purchase of Suskeena Lodge with his wife Angela. He understands that hard work and commitment is key to delivering an excellent product and operation. With his incredible work ethic and professional standards he is committed to maintaining Suskeena Lodge as one of the finest fly-fishing lodges in the world… none of which could be done without his devoted and hard working wife Angela with whom they are enjoying the exciting adventure called parenthood!
Wes DeLange; GuideBeing a guide at Suskeena my role of helping anglers find, approach, entice, hook and land Wild Steelhead on the Sustut River has truly been a dream come true. I use the passion and enthusiasm that I have for Steelhead Fishing to help create the conditions for the best possible experience at each and every spot fished. The adventure of Steelhead Fishing is a never-ending pursuit into the unknown and has shaped my life in ways I could not have imagined. Pursuing these amazing creatures has not only brought me to some of the most awe-inspiring natural scenes, provided me with intense wildlife encounters, taught me a lot about patience and character, it has perhaps of greatest value, given me the opportunity to meet and create lasting friendships with some of the most remarkable people out there. My goal each day on the river is to be fully in tune with the moment, because when you get that first grab of the day or when you see a giant boil of water beneath your dry fly, time really does stand still and for that moment nothing else really matters.
Tristan O'Brien; Guide
My name is Tristan O’Brian, I am a German Canadian raised in British Columbia. Since my childhood, I have loved being outside and interacting with nature. Angling has been my number one passion since I can remember. I love sharing this passion and the places I fish, so becoming a fishing guide seemed to happen almost naturally. Meeting new people and teaching them about what make the fish and their environment so special is what makes me love my job even on the wettest, coldest days. I started my career in sport fishing at 15 years of age, when I took a dockhand position at Q.C.L in Haida Gwaii. I began guiding there the summer I turned 18 and continue to return every summer. Since then, I have guided many different fisheries through out B.C., from remote fly-in lodges on the Damdochax River in Northern B.C. to dry fly fishing in the Kootenays, and of course, my home river, the Cowichan. Seeing people’s excitement when they experience these beautiful places I love, gets me out of bed and on the water every day.
Jesse Phillips; ChefJesse’s love of cooking began in 1999 in Rossland BC, after high school he studied at the prestigious Southern Alberta Institute of Technology (SAIT) and graduated in the professional cooking program in 2004. His passion for sourcing and cooking food began at Calgary’s well known River Café where he apprenticed after graduating from SAIT. Unique at the time, the River Café sourced seasonal produce from local farms, maintained their own gardens and focused on bi-weekly menu development sessions where all staff contributed. This experience grounded Jesse’s cooking style. Following this, he pursued an international lifestyle creating gourmet meals for discerning clientele from around the world. His experience includes being head chef on private yachts in the Caribbean, West Coast BC, and enjoying full spectrum cooking at many heli-ski lodges and remote high end fishing lodges. Chef Jesse Phillips is continually expanding his repertoire, not only using his personal touch to world renowned favourites but also creating unique BC cuisine. It’s one that combines fresh food from our amazing local farms, and whenever possible; introduce wild meats, mushrooms and plants from BC’s diverse landscape. He hopes that each guest will take away lasting memories of fine cuisine and BC’s wild garden professionally prepared and presented.