• Thu. Jun 30th, 2022

George Sylvestre, Brewster Plains Fishing – A Guide’s Story

ByRandall B. Phelps

Jun 15, 2022

BREWSTER – “Striper fishing at night in Brewster Flats,” said fishing guide George Sylvestre. “There is nothing more interesting.”

On a recent evening, Sylvester, 53, of Waltham and Brewster, was in a parking lot talking to a scrum of anglers he was about to guide for a night of fishing on Brewster’s flats off Paine’s Creek Landing.

The fishermen who hired Sylvestre were friends who met in business school nearly 30 years ago at the University of Virginia. They meet once a year since graduation to fish together in one place. This year they chose Cape Cod.

Sylvester’s role in all of this is to “make sure everyone catches a fish and everyone has a good time”. For a group like this who knows what they’re doing, they get a guide to know the local waters, he said.


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“I’m bringing the rods, plus beer and premium cigars,” he said days after the band left town. “It’s just good to see these guys catching up.”

After catching up, comes fishing for fish. “They become competitive with each other. Mine is bigger than yours. Yeah, but I caught more than you,” Sylvester said, mimicking the conversations he was hearing.

All this time they were guided by Sylvestre. “I always go back. The topography of this particular part of the Brewster Flats is fascinating as it dictates how the fish behave.

“But it changes every day because the tide changes every day, depending on what happens with the moon,” Sylvestre said.

The tide dictates everything. “There’s a bunch of places you want to go to at different points in the tide,” Sylvestre said.

“You move with the ebb tide,” he said. “In the middle of the tide there is a place to be, they just group up there. At these points in the tide, the outgoing water concentrates baitfish. The basses know where to go. Their life depends on it. »

With experience, says Sylvestre, he also learned where to go with the tide. The idea is to take those he guides on the same journey as baitfish and bass.

While Sylvestre’s full-time job is as a project manager at a biotech company near Boston, his guide company, Sylvestre Outdoors, which he started as a hobby to stay close to these three sons, s turned into a nice side business, he said.

The genesis for the idea of ​​starting a guiding business came while he was sitting with his three sons after a skiing trip, he said.

Sylvester, an Army veteran, had guided Project Healing Waters, a group that helps disabled veterans deal with disabilities by learning things like fly tying, rod building, and fishing.

Meanwhile, his sons were growing up and he was looking for an activity to do with them. His guidance became a talking point after the ski trip.

His youngest, 13-year-old Gregory, “was getting into Go-Pros and making videos. My youngest (Ryan, 26) works for an advertising agency. He created the website. Her eldest son, Jacob, 27, is currently in the military stationed on the West Coast. “He said, Dad, I’ll come back and help guide you.”

A family business was born. As he takes on groups like the experienced angler having a college reunion he led that evening, Sylvestre said, “We have positioned ourselves at the entry level of fly fishing.”

Most of those he guides are learning to fish, he says. “I like coaching,” he said.

For beginners, “I watch them catch their first fish. You may never catch your first fish again, but I can see them catching their first fish,” Sylvestre said.

“When I see a person catch their first fish, it takes me back to when I caught my first fish with my grandfather,” he said.

Sylvestre was five or six years old, he said. “My grandfather was in the building. Behind his gravel pits were ponds. It was late fall. He said it’s time for you to catch your first fish.

“I had a small Zebco fishing rod. It was super easy to use with a push button spool. His grandfather showed him how to cast the rod. “I caught this pike. It couldn’t have been more than ten inches long, but it looked like a whale to me.

There is a photo of that moment with his grandfather, Sylvestre said. “I smile and he stands behind me smiling.”

“When I see someone catch their first fish, it’s like channeling my grandfather. I smile,” he said.


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