The sport of fly fishing is experiencing a resurgence in the Ottawa Valley, thanks in great part to the work of Jeff Jackson, owner and operator of Algonquin Fly Fishing.

Originally from Pembroke, Jeff is a seasoned adventurer with a passion for exploring the great outdoors who has worked as an adventure guide across the Ottawa Valley and around the globe. Jeff’s work has taken him on guiding expeditions in diverse landscapes from the serene forests of Algonquin Park to the rugged terrains of Europe, Central America, India and China. In his off time, Jeff is also a professor at Algonquin College in Pembroke.

Jeff’s journey into the world of tourism began with a deep love for nature and a desire to share its wonders with others. Seven years ago, he turned his passion into a profession and established his own fly fishing guide service, hosting experienced and novice anglers alike for Algonquin Park and Ottawa Valley fly fishing trips.

What Jeff loves most about owning and operating a tourism business in Ontario’s Highlands is the opportunity to showcase the region’s hidden gems.

“The rivers of the Ottawa Valley and Algonquin Park offer unique, uncrowded opportunities,” Jeff said. “The place we call home is so beautiful and it is so easy to be proud of it when those who visit us are blown away by the landscape.”

Driven by his passion for adventure and commitment to his community, Jeff felt compelled to contribute further to the tourism industry by applying for the Ontario’s Highlands Tourism Organization’s (OHTO) Board of Directors. With a background in risk management and a wealth of experience working with various tourism organizations across Canada, Jeff is able to bring a range of perspectives to OHTO’s Board of Directions.

“I see my role on the board as an opportunity to enhance the region’s tourism economy and support my community.” Jeff said.

For Jeff, being part of the board is both a professional necessity and a personal pleasure. Professionally it keeps him connected to the regional and provincial initiatives, which simultaneously allows him to position his business for what is coming down the pipe.

On a personal level, Jeff finds fulfillment in collaborating with like-minded individuals who share his passion for their communities.

Jeff recommends other tourism operators consider applying for the Board of Directors. He believes that diversity in opinions, backgrounds, and levels of experience is what makes the board effective, and that engaging in meaningful discussions and shaping OHTO's goals is deeply rewarding, offering invaluable personal and professional growth.

“Involvement with the Board of Directors works out pretty well fifty-fifty as to what I contribute as to what I get back, which I believe is a good ratio for volunteering time,” Jeff said.