Captain W. Brice contessa grew up fishing the waters of Martha’s Vineyard during the summer and fall seasons. A New York native and lifetime seasonal resident of the Vineyard, Brice started Contessa Fly Fishing in 2001 after earning his USCG captain’s license at the age of 20.
He ran the business on a seasonal basis until 2003 when he moved to the Vineyard year-round to pursue guiding full time after graduating from Hartwick College in Oneonta, New York with a BA in Anthropology. Since then, Contessa Fly Fishing has grown into one of the premier guide services on the Vineyard and in the entire Northeast, putting clients from all over the country and the world on some of the finest saltwater fly fishing coast wide.
Captain Brice’s fishing background extends from the deepwater canyons off of New York to the sand flats of Biscayne Bay and the crystal clear waters of the Sea of Cortez. He enjoys many aspects of saltwater fishing, but his true passion is for shallow water sight fishing with a fly rod. His dedication to this challenging and specialized aspect of the sport has dictated much of how Contessa Fly Fishing is operated. We fish out of a small skiff or on foot, taking a stealth and low impact approach to the sport. Brice encourages his clients to catch and release and is a member of several different conservation associations.
Brice has been on the receiving end of a great deal of awards and accolades during his career. These include a slew of awards in the Martha's Vineyard Striped Bass and Bluefish Derby, highlighted by 1st place in the coveted Fly Rod Shore Bonito category in the 2007 event and 1st place in the Fly Rod Grand Slam in 2008. He has also been featured in a wide variety of major industry publications including Fly Fishing in Saltwaters, Saltwater Fly Fishing, Saltwater Sportsman, Eastern Fly Fishing, Fly Fish America and Fish and Fly. Most recently, Brice was featured in 2007’s Fly Fishing for Striped Bass by Rich Murphy, widely considered to be the definitive work on the subject. Contessa is well respected island wide as a versatile boat and beach angler, full time professional fishing guide and fly tier.