Guides

OUR MOntana Fly fishing Guides
Matson Rogers Angler's West owner & outfitter (on the right), Matson has been pursuing his passion of guiding people on fly fishing trips for over 2 decades. This season marks Matson's 23rd! Growing up in a family immersed in the sport of fly fishing and living next to fabled trout streams like the Roaring Fork in Colorado and the Brule in northern Wisconsin, he has been fly fishing since the age of 4. Matson holds a degree in Environmental Economics from St. Lawrence University in Canton, NY, and is a former instructor at the Western Rivers Guide School located in Jackson Hole, WY.  Along with his home waters in Montana, Matson has fished throughout the Rockies, in New England, the Upper Midwest, Alaska, New Zealand, Belize, Bahamas, Mexico, British Columbia, and Labrador.  Matson runs Angler's West with the invaluable help of his wife and life partner, Katherine.  Together they are the parents of 3 wonderful children: Sam (13) Sydney (10) and Sawyer (7).  They  think nothing is greater than spending a day on the river with Dad tossing hopper patterns & great big gaudy streamers they have hand tied themselves.  Add in a couple bags of Twizzlers, M&Ms and soda pop and it's a river party!  Ask Sam, Matson's oldest what his favorite rod is and he'll tell you it's his dad's Scott S4 907.  Now that's an awesome streamer stick!  Ask Sydney?  She'll say it's Dad's S4 854 or G2 884 dry fly rod.  Along with being on the Scott Prostaff, Matson is also fortunate to be a part of the Simms Guide Ambassador program as well as prostaff for Ross Reels, and Clackacraft Drift Boats.
 
Matson's words on his guides:
"I can't say enough about how fortunate I am as an outfitter to have the following individuals working with me. Each and every one is an excellent instructor, guide, and friend. When I have an opportunity to take a day afield for myself, it's generally with one of the following people. What we all share is a love and dedication to our sport and sharing that with you. I hope you have the opportunity to find out how valuable their skills can be!"
 

 

Steve Leibinger One warm summer evening on the banks of a small trout stream in Wyoming, Steve’s father patiently taught him the art of fly fishing.  And that night at the ripe old age of 7, Steve caught his first trout on a dry fly.  That was the turning point in his life; flyfishing had a hold on him and would ultimately become his profession.  Born and raised in the West, Steve received his Bachelors of Science degree in Physical Geography at the University of Wyoming before heading to Aspen, Colorado for “one ski season” and his first guide trip on the waters of the Roaring Fork River in 1994.  He became the head guide for Aspen Flyfishing before venturing back north to bigger waters, bigger trout and bigger skies in the wilds of Montana.  Steve immediately fell in love with Montana’s fly fishing and began guiding for Angler’s West in 2000.  Thankfully, Steve’s wife Annie and daughter Stephanie (7) have happily agreed to let him follow his fly fishing dreams and make their home in Bozeman in the foothills of the Bridger Mountains.  Steve’s experience and passion for fly fishing are evident in his guide style.  If you are just getting started in the sport or if you’ve fly fished the world, join Steve for a rewarding day on one of Montana’s wonderful rivers.

 
 
Dan Grabowski  Dan (on the left) comes to us via the great state of wandering fishers -Minnesota.  Growing up outside the Twin Cities, Dan figured out his true calling early on and lept at the opportunity to head to Alaska and guide anglers for salmon and Leopard rainbows of awesome proportions through the fabled Tchickik Narrows Lodge.  Dan guided in AK for 5 seasons before pointing things south a bit and coming to Montana in 2004.  Dan is an exceptionally hard working guide who will go to great lengths to ensure his anglers a great trip (witness the picture!) on all our area rivers, spring creeks, and lakes.  Easy going, patient, and articulate, you will find fishing with Dan a pleasure.  When not on the water chasing trout, you'll likely find Dan chasing upland birds with his English Setter, Bandit and his lab Ryder, who are as relentless about pointing birds as their owner is about trout.
 

Craig Boyd Hailing from Calgary, Alberta,  and growing up in a fanatic fly fishing family, Craig has taken every opportunity to hone his skills on many of the finest waters of the Pacific Northwest and Rocky Mountains. Craig attended college at the University of Wisconsin-Superior where he lead his hockey team to three NCAA Final Fours and studied Biology. When not chasing the puck on some frozen pond, Craig could be found pursuing his first love, plying the waters of the Great Lakes tributaries.   This love soon lead Craig west to find his fishing Mecca in Bozeman. Fishing extensively across Montana from the Beaverhead to the Big Horn and all the waters in between, home water riffles always draw him back to the Madison and Yellowstone. Beyond perusing his local haunts for the wily trout, Craig can be found skiing Bridger Bowl or chasing live music across the country.


Bill Buchbauer Billy is without a doubt one of the nicest guys you are likely to meet.  With a big "Aw Shucks" grin, Bill does a phenomenal job on the water.  Whether you are a beginner looking to start a new avocation or already a seasonded hand with the long rod, Bill has the ability to share his knowledge, skills, and affinity for the river with you.  You will be in great hands, and likely have a new friend for life.   Bill seeks out the high country when fishing wraps up in the fall.  A semi-pro Big Mountain skier, this past winter Bill spent the winter months looking for the perfect turns in the perfect powder fields guiding heli-skiing for SEBA in southeast Alaska.  Next winters location?  Undecided, but snowy....

 
 
 
Eric Paramore A fly fishing fanatic, Eric spent his college years searching out the perfect fly fishing locations from Northern California to Oregon to Reno, Nevada.  He eventually landed here in Livingston, Montana, finally finding the Mecca of fly fishing that he had been searching for all along.   He has worked as a full time guide since 2001 and when he is not guiding he is fishing or tying flies.  His patience, laid back attitude and infectious humor, combined with a wealth of fishing knowledge make him the perfect guide for the novice or expert.  Whether floating the Yellowstone River, rowing the rapids of the Boulder River or fishing the technical waters of the spring creeks you will find Eric’s guidance insightful and enjoyable. In the cold winter months he spends his time fishing warmer waters in California, Mexico and Florida, guiding ice fishing, cross country skiing and rooting for the Portland Trailblazers. 

Zach Pleshar Whether working and teaching novice anglers or sharing his knowledge with experienced anglers, everyone will enjoy a day on the water with Zach. A day on the water with this accomplished guide will emphasize the total experience of fly fishing in Montana, creating an environment with the right balance of fun and serious fishing.
 
 
 
 
 
 
Michael Leach As a ranger naturalist for the National Park Service in Yellowstone National Park for many years, Mike has shared his passion for the Greater Yellowstone Region with people from all over the world. Growing up in Northern Idaho, Mike honed his love for the art of fly-fishing on some of the lesser known Idaho rivers and streams.  He has also spent countless hours working the waters of the spectacular Bitterroot Valley and the Greater Yellowstone region such as the Yellowstone, Madison, and many others.  As an educator, Mike has a great deal of patience and enjoys working with guests of all levels and experience. If you are looking for a guide who has great love and respect for Montana and with deep roots in the region then Mike is your man!

Burke Holmes Hailing from St. Louis, Missouri, Burke began fly fishing when he was 10. It wasn’t too long before he was tying flies and fooling the local blue gill and bass. He got his first dose of western trout fishing when he was 13 and has done everything in his power to stay in Big Sky Country. Burke began working in our shop when he was fifteen and has been answering phones and stocking flies ever since. Burke just graduated from the University of Montana in Missoula with a degree in Aquatic Biology.  Burke fulfills a dual role with us as he's guiding as well as teaching First Timer trips and working in the shop.  A day on the water with Burke will be full of conversation, humor, youthful enthusiasm, and trout.

Jeff Pavlovich (that's him on the right) Jeff comes to us from the South side of Chicago where he cut his teeth fishing the Lake Michigan steelhead tribs. For several years Jeff spent his time bummin' between the pacific Northwest and his beloved Wisconsin Spring Creeks. After spending three years with the Orvis Company teaching fly fishing and running one of their retail stores he decided to head West -to where his heart was tugging and landed in Montana.  When not guiding or working in the shop as co-manager, Jeff can be found fishing new spots around SW Montana or tying up new patterns.  Jeff heads up our newest addition to guided trips -chasing big nocturnal brown trout with mouse patterns. You won't see that 20-inch plus brown eat your fly in the middle of the night, but you'll hear it and feel it. And with Jeff's expertise, you'll be hooked on night fishing!
 
Sean Blaine Born and raised on a lake in Northern Idaho, Sean grew up on the water. After graduating college and serving in the military, he moved to Bozeman in the spring of 2000 and started his professional fly-fishing career. Since then he has continued to hone his fly fishing skills both on the water as a guide, and assisting fellow anglers choose the appropriate tackle while in a couple fly shops.   Sean takes advantage of all the great fishing in the area by spending as much personal time on the water as is possible. He can assist you in putting together the right rod and reel combo, choose the perfect fly for your day on the water or guide you on any of the areas many rivers, streams and lakes. Sharing a lifetime’s worth of accumulated knowledge, experience and enthusiasm for enjoying your day on the water.  Sean just recently returned from a winter in Tierra del Fuego where he was the head guide and manager at one of the world's best Sea-run Brown Trout fisheries.  Ask him what it's like to catch a 20+ pound brownie!
  
Chuck Borg Chuck  hails from Enumclaw, Washington and grew up fishing with spinners and bait, but for the last 15 years focused completely on fly fishing. He graduated from Lewis and Clark College in Portland, Oregon in 1999 and immediately moved to Montana. Chuck has fished many of the waters of the Great Northwest, Chile, and Argentina. He has been a guide in southwest Montana for the last 8 years and has been blessed to have what he calls a “dream job.” He has the patience to teach basics to a novice and the experience to help advanced anglers refine their skills, all while providing a very enthusiastic atmosphere on the river. When this hard-working guide is not on the river he can be found enjoying the outdoors with his wonderful wife and their dog (aka the fish alarm).

Peter HowellPeter (on the left) grew up in the Midwest and like many of our guides was driven to Montana for its great fishing and outdoor lifestyle. While attending the University of Montana Peter began guiding on the Yellowstone, Boulder, and a number of other rivers in the area during his free time. His enthusiasm for fishing has led him to a number of places such as Alaska, California, Florida Keys, and the Bahamas to search for new fishing opportunities. In the off season he can be found skiing and looking for that next travel destination, which usually involves fishing, backcountry horse packing, or  both.
   
 

Shop Staff
Rick WollumRick is co-managing our day to day operations at the fly shop with Jeff.  He is likely the one you'll talk to on the phone while booking your trip or helping you with any questions you may have about our many services and products.  We are super pleased to say that Rick has seen to it to 'come home' in a sense and will be joining us here in the shop this year. Rick has been in the fly fishing industry for going on 30 years. As a guide and outfitter as well as one of the very best fly shop technicians around, Rick's knowledge is astounding. Whether it is the fly du jour, where to fish, the latest on the best gear to get the job done, it's all in a minutes work for Rick. And he's only too happy to work with anyone who walks through the doors to share his wealth of experience.

 
Jesse Logan The "senior" member of our shop staff grew up in southern Colorado, where his grandfather, father and brother were all avid fly fishers. The fondest memories of his youth were (miss)spent with this family of fishermen on the Gunnison during the salmonfly hatch in the days before Blue Mesa dam, the Arkansas, the Fryingpan (before Rudi dam) and especially the Rio Grande and an unnamed stream along the Colorado/New Mexico border. He later followed a career in academia and the US Forest Service, and along the way taught courses in fly fishing at Colorado State University and spent a year and a half chasing brown and rainbow trout on the south island, New Zealand. Incidentally, he holds a PhD in entomology, and while he acknowledges this does not necessarily make him a better fly-fisher, at least he has some good ideas about what's (not) going on when the fish refuse to rise. He retired from the Forest Service in 2006 and moved to Emigrant, Montana where most days during the season he can be found with fly rod in hand. In the off-season, he spends more than 100 days a year backcountry skiing.