Angler's West owner & outfitter, Matson has been pursuing his passion of guiding people on fly fishing trips for almost 3 decades.
This season marks Matson's 29th year guiding! 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. Along with being a Sage Ambassador, Matson is also fortunate to be a Clackacraft Drift Boats prostaff member. Recently Matson has been featured in Simms Fishing Products Fall and Winter ad programs in print as well as online.
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 (19) Sydney (17) and Sawyer (13).
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 Tikchik 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.
Jeremy started fly-fishing as a youngster on the tributaries of the Finger Lakes in Western New York. After graduating from the University of Montana with a BS in Wildlife Biology, he has been working and fishing in far off places. He has wet a line from Alaska to New Zealand. Since landing in Livingston, Jeremy has grown close to the many different trout streams in the area. From the dry fly flats on the Missouri River to the big freestone runs on the Yellowstone, Jeremy enjoys sharing his passion for fooling Big Sky trout with clients from all corners of the globe. He spends the fall months guiding archery and rifle hunters. In the winter you’ll
find him keeping tabs on wintering elk, shed horn searching, and tying flies.
Majcher lives to fish. His fly fishing career started on the difficult
trout streams of central Pennsylvania. The wary trout of his old
stomping grounds forced him to perfect his craft. To fund his fishing
habits, Nolan worked for Orvis Pittsburgh as head casting and fly tying
instructor. As an instructor he taught hundreds of anglers, both novice
and veteran, proper techniques. Equipped
with the knowledge to be an excellent guide, Nolan migrated to the
fishing paradise of the Yellowstone Valley. His passion for fishing is
contagious when spending a day on the water together. Clients love
Nolan's laid back nature and no nonsense approach to getting fish in the
A real dry fly nut Lance was raised in the Paradise Valley just south of Livingston.And having grown up in an outdoor family Lance cut his teeth on the Yellowstone River. While in high school and through college Lance guided whitewater rafting trips on the Yellowstone, Gallatin, and Madison rivers, always finding time to fish at days end. Holding a degree in Communications, Lance concentrates his focus on casting technique, fishing skills, and local area history. Lance possesses a tremendous amount of knowledge and patience so whether you’re a beginner or seasoned expert, you can rest assured after a day with Lance you will walk away a better angler. When not on the water Lance enjoys teaching his 2 kids to fish as well as getting out himself to hunt elk or pursue game birds in the Montana uplands with his setter, Jet.
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 most winters plying his guiding abilities on the wild waters of Chile, South America for Patagonia Base Camp.
Max is a native Texan that grew up fishing the saltwater and has traded in the coastal flats for the mountains and cold, wild waters of Montana and hasn’t looked back.
As a young, hardworking guide who will work his tail off to find the fish and a recent graduate of the University of Montana with a degree in geology, a day on the water with Max is sure to be filled with both fun and learning. Fly fishing has taken him all over the United States and beyond; there’s no doubt in his mind that Montana is the last best place to catch wild trout and he has made it his job to know where to find them.
When not on the river he is usually up in the mountains or in the field with his bird dog Bessie, but rising fish are always on his mind.
Originally from northern Michigan, Jeff Welke started fly-fishing at ten, tying flies at twelve and then worked at The Fly Factory all through high school.
Jeff started teaching fly-casting instruction at 17 through the FFF, managed the fly shop and guided in the summers while pursuing his BA in Business Administration at Michigan State University. After discovering the local area during a trip to Yellowstone, he made the move out west right out of college to begin his career and also pursue the sporting life he dreamed of since a boy. After moving to Livingston, Welke spent several years as the former general manager of Dan Bailey’s Fly Shop.
He currently is a local real estate agent and spends the summer months also guiding fishermen on his favorite streams while sharing his passion for angling and instruction. Jeff resides on a ranch south of Livingston with his three bird dogs and enjoys spending the off season gardening, foraging for wild mushrooms, wandering around in the mountains or hunting for big game animals and birds all across the region.
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!
Born and Raised in one of the most beautiful places on earth, Zach is a 6th
generation Paradise Valley boy.Growing up and continuing to live on the family ranch, his interests include fly fishing, hunting and ranch roping. Zach grew up primarily fishing the Yellowstone River and its many small tributaries. Aside from his passion for wild streams and rivers, Zach also enjoys technical, hatch based stillwater and spring creek fishing that entails precise casts and drag free drifts to wary trout. While Zach finds other areas in the world thrilling to fish, his passion remains on his home waters where trout cannot resist the temptation of devouring large foamy dry flies. In the off season, Zach will likely be found working on his family ranch, tying flies or reading a Louis L’amour book by the wood stove. Zach strives to teach his knowledge of fly fishing while continuing to learn more about the sport himself. A day on the water with Zach will give the angler a relaxing chance to enjoy their passion for trout fishing while practicing new techniques at any skill level. Along with the opportunity to hear about local history and events, Zach also enjoys sharing stories about his experience at home on the ranch.
Growing up in all corners of the U.S., Buddy found his home in Montana in 2005. In the summers, Buddy bases himself on the border of Yellowstone National Park, in Gardiner, MT, where he spends his evenings hiking to new places for unfound fish. Buddy studied Environmental Science and Psychology in Missoula, at the University of Montana. His family is in Great Falls, just a few hours north, where he frequently visits, at least in part, because of its proximity to Montana’s greatest wilderness area, The Bob Marshall. Buddy spends the off season working overseas in different capacities - from supporting science to medical and humanitarian efforts, Buddy is always interested in the next experience. But at the end of every winter, Buddy is always back in Montana, gearing up to provide his guests the same experience he looks for on his own.
Despite being born in Wisconsin,
fishing didn’t really find its way into his life until “Matty” got introduced
to fly fishing in the mountains west of Colorado Springs as a young adult.
After a failed first outing with a friend left him curious, he started putting
every free hour into teaching himself and honing his skills on rivers such as
the South Platte, Arkansas, Taylor, Blue, Frying Pan and New Mexico’s San Juan.
With each passing year it became clear to Matt he belonged working outside not
inside. Ditching life in a cubical at work in the insurance industry, he packed
up and made the move to Livingston where he worked as general manager and guide
at Dan Bailey’s Fly Shop for five years before leaving to guide full time.
Having fished and guided all over Montana, Matty is equally at home on all our
rivers big and small, spring creeks or lakes. Known for his constant smile,
enthusiastic approach and abundant patience Matt’s ability to balance focused
fishing with big laughs and smelling the roses along the way is enjoyed by
beginners and seasoned anglers alike. In the off-season cross-country skiing
and reading fill the gaps between time at the tying vise and personal fishing days.
Marya grew up trying to catch minnows with her
hands and in general running around causing trouble on her family’s
ranch over in Lewistown, MT a short two-hour drive from Livingston. It
wasn’t until graduating from college and moving to Livingston that she
discovered the joys and frustrations of fly-fishing, which has now fully
taken over her life for many years now. For the last 8 years she has
been helping fly fishermen explore the region
we call home. We're fortunate to have her as part of the
Angler's West team both in the shop and on the water! In the summer,
when not at the fly shop or
guiding, you’ll find Marya somewhere outdoors- either finding new places
to fish or returning to some of her favorite fishing spots. If it’s the
winter, good luck trying to find her-she’s dogsledding or backcountry
somewhere most days of the week.
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.
Fly fishing started at an early age for Dan. It went from working on timing the cast in the backyard, to traveling all over the US as well as other seemingly exotic places beyond. Spending some years of his life in Pennsylvania then ending up in Montana, he has fished for many a trout in-between. From spooky Cutties in tiny spring creeks to Golden Mahseer in the Himalayan headwaters, he has enjoyed fishing for all species that might rise to a fly. Dan has a passion for river conservation and native fish, sincerely enjoys teaching people about the Greater Yellowstone region, and how to flyfish for our abundant trout. A day spent with Dan on the water is a day of education and enjoyment.
Growing up in Denver, Colorado, Brogan has been
fishing the Rocky Mountains his entire life. He attended The University of
Montana to fish, play lacrosse, and study English literature (more or less in
that order). Brogan finished up his Master of Education degree, at UM, in 2012,
and has called Park County home for the past several years. Residing mainly in
Gardiner, MT, Brogan has vast experience guiding and fishing the waters in
western Montana and Yellowstone National Park. He approaches every trip with
patience, knowledge, and enthusiasm. When Brogan is not guiding, he is most
likely scouting new waters, hiking, skiing, or playing Frisbee with his dog,
was born and raised adventuring in the Northern California redwood forests. At
thirteen he left the West Coast to attend Eaglebrook School in
Massachusetts where he got his first taste of fly fishing. After Eaglebrook,
Gardner spent three years at the Westminster School where he played high school
lacrosse. He then was accepted to St. Lawrence University in Canton, NY to play
NCAA Div III lacrosse. While attending St. Lawrence, Gardner was fortunate to
not only receive a great education, make it to the NCAA Div III semifinals, but
also spent quality time in the Adirondack outdoors and help run the SLU's
Hunting and Fishing Club. Gardner is now a full time resident in Montana,
chasing fish when and wherever he can and spends his winter skiing whenever the
snow is falling. He has spent time pursuing a variety of piscine species across the U.S., Mexico, and
in Chilean Patagonia. In addition to working in the shop, he is also one of our
staff guides. Gardner is a very personable young man and a great addition
to our team.
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!
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.