REQUEST YOUR GUIDE
Learn about our guides by visiting our Facebook page (Arrick’s Fly Shop Facebook-scroll down for a link on left side of screen), it will give you a chance to see the different guides and their posts so you can get to know them and perhaps see which guide you would like to request. You can also learn what other people are saying about our guides on TripAdvisor (Arrick’s Fly Shop TripAdvisor-link is on left side of screen). Below are also the guides bio’s so you can learn more about them. All the guides are excellent teachers, but we like to give folks a chance to request a particular guide if they feel there is one that might be a good match with them, or one that stands out to them. If you don’t have a particular guide in mind, then we will of course set you up with one!
After retiring from the Navy, Matt's father was a high school teacher, and therefore had his priorities straight... taking whole summers off , to fish from southern Utah up to Yellowstone and Montana, with his two boys. Matt learned to fish as soon as he was able to fling a bubble and change his own diaper... yep, same day. He learned to fly fish as soon as his dad and older brother decided he was able to handle casting a line... without presenting a serious and imminent danger. Big brother had convinced Matt by age 9, that fishing with bait (even "tipped" on a fly) or with hardware usually leads a soul down one path… straight down to the hardware store and the pork rind aisle.
Matt moved to West Yellowstone so that he wouldn’t have to drive so far to get to the waters he cherishes so much. Also to pursue his other interests such as hunting, skiing, snowmobiling, kayaking, windsurfing, and camping. He has vacationed here just about every summer of his life and knew exactly where to go when he wanted blue ribbon streams in every direction. There's nothing like waking up every morning and asking one's self, "Well, where do you want to fish today?"
He has lived in West Yellowstone for over 20 years, and has been fishing the area since he was a tyke. Matt has a better half, known as his family, his wife Sheila and four children who all share a love for the great outdoors and its activities. Matt has been guiding for us longer than any of our regular guides and had the honor to row his and Arrick's dad Ken, into many a fish. These are days that Matt remembers as a cross between The Odd Couple and Grumpier Old Men... in a boat... catching fish.
Matt has easily spent over a hundred days a year on our local waters for the past two decades. He enjoys sharing his knowledge with anglers of all abilities and is very adept at tailoring the instruction to suit the needs of the individual while getting them into fish... even if you’re really just interested in watching that bird, the osprey. He has a laid back nature and we are confident that a day with Matt will be a great time and learning experience for you. He is great with beginners, has the patience of Job, is a natural instructor, and yet is a great veteran guide for those that are well versed in the art of fly fishing.
Zach with Stella
Zach moved out west from Wisconsin in the beginning of 2007 to camp, hike, and fish. He grew up fishing trout in the Spring Creeks of Wisconsin and pursuing the many warm water species found in the state. As a young boy, Zach made several trips out west with his father to visit his grandparents that reside in Salmon, Idaho. It was camping and fishing in the Rockies where Zach fell in love with the west.
In 2008, living in a little cabin on 9 Mile Road, near Alberton, Montana, Zach met Matty Janik, who would become one of Zach’s best friends. Matty is also from Wisconsin so they hit it off immediately. Matty is a guide in Alaska and really lit the fire in Zach for fly fishing. They spent a lot of time on the waters around Missoula. In 2010, after picking up a rescue German Shepherd pup named Stella, he headed north with her to Bristol Bay Lodge in Alaska. It was two seasons in wall tents in the bush where Matty really took Zach under his wing and taught him everything from running jet boats, to where salmon hold, and what to do when brown bears are outside your tent at 2am. He enjoyed fishing the 5 species of salmon a ¼ mile from the Bering Sea and adventuring further up river for rainbows and Dolly Varden.
After landing a 40 lb. king and acquiring an ivory walrus tusk, he was ready to hang it up and enjoy the comforts of home in Montana. After returning from Alaska, Zach and Matty helped out at Don Dales Clark Fork River Outfitters Guide School in St. Regis, Montana and headed south to Peru in November. He was fortunate enough to travel, hike, camp, and fish through South America for the winter of 2011 and 2012. The winters he spent in South America are where he had experiences of a lifetime, ask and he will be happy to share.
With countless miles of trout streams found in the Yellowstone area Zach decided to call it home for the summer months. He has enjoyed the past couple of seasons meeting new people from all over the world as well as being surprised by familiar faces from past travels. If you don’t find Zach on the popular rivers of the area, you will find him driven by his passion for wildlife and the backcountry on an alpine lake or mountain stream with his pup and a fly rod.
Joe grew up in northern California, in the San Francisco Bay area, with a dad who loved to fish. As a boy his dad would take his two brothers and him on yearly trips to the Redding and Trinity areas to fish for salmon, steelhead and trout. At that time Joe knew that was where he eventually wanted to live. Around the age of twenty his family had already made the move to Redding and he shortly followed. Being surrounded by all the different rivers and lakes the opportunities were endless for fly fishing. That’s when Joe’s love for fly fishing started to consume his focus in life. After working as a carpenter for several years and always having the thought of fishing on his mind that is when he knew he wanted more out of life. It was during this time that Joe pursued his first guide job in Alaska. He guided four summers for a premier lodge where he ran one of their remote out camps in southwest Alaska where he targeted salmon and trout with not only fly rods, but spey rods as well. He enjoys teaching both styles of casting to beginners or advanced anglers.
Joe was drawn to the Montana and Yellowstone area for all the fly fishing opportunities the waters give fly fishermen. What he loves about the area is not only the wild trout and great fishing, but also the wilderness and scenery that can be only found in this amazing area. For him, Montana and Yellowstone has the whole package. Scenery, wilderness, wildlife, and people from all over the world. Joe says that those things make it an easy place to want spend your time fly fishing and he finds that it’s a great place to guide others that may be new or skilled at the sport. When Joe’s not guiding here in the summer you can find him in the northwest fishing for steelhead with his spey rod.
Oliver first started fishing back in his hometown in Connecticut. He was mostly a bass fisherman growing up and just recently picked up a fly rod a few years ago. Oliver attended a fly fishing school last summer in Montana(his first time coming out here) where he learned all the ins and outs of trout fishing. Once he got home he was hooked on fly fishing and sold all his spinning gear decided to dedicate himself to becoming a better fly fisherman. Although he hasn’t been fly fishing long he is pretty well traveled and has been to places such as Islamorada, Ascension Bay and the Mosquito Lagoon. His plans for the summer are to work hard and catch big fish, specifically a big brown trout on a streamer in the fall.
What drew Oliver in to West Yellowstone was the Yellowstone National Park and the abundance of water to fish in the surrounding area. He also really likes the small town feel and the friendly attitude people of the area have. Why fly fishing you might ask him? At least in fly fishing if you’re not catching it isn’t a total drag and there are still plenty of positives to take away from the day. Whether it was developing his casting stroke or learning something now about the river from a seasoned veteran are all things Oliver enjoys.
Oliver credits his dad Tom for getting him into fishing as a kid and instilling the passion of being in the outdoors doing what he loves. On the weekends they would go hit up their favorite honey hole in town and spend all day there.
Originally from the Midwest, Scott grew up fishing for bass on spinning tackle. It wasn't until college, before a backpacking trip to northern Michigan, that he first decided to try his hand at fly fishing. An avid reader, he had just finished one of Ernest Hemingway's short stories on fly fishing and decided that he would teach himself while on the trip. "How hard could it be?" he thought. Needless to say, he found himself spending more time on that first trip untangling his fly line from trees than he did catching any fish; yet he found himself hooked. (Pun intended. Note: Scott loves terrible puns)
Several years after that week in Michigan, Scott found himself leaving his corporate job to pursue his dream of guiding professionally. He now spends his summers guiding and fishing out west for the gorgeous trout of the Rockies, and he spends his winters writing while on the Gulf Coast of Florida chasing snook, redfish, and tarpon in his free time. To Scott, the only thing that beats hooking into a nice trout of his own is watching the joy on someone else's face as they hook into one of their own--especially if it's their first one ever!
It's the sweeping landscapes of Montana and Yellowstone, coupled with getting to teach both beginning anglers and seasoned vets alike, that makes each and every day rewarding for Scott.
Jeff with Summit
Jeff Watt has lived in West Yellowstone for over 20 years, and been a guide at Arrick’s for the last ten; he moved to the Yellowstone area literally the morning after his graduation, a young man with fishing, camping, hunting, snowboarding, and snowmobiling on his mind. Even before becoming a resident,
Yellowstone was place near to Jeffʼs heart, between youth trips, family summer vacations, boy scout camps, and using his paper route money to purchase a bus ticket to visit his brother and snowmobile during Christmas break.
With a driver’s license, Jeff’s trips from his Utah home to Yellowstone became frequent; in fact it was during one in which his fishing transformation was made, permanently, moving from ‘rotating hubcaps’ and ‘dangling gaffers’ to 5 weights, light tippet, and tying flies. Little did he know: that first 17” brown trout ‘between the lakes’ on a swinging black wooly bugger was a defining life experience.
The result was a determined quest for knowledge, involving wearing out fishing nonfiction and magazines, numerous broken rods, and long days on the river, a litany of questions to local flyshops, and advice from guides. Eventually, Jeff decided to take on a job as a clerk at Arrickʼs Fly Shop. Little did he imagine that over a decade later he would still be guiding fisherman for Arrickʼs.
“The excitement on a client’s face when they catch their first trout on a fly; when they make their first roll cast; when they tie their first fly, or make a great drift in a slick with a dry fly, only to watch a subtle rise sip it in—that’s why I love to guide!”
Jeff has lived year round in West Yellowstone for over 20 years and 8 of those have been spent with the love of his life, Oly. Living in West Yellowstone year round requires one to be professionally diverse. During the Summer, along with guiding, Jeff owns and manages cabin rentals with the love of his life, his wife of 8 years, Oly. In the Fall, when the fish guiding slows down, Jeff can usually be found in the surrounding mountains, chasing bugling elk, or on the river bottoms near Ennis, Montana, in a tree stand with his bow. The Winter is spent managing a snowmobile rental company, taking clients into the beautiful Montana backcountry by snowmobile through his guide service, Ace Powder Guides. Spring is thaw time: after another long winter, preparing for the coming fishing season and usually an adventure somewhere warm. When choosing a vacation location, his only prerequisite is that he can hook a fish on a fly. This ambition has taken him to various locations from nearby in Idaho, Wyoming, Utah, and Oregon to further afield in Hawaii, Florida, California, Michigan, and Minnesota. Internationally, Jeff has been fortunate enough to fish in Jamaica and Russia.
“I fish because I love to;
Because I love the environs where trout are found, which are invariably beautiful …
Because trout do not lie or cheat and cannot be brought or bribed or impressed by power, but respond only to quietude and humility and endless patience;
Because I suspect that men are going along this way for the last time, and I for one don’t want to waste the trip;...
Because bourbon out of an old tin cup always tastes better out there; …
And finally, not because I regard fishing as being so terribly important but because I suspect that so many of the other concerns of men are equally unimportant — and not nearly so much fun.” Excerpted from Robert Traver, The Testament of a Fisherman,