Firehole Ranch Fishing Guides
Our guides are as diverse as the waters that bless the Golden Triangle and as wily as the trout that inhabit them. We hope that you will enjoy reading these short bios and that you will have fun discerning fact from fiction as you accompany them for an outing. All of our guides have a great deal of experience guiding on these waters, even those who have only recently become part of our family. No matter whom you pick, you can trust that your day on the water will be tailored specifically to your needs. Whether you are new to the sport of fly fishing or a grizzled veteran, our talented guides will teach, challenge, but most of all ensure that your time with them is memorable. We hope these short sketches arm you with just enough information to keep your guides on their toes during your outing together. Happy Fishing!
The barb for fly fishing landed deep in Josh’s gullet and near as we can tell no one is ever going to be able to dislodge it. A certified fishing maniac, his enthusiasm and passion for the sport is contagious. While you’re enjoying one of Bruno’s gourmet Western masterpieces, Josh is the lone figure you’ll see lakeside, diligently casting for Hebgen Lake’s twilight gulpers. His knowledge of fly fishing, fly tying and everything to do with trout fishing is largely due to his insatiable appetite for the sport. Josh fishes anytime, anywhere, with anyone who’s willing to join him. Entering his ninth year with us, we’ve decided Josh should come with a warning label, “Approach with caution – Interaction May Result in Intense Passion for Fly Fishing.”
Watch Josh's interview with CNN's Reynolds Wolf.
Whether he is stalking trout along the banks of one of Yellowstone Country's back country streams or in the rower's seat of a drift boat, Brady takes every day on the river for what it is... A gift. That thrill of the first trout of a lifetime, of a new stream or trip, or even of the day, is what drives him to keep exploring and fishing. Originally from the small town of Corcoran, Minnesota he has called southwest Montana home since 2004. In his spare time you are likely to find him scrambling over a high mountain pass in search of a secluded mountain lake or making tracks up a trail before the sun is up. Brady passes the off season tying flies, and numbing his fingers while releasing trout into many of the area's winter fisheries. Patience and a genuine love for the outdoors and fly fishing are a few of his qualities.
A native of Appalachia Pennsylvania and the Blue Ridge Mountains, Chris grew up chasing smallmouth bass and flathead catfish on the big waters of the Potomac and Susquehanna rivers with his grandpa. In 1998, he moved to Bozeman, Montana. Over the next decade Chris could be found zigzagging the back roads of southwestern Montana, stalking wild trout while dialing in his angling skills and technique. In 2008 he relocated with Carly, now his wife, and their chocolate lab to the upper Madison Valley. Through guiding and being a year-round resident of the valley, Chris has spent countless days on the Madison and other local waters developing an intimate understanding on how to effectively fish them. During Montana’s long winter season you’ll find him in Yellowstone sharing his passion and knowledge of the area from a vintage bombardier snow coach. On his days off, when not deicing his guides on the Madison, tying nasty bugs or backcountry skiing with the dogs, he’s making sure the woodstove stays stoked and that the resident bighorn sheep are accounted for. While Chris is at his best to get you into fish, it’s his kindness and understanding that shines through in his focus on his clients’ concerns, questions, and comfort. Chris’s knowledge, interest, and enthusiasm for the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem are infectious. His mantra is to fish hard, appreciate the surroundings, and most importantly, always have a good time.
If ever there were a guide whose spiritual center seems to be found in our pristine Montana waters, it would be Rowan. His passion and appetite for fly fishing is unheard of – even in these parts where the love of the sport runs deep. Can you imagine spending over 280 days a year fishing, tying an average of 2,000 flies a winter and spending the greater part of your life exploring the wild waters of the Golden Triangle? This has been Rowan’s reality for the past 20 years - many of his fly patterns have been picked up by Montana Fly Company; he’s coauthored magazine articles, published photos and been featured in area DVDs about fly fishing. Starting his tenth season with us, it is our fervent hope that Rowan will continue to grace the waters surrounding the Firehole Ranch for many more to come.
Ryan began his fly-fishing fascination in the southeastern region of the Appalachian Mountains. During this time, Ryan explored the backwoods of Georgia, North Carolina and Tennessee chasing wild brook, rainbow and brown trout. Shortly thereafter Ryan found his true passion in life when he began guiding with the Four Rivers Fly Shop in Blairsville, GA. Ryan has applied the last 10 years towards helping guests appreciate the true spirit of fly fishing that he embraces. He has guided at Brigadoon and Froghollow Lodges in north Georgia, helping guests catch and release trophy-size rainbow and brown trout. He has also guided in Alaska where he assisted anglers in their quest to hook into chinook, coho and sockeye salmon, along with dolly varden, arctic char and huge rainbows. When Ryan is not guiding he instructs future guides on fly casting, fly-tying, Czech nymphing and rowing techniques at the Clark Fork River Outfitter's guide school in St Regis, Montana. He also relishes in competitive fly-fishing and has been appointed coach of his Czech nymphing team. Ryan can be found traveling the backcountry of Idaho in pursuit of steelhead, cutthroat, rainbow and brown trout. In the winter he skis, ties flies and of course fishes!
Born and raised in Boyne City, Michigan, Scotty picked up his first rod with his grandfather when he was eight years old. In 1987, Scotty moved to Breckenridge, Colorado to follow his professional skiing dreams. While he coached and skied freestyle both as an amateur and professional, he fine-tuned his fly fishing skills with friends who were guides. In 1987 after fulfilling his skiing dreams, he moved back to Michigan and started his own business guiding for trout and steelhead. He also guided for other outfitters, including the Pere Marquette River Lodge and Hawkins Outfitters. In 2004, he packed up and headed to Southwest Montana to find a place where he could ski and fly fish. As a guide, he has spent countless days on the Madison, Gallatin, Henry’s Fork, and the waters of Yellowstone National Park sharing his passion for fly fishing with his clients. In 2009, Scotty joined the Firehole Ranch. He has worked with anglers of varying skill levels and lives for helping beginners land their first trout. On his days off, you will find him pulling big streamers with his friends in a never-ending quest to land a fish of a lifetime while taking in the beautiful Montana landscape. In the off-season, Scotty lives in Big Sky, Montana where he works as a ski instructor for the Yellowstone Club and still manages to spend a couple days a week stalking the wintering browns and rainbows of the Madison and Gallatin Rivers.
Born and raised in the heart of Pennsylvania’s trout country, Trey Braasch began his angling addiction at age twelve along the legendary banks of Penn’s Creek. With its world-renowned mayfly hatches and selective trout, Penn’s became the laboratory in which Trey would hone his skills throughout his teenage years. After graduating from college in the mid 90s, Trey did what any good trout bum would do … he headed West. It was in Colorado where Trey turned his passion into a profession and began working as a guide on the Gunnison River and its many tributaries. On a fishing trip to Madison River in the fall of 2001, Trey decided that southwest Montana would be his new home. He lives on the Gallatin River near Big Sky, fishes throughout Montana and Idaho 200+ days a year, and shows no sign of slowing down anytime soon. While Trey enjoys all aspects of fly fishing, you’re most likely to find him pulling big streamers in pursuit of trophy trout in his spare time. Trey is also an accomplished fly tyer, and has developed many of his own unique patterns for rivers and lakes around the greater Yellowstone region.
A true Montana native, born in Helena and raised in Missoula, Allan attended the University of Montana. “I was raised in a family of outdoorsmen, received my first fly-rod—a bamboo rod—from my father at the age of 10 and have been an avid fly fisherman ever since. I have fished miles upon miles of the streams and rivers throughout the Northwest, savoring each footstep along these beautiful waters.” Guiding fly fishermen has been a rewarding and natural semi-retirement job for Allan. He spends his summers in Southwest Montana and has also guided in Chile and Patagonia for the past 10 years. Fly fishing is not Allan’s only passion, he spends off-time studying Montana history as well as Montana wildlife. Allan is very adept at finding the big trout and being a patient instructor in the process, whether you are an expert fly fisherman or just learning how to cast. Other hobbies include fly tying, backpacking, hiking into high mountain lakes, elk hunting and trail riding.
If you want to know what it was like to fish these waters 40 years ago – there’s no one better to ask than George. A living Montana legend, George is the epitome of a fly fisherman whose passion for the sport runs deep, strong, and clear, like our mighty Montana wild rivers. Some of you may be familiar with the Kingfisher Fly Lodge on the Bighorn River, which he and his wife Jo owned and operated for over 20 years. Thankfully, for us, George has returned to his old stomping grounds from his days with Bud Lilly, another legend. While all our young bucks will tell you they’re the coolest – it is without a doubt George. An avid birder and all around naturalist, a day on the water with him will leave you forever changed.