Tom spent most of his young life out on the water, fostering a great love for nature. Now that he lives in Colorado, his love for the outdoors is stronger than ever. Tom is very excited to guide for RIGS and looks forward to spending every day outside and on the river!
Matt McCannel started his guiding career in Colorado, leading three day expeditions in the depths of Gunnison Gorge and on the tailwater of the Uncomphgre River inside Ridgway State Park “PACO”. He passion for hunting double digit trout on his technical home waters of the Uncomphgre River and introducing clients to the perfect presentation in the Gunnison Gorge keeps him excited about guiding to this day. Matt’s fishing and guiding tactics are outside of the norm but have proven to be very effective for his clients. His perfect day would be watching a fifteen pounder for six hours and having the client make the perfect shot. Matt’s ability to explain the smallest details of the sport to people is a huge driver in the successes of his clients. Matt is the head guide for RIGS Fly Shop in Ridgway, Colorado. He has earned the distinction of Sage Ambassador, SIMMS Ambassador and is a royalty tier for Umpqua Feather Merchants. Matt has been an presenter for RIGS at numerous fly fishing clubs, Trout Unlimited and the Denver Fly Fishing show. He lives in Ridgway, CO with his wife Liz.
Patterson has led fly fishing, rafting, and eco-tours throughout Central America, Mexico, and the Southwestern U.S. since 1991. Patterson's degree in Recreation Management from Prescott College set the stage for a career in adventure guiding and a passion for keeping tight lines on his home waters. "It's not just about the fishing, it’s about the people," Patterson says. "Our activities are kind of a metaphor for life. They can teach patience, strategy, versatility, and adapting to conditions."
A Colorado native, Kelly has been working professionally in the outdoor industry for twenty years. He has lived in the southwestern part of Colorado for seventeen years, and has been guiding with RIGS for the last six years. “Guiding year-round provides the opportunity to continuously hone the hard skills that life in the mountains demands, while developing the soft skills that allow others the confidence to explore the mountains without the learning curve.” Certifications held: WFR, LNT, SWT, LGT, NRA Range officer, High Angle Rescue Certified, PADI, and Wilderness Survival Training Certified.
Born and raised in West PA, Kevin started fishing as far back as he can remember. What started out with catching bluegills and small-mouth bass with a Zebco pole has become a passion for chasing after Rainbows, Cutties and Brook trout, all throughout Colorado. Kevin has been a part of RIGS Fly Shop since the beginning, both as as a guide and a shop salesperson.
Orion was born and raised in the Ridgway area and has been submerged in whitewater from a very young age. Both of Orion's parents were raft guides and quickly shared the love for the river with their son. Growing up in Ridgway and southwest Colorado, Orion was given the necessary resources and mentors to be able to participate in multiple outdoor activities, ranging from hiking, to skiing, to biking, and of course rafting and kayaking. Orion spends as much of his time in the outdoors as possible, and in his opinion, has the greatest job in the world: being able to go whitewater rafting on a daily basis! Orion loves to share the adventure as it was shared with him.
Chance grew up in the country of Southern Idaho working on a ranch, where he was introduced to hunting and fishing at an early age. At the age of 20 he came to Colorado and fell in love with the mountains and rivers. Chance's passion for fishing became an obsession, which led him to the guide life, and he sure does love his job! He can't guarantee a hatch, big fish, sunshine, or high flows, but he can guarantee that you will have a good time and get to see why he is so passionate about this place!
Jason grew up in Chester, NJ, mainly fishing local stillwaters for Bass. After attending school in Boulder, CO in the late 1980's, he fell in love with cold water fishing. Recently returning from California, he now resides in and happily fishes the waters of Southwest Colorado. Jason works in our Full Service Fly Shop, providing valuable insight on fly selection and fishing location suggestions.
A fish at heart, Garrett lives for deep sea fishing, diving, and chasing trout. Over the last 20 years of "chasing that pig in the next riffle, log jam, cliff wall, or undercut bank," Garrett's passion for fishing has only grown stronger. Always striving for what's bigger and better, fish fever pushes his pursuit of the next rush and zing of the line. This passion overflows into his desire to help our clients experience the magic of getting a fish on the line. "It's the best feeling watching a client catch their first fish. I couldn't ask for a better job!"
My first fishing experiences go back to chasing fish with my Dad and Grandpa in both Illinois and Wisconsin and for that I’ll ever be grateful for getting the chance to share fishing memories with both of them. Growing up I played a ton of soccer which eventually took me to West Virginia University for both school and sports where after many years of attending class, rafting and fly fishing I graduated with a B.S. in Forestry Resource Management. It was in West Virginia where I really discovered my love of the outdoors and more specifically my passion for the water. After leaving West Virginia I moved to Colorado where I have been for the last 16 years. My love of fly fishing has only matured here as we are so fortunate to have so many great rivers close by. The experience for me both on the water and off is something I find very special and look forward to sharing with you.
Kristina was fortunate enough to grow up in a neighborhood that was within walking distance of the woods. She would spend hours with friends exploring and playing in the river. As she got older, her love for the outdoors continued to deepen, and she began to get into backpacking. It was after her first solo trip on the Appalachian Trail that she discovered what it meant to "do more than merely exist in this world." Kristina feels most alive when she can simplify and forge new ground, both mentally and physically. Being a whitewater rafting guide makes her feel alive and allows her to live in the moment. "I came out to Colorado to guide unpredictable water and be immersed in timeless beauty."
A native to Colorado, Marisa Murphy, our SUP (Stand Up Paddle) Guide has a deep passion for the sport. She has been paddling on rivers, surfing ocean waves, and enjoying flat water for over 6 years. When the ocean isn’t nearby, Marisa and her husband surf the wake of their boat on the SUP boards. Marisa’s next adventure is to merge her love for fly fishing with standing on a paddle board…we shall see. For now her favorite SUP activities are paddling through the riffles of the Lower Gunnison River, enjoying the scenic Ridgway Reservoir, and being in the midst of all the bird life.