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.
Matt McCannel started his guiding career in Colorado, leading three-day expeditions in the depths of Gunnison Gorge and on the tailwater of the Uncompahgre River inside Ridgway State Park “PACO” in 2004. Were he still guides both locations to this day. Matt's fishing and guiding tactics are outside of the norm but have proven to be very effective for his clients. He is passionate about hunting double-digit trout on his technical home waters of the Uncompahgre River. Matt’s ability to explain the smallest details of the sport to people is a huge driver for the successes of his clients. He takes great pride in capturing the moment for his clients through the lens of his camera. Matt travels the state of Colorado speaking on behalf of RIGS Fly Shop for fly fishing clubs and at fly fishing shows. Matt is the head guide for RIGS Fly Shop in Ridgway, Colorado, and guides on the Uncompahgre River tailwater and in the Gunnison Gorge. Matt is also proud to be a Sage, SIMMS, Fishpond, and Costa Ambassador, as well as, a royalty tier for Umpqua Feather Merchants. He lives in Ridgway, CO were he relaxes by fishing to Grass Carp just outside his back door.
Originally from Colorado, Chris has returned to his home state after a long absence. Chris guided in the Southern Rockies around Taos for 4 years before joining our team here in is new home of Ridgway. Prior to his guide career, Chris worked as an archaeologist throughout the Southwest and Rocky Mountains for 9 years. His passion and knowledge of natural and cultural resources combined with his skills and experience guiding always provide for an unforgettable day out on the water.
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 perfect flows, but he can guarantee that you will have a good time and get to see why he is so passionate about this place!
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."
Robert started fishing in Japan at age 9, for giant carps and catfish using American made lures such as jitter bugs and zara-spooks. In 1996, at 14 years old, Robert moved from Japan to Colorado, where he quickly became obsessed with chasing trout. A passionate fly fishing and teacher, he has been spreading the word of fly fishing to anyone that comes his way and has interest. Robert's enthusiasm and knowledge have quickly gained a following as a fly fishing guide.
Will grew up in the outdoors and on the river. He start fishing on a cane pole with a leader on it, then at 7 years old was given a fly rod by his parents that began his fishing obsession. Guiding since 1990 extensively in Colorado, Idaho, Alaska, Wyoming, Utah, New Mexico and Florida Keys, Will loves to share his passion for fly fishing and helping people get into fish. His patience, love of the river and depth of knowledge make for a great guided experience! "Being outdoors surround by beauty is the best office, fishing is the bonus."
Fly fishing was an interest since childhood. Spencer started learning on his his dad's eagle claw and quickly became focused on understanding fish. At 13, a casting class turned an interest into an addiction. Spencer, enjoys sharing the experience of all things bugs, fish, learning to cast and the thrill of landing the first fish. As proof of his dedication, during his senior year in high school, Spencer took a week off finals to do guide school, and it all started or ended there - fly fishing was to be his life. Wildlife Biology with a minor in Art extended the addiction, further expanding his knowledge and love of entomology and fly tying. "It is important to have a personal goal in fly fishing - my goal is to get to know and catch as many different species as possible". Spencer is an excellent resource for all things fly fishing. Stop by the shop to catch up with him.
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.