GUIDE PROFILES

About Our Montana Fishing Guides

Being a Montana Fishing Guide is a life of passion.  A group of hardcore anglers that flat out get the job done! We take the time to get to know each of our customers and match them with a guide who has similar personalities and fishing intrests.  Do you want to throw streamers all day, go dry fly only or just catch fish - what ever it takes?  We have guides that specialize in all of these. Hardworking, knowledgable and patient are just a few attributes you must have to be a successful Montana Fishing Guide.  Let us take your Montana Fishing trip to the next level with a guided trip from Freestone Fly Shop.

ANDREW HETTICK

Andrew has been fishing the Bitterroot since he was knee high to a grass hopper. Over the years he's honed his skills and has become one our fishiest guides on our staff. Andrew still has that excitement when a fish crashes his client's dry fly just like it was his first.  A day with Andrew will be filled with a lot of instruction to get the perfect drift along with an exceptional lunch and many stories to tell your buddies at the end of your trip.

Andrews favorite fly is a Plan B. His dream fishing trip is Taimen Fishing in Mongolia. When he is not fishing he is always up to something outside. His favorite sports team is the San Francisco 49ers. Andrew loves Montana due to its public access that it provides. His favorite on the river lunch is fried chicken. Andrews favorite hatch on the river throughout the year is Mayflies. He guides out of his NRS dodger and Adipose Flow drift boat.

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Bryan McCravy

Bryan was born in Georgia and moved to Montana for the wonderful opportunities presented by being in the outdoors and doing what he loves everyday. Brian has been fly fishing since 1992 over the course of his 25+ year fly fishing experience  Bryan has developed expertise in the sport of fly fishing and has a deep passion for guiding and teaching people how to effectively fish Western Montana's rivers. Its hard to argue with Bryans time on the water, he knows the rivers inside and out!

 

Bryans favorite fly is the Clowser minnow he dreams of one day being able to head to Cuba to fish. When not guiding Bryan is still on the water boating and adventuring Montana's scenic water ways. He loves Montana simply for "THE OUTDOORS" A interesting fact about Bryan is he spent 6 months on Aleutian island hunting European rabbits. When it comes to guiding Bryans favorite hatch is the Salmon Fly hatch. His favorite on the river lunch is fish tacos. He guides out of his Boulder River Skiff Boat.

CARTER BATES

Capt. Carter Bates grew up in Virginia where he was immersed in the outdoors from an early age Striped Bass in the salt to Trout in the mountains. College and a passion for saltwater fly fishing led him to South Florida. After countless days spent in the shallows of Florida Bay, Biscayne Bay and the Everglades- he decided to become a full time guide and live in the Florida Keys. A trip to Montana in 2001 to fish with a friend led him back into the trout fishing realm and after years of guiding in the Keys and spending time each summer/fall in Montana he decided to relocate full time to Big Sky Country. He now guides full time in Montana and still spends a month or so guiding clients in Florida. Most of the time you will either find him on the river hunting trout or behind his pointing dogs chasing birds.

CHRIS STROUP

Chris caught his first fish on a fly rod when he was three. Chris says, “I was born for this life.” With roots in the Appalachian mountains of Western North Carolina, he learned to read trout streams about the same time he was learning to read a book. After several trips out west to fish, Chris made the decision to settle in Western Montana in 1997. He had no idea that he could turn his love of fly fishing for trout into a career. However, in 1999, he had to decide between going to work or grad school. Neither of these ideas seemed appealing and he began his guiding career.

Chris spends around 200 days a year on the water, between guiding and his own fishing. When he is not chasing trout he spends a good amount of time bow hunting, hiking, and enjoying all that Montana has to offer.

It is hard to deny Chris’ passion for trout and fly fishing if you spend any amount of time in the boat with him. He absolutely insists on enjoying life!

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George"GP" Monta

GP was born and raised in the Bitterroot Valley of Montana and grew up fly fishing small tributaries and rivers in the Bitterroot Valley. A Bitterroot native GP has spent years learning the river and has excelled greatly at his craft in sharing his knowledge with those he spends time out on the river with.  GP has fly fished his entire life and it is obvious when you take the time to chat with him about fly fishing. GP says he loves Montana because “It is the last best place and the only place my soul is at peace, Oh and the fishing is out of control”. The craziest thing GP has seen while on the river was a mountain lion chasing deer across the river.

A fun fact about GP is that he loves photography. His favorite hatch on the river is the Skwala hatch, and his favorite fly is the Glommer fly.  When he is not out guiding or fishing GP loves going to concerts, snowboarding, and hiking. His favorite sports team is the Boston Red Sox. His favorite fishing memory was catching more fish than he could count hiking up and down Bear Creek as a kid. GP guides out of his RO Tailwater Skiff Drift Boat and his Sotar Strike Raft.

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Jordan

Avery

Jordan was born in Southern California and moved to Montana 8 years ago to pursue his love and passion for fly fishing. He has been guiding on the Bitterroot for several seasons now and to say he has excelled is understatement. Jordan takes what he does personally, his passion for the sport of fly fishing is contagious amongst all those he guides on the rivers of Western Montana. Jordan is a go getter who does his homework for those he guides to be successful on  on the river with him.

Jordan’s favorite fly is a secret and says that his favorite hatch on the river is PMD’s and Golden Stones.  A fun fact about Jordan is that he speaks Indonesian. His favorite fishing memory was watching his 8-year-old son catch his biggest fish last summer. Jordan says he loves Montana because “I love it for the outdoor recreational opportunities and it’s the best place to raise kids.” The craziest thing he has seen on the river is catching two fish at the exact same time. When Jordan is not fishing, he is hunting, tying flies, and spending time with his family. Jordan guides out of his NRS Otter Dodger and Boulder Boat Works Drift Boat.    

Keani Taketa

Keani is proud to be one of a handful of female guides around the Missoula and Bitterroot area. She grew up in Hawaii but spent every summer since the age of nine fishing the rivers of Montana and Idaho.  After attending college in Colorado and California, she headed straight to Montana to pursue her dream to become a guide.

Having been on a lot of guided floats herself, she knows how important a patient, instructive, and enthusiastic a guide should be, making her a great instructor in the boat. Using her experience from being a client and the mentorship she was given from guides throughout her life, she puts 100% into her preparation and attention to details in order to give her clients a memorable and fun day on the water. When Keani is not in Montana guiding, she enjoys visiting family back home in Hawaii and occasionally bone fishing with her dad. She spends the rest of her time off from the Montana guide season in New Zealand fishing for big, wily brown trout. 
Keani’s passion for nature, fishing and the great outdoors is infectious and she loves to share it with her clients.

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Lane

Blackwood

Lane is from Hamilton, Montana. He has been fly fishing his entire life. Lanes work ethic and ability to hit the ground running has brought him immediate success in the fly fishing industry. Lanes professionalism and his constant effort to be on the water have brought him ecstatic clients as well as memories that will last them a lifetime.

When Lane is not on the water he spends his time chasing mule deer and elk, skiing, and snowmobiling. Lanes favorite sports team is the Montana Grizzlies. He loves Montana because "I get to share the amazing experiences with my family and friends everyday in paradise".

When it comes to being on the water Lane's favorite hatch is  Tricos and PMD'S. His favorite on the river snack is smoked salmon with crackers. He guides out of his NRS Otter Dodger, his passion and drive in this industry have laid the groundwork for what is already a promising career guiding in Montana's beautiful Bitterroot Valley.

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Robert

Prince

Robert grew up in a hunting and fishing family in Central Oregon, starting fly fishing at age 9, and began tying flies for his family's sporting goods store soon after.  After High School Robert moved to Missoula, MT in 2003 to chase trout, ski, and spend a lot of hard earned cash at the University of Montana 

Since then he has been happy to call Montana home, having spent the better part of last decade residing in the Bitterroot Valley.  Robert and his wife are happy parents to a rowdy three year old girl and the loyal family dog (Fisher).   

 

When not on the river Robert is a school teacher for the Stevensville School District, teaching K-5 General Music to over three hundred and fifty students every week.  He brings that patient, energetic teacher attitude to the river when guiding and loves to spend the day with both experienced and beginning anglers alike.  When not teaching or guiding, Robert can be found fly fishing somewhere in the state of Montana, or playing saxophone with his jazz quintet.

TROY HIMMELMAN

One of our most requested guides, Troy has been with Freestone Fly Shop for the past 6 Years. He's developed his own set of skills most anglers would be jealous of. Spending over 150 days on the water will get you there. Troy's enthusiasm as well as his culinary skills will keep you coming back asking for more. Troy is extremely passionate about what he does, always going above and beyond to make sure his clients experience authentic Montana fly fishing when spending a day with him. Make sure to schedule your trip early if you would like to fish with Troy, he is usually busy and booked well in advance.

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Tucker

Jones

Tucker was born and raised in Hamilton, Montana. Another example of a young man who has the go getter attitude in which he will always land on his feet in this industry. Tucker has the Bitterroot Valley ingrained in his soul. He eat, sleeps, and breathes Montana. An outdoorsman through and through Tucker has spent his entire life getting to know the rivers of Western Montana  chasing trout, elk, mule deer, and waterfowl.

Tucker plays college football at Carroll College in Helena, Montana. He spends his time off the water hunting and snowmobiling outside of his collegiate football career.

Tucker loves Montana because "I love the outdoors and the adventure that this beautiful place provides".

Tuckers favorite hatch when he is on the water is the Skwala or PMD hatch. His favorite on the river snack is a turkey bacon avocado sandwich.

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Collin

Hohman

Collin was born and raised in a small town in Ohio called Peninsula, Ohio. He grew up fly fishing for Erie steelhead with his father and has been passionate about fly fishing for much of his life. Collin played Division 1 baseball at Northern Kentucky University, upon concluding his baseball career he moved to Montana to live out his dream of being a fly fishing guide in Western Montana. He is extremely passionate about the Bitterroot Valley and all the fishing and hunting adventures it provides.

 

Collins favorite fly is a Plan B, his favorite hatch throughout the year is Salmon flies. When he is not fishing or guiding Collin loves to spend time outside hunting, hiking, and training his black lab Huck. His favorite sports team is the Cleveland Browns. The craziest thing he has seen on the river was a grizzly bear crossing the river while guiding in the Swan Valley of Montana. Collin guides out of his Sotar Strike Raft.

JEFF GRAY

Owner and Outfitter of Freestone Fly Shop, Jeff Gray, cut his teeth in the fly fishing world over 25 years ago on the Bighorn River. Born and raised in Montana has a few perks when your an avid outdoor seeker. After spending many years helping with the family ranch and hunting every big game, waterfowl and upland bird Montana has to offer, Jeff discovered Fly Fishing. That was the start of something that some might call an obsession.

 

After many years of perfecting his rowing and fly fishing skills, it was time to make a career change and Freestone Fly Shop was born.  In 2009 we opened our doors and have never looked back.  Now Jeff, spends over 150 days a year guiding and fishing the rivers of Montana and spending the rest of the time chasing his 15 year old son, Austin, around the region playing baseball and fishing.  Jeff resides in Hamilton, MT with his lovely wife, Jeannette, his son, Austin and his 2 Labrador retrievers.