The Best Fly Shop Will Have The Best Guides
When it comes to finding the best shop in your area, we have a tip – look at their guides! The best fly shops will have amazing guides to give you a fly fishing experience you’ll never forget. A great experience starts with a great plan, and an expert guide will show all the ins and outs. Here at Stillwater Anglers, we pride ourselves on offering the finest Montana fly fishing guides in the region. You won’t find any “shop dudes” or inexperienced rookies. We only hire the most experienced, seasoned, and licensed guides.
Read on and meet all of the experienced guides that help make us the best fly shop in Montana and help us keep our reputation of delivering amazing fly fishing experiences.
Choose The Best Fly Shop By Their Guides
If you need help identifying the best fly shops, you need to look no further than their guides. Meet all of our expert anglers on The Stillwater Anglers team.
Chris is the owner of Stillwater Anglers Fly Shop and is the backbone of the store. After serving 23+ years in the Marine Corps, Chris retired and settled down in Columbus, Montana. With a huge passion for fly fishing, he got his guide’s license and created Semper Fish and Guide in 2003. In 2008, he got his outfitter’s license and went on to open Stillwater Anglers in 2011.
It’s obvious when you meet Chris that he puts the commitment and dedication he used in the Marine Corps into his retail fly shop and outfitters. His passion for the sport and his mission to serve people makes him a great fly fishing guide. As owner and face of Stillwater Anglers, he loves to provide personal service to everyone who stops by and seeks to provide a total fly fishing experience that you’ll remember in fondness for years to come.
Chris Fleck has also been very active with several fly fishing and conservation-related organizations in Montana. He served on the board for Magic City Fly Fishers, the local Trout Unlimited Chapter as Chapter President and Board member. He has also served on the State Council for Trout Unlimited and the Fishing Outfitters Association of Montana.
As the owner, he dedicates time to making sure all of his guides are top-notch so that whether you’re a novice angler or a seasoned fly fisherman, you get a great experience.
You’ll often find Rob Cadle and Chris Fleck working as fly fishing guides together, as Rob is a fellow retired Marine. Since retiring, Rob has pursued his passion for fly fishing by making sure every person, whether their new, experienced, young, or old has a great time on the river.
Rob can be your guide for the Missouri and Stillwater Rivers, but he’s been fishing the Bighorn River since at least 2006. He fully believes that fly fishing should be a fun and memorable experience, and really enjoys taking both beginners and seasoned anglers out on Montana waters.
His favorite trip is a full-day adventure on the Bighorn River. As a popular guide, his schedule fills up quickly, so make sure you book well in advance.
Matt Wilhelm got his passion for fly fishing early and has since spent his life learning more and sharing his love for the sport with others. At age 11 he started fly fishing on the banks of the Manistee River in Michigan. Matt is also the former National Education Coordinator for the Federation of Fly Fishers (FFF). Some of his responsibilities included planning and implementing fly fishing and aquatic education programs on both a local and national level.
Today, Matt is the Director of Education for the Invasive Species Action Network, and he helps develop educational materials that help stop the spread of aquatic nuisance species. Some of the programs he uses reaches close to 7,000 kids per year. Since 2000, Matt has been a FFF Certified Casting Instructor and earned his Master Certification in 2006. He is passionate about teaching students and giving them the tools they need to be skilled, successful, and ethical anglers.
His efforts and involvement as a guide definitely help Stillwater Anglers be the best fly shop in the area.
The best fly shop will have guides that are born and raised in the area. Tyson grew up flying both Montana and Wyoming waters and got his love for fly fishing at just 13 years old. His passion for the sport has even led him to fly fishing expeditions in Louisiana and the Yucatan.
Typically, Tyson likes to fish the lower Yellowstone and its tributaries along with the Bighorn River. Whether you’re a newbie on the water or looking for more technical waters, Tyson is the guide for you!
J.D. is another guide raised in Columbus, Montana and has been a regular Stillwaters Anglers guide since 2016. He’s a great guide for people who want to really get to know Montana waters, as he’s been fishing the Yellowstone, Stillwater, Rosebuds, and Boulder rivers for over 25 years. Plus for over 15 years, J.D. has also been fishing the Bighorn and the upper Missouri River.
James (known by all as “J.D.”) became a regular Stillwater Angler guide in 2016. J.D. grew up right here in Columbus, Montana. With both passion and experience on the local waters, Stillwater Anglers is pleased to have J.D. as one of our Montana fly fishing guides. He’s been fishing the Yellowstone, Stillwater, Rosebuds, and Boulder rivers for over 25 years. For over 15 years, J.D. has also been angling on the Bighorn and upper Missouri River.
Just like most of our guides, J.D. loves fly fishing and is also passionate about conservation. It’s these two passions that led him to become a fly fishing guide. As an independent contractor who works for various outfitters, we love having him to teach our clients about preserving natural resources and being an excellent guide to each person who books a trip.
Seth Byler grew up in Billings, MT and learned to fly fish on one of our favorite rivers, The Stillwater River. At the young age of 14, he bought his first drift boat and started guiding trips on the Bighorn River at just 18 years old.
He has spent the last 10 years leading guided trips on both the Yellowstone and Bighorn rivers. Seth has also spent time fishing in both Alaska and Chilean Patagonia. Seth should be your go-to guide whether you’re into throwing technical dries for trout on the Bighorn or some of the best Yellowstone fish of your life.
Luke Epperson is another guide that makes Stillwater Anglers the best fly shop in Montana. He calls Columbus, MT home, as well as both the Yellowstone and the Stillwater River. Having lived in Yellowstone Valley for nearly his entire life, Luke makes a great guide. As teaching is one of his favorite things to do, everyone who goes on a fly fishing expedition leaves with great experience and desire to make fly fishing a life-long hobby.
After a 36 year career as a geologist working primarily in South America, Kirk joined the team in 2019. Though his fly fishing experience expands more than 30 years, he has dedicated time to fishing the Montana Rivers for the last 15 years. Though originally from California, he and his family have lived in the Stillwater Valley for the past ten years.
Kirk loves fly fishing local waters but also enjoys chasing offshore big game fish. If you’re looking for a fun and fresh perspective, then Kirk is your guide.
Overview of Our Guided Trips
Regardless of your experience level, we believe that the best shop should have a package that fits everyone. We offer a variety of float or walk and wade trips to choose from so that you can customize your trip to fit your interests and time.
One of the best things about Stillwater Anglers is that we set ourselves apart by offering all-inclusive trips. All of our guided trip options include the use of gear, like rods, reels, boots and waders, tackle, flies, and lunch! We also bring snacks and non-alcoholic beverages and will provide you transportation to and from the river.
Best Guides, Best Fly Shop
If you’ve been looking for the best fly shop in your area, start by looking at their guides and guided trip options. Look at their reviews and see how great the experience was for the client. A great shop will stand out from the rest by their ability to offer a total fly fishing experience that the whole family will love.
When you’re ready for a trip to top all trips, then you’ve come to the right place. Start planning your trip now and let us help you make sure you have everything you need.