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Growing up in the fish-filled Ozarks, with older brother Ben Levin to blaze a trail as a fly fishing guide, it’s easy to see why fishing came naturally to Gabe. As a child he could ... moreusually be found playing in the Little Mulberry creek, splashing along in his brother’s footsteps until Ben stuck a fly rod in his hand, probably to try to get rid of him – it did not work. Gabe spent every summer of his teenage years wading or paddling a canoe in search of smallmouth and trout, sometimes venturing out to Idaho to be guided by brother Ben on the South Fork and Henry’s Fork of the Snake River. College kept Gabe busy for four years with studies, a summer farm job, and learning to throw a cutter as a relief pitcher for the Hendrix Warriors baseball team.
After college, Gabe spent a year working on a sustainable farm and marketing local foods in central Arkansas before the allure of the fishing business drew him once more into his brother’s footsteps. Gabe began working full time for Dally’s Ozark Fly Fisher in August of 2013 and has been guiding since October 2013. At just 25 years old, he’s the new kid on the block so to speak, but he’s a quick learner and has a humble way of absorbing advice from the experienced crew that surrounds him.
Gabe enjoys sharing his knowledge of Ozark streams and rivers with anglers of all ages and skill levels. He offers float trips from a drift boat on the trout filled White and Norfork tailwaters, as well as kids’ fishing for trout on Dry Run Creek. A bit of a smallmouth addict, Gabe loves leading canoe or wade fishing trips on his home waters of Crooked Creek, and has begun an annual quest to the upper Midwest for trophy bass on the fly. Beginning in 2015 Gabe will add a jon boat to his arsenal and will offer drift boat trips on the Buffalo National River for incredible smallmouth fishing and sight seeing.
Ben Levin used to be known as "The Kid" around the crusty older types here at the Ozark Fly Fisher, before the beard, but he's packed more fly fishing experience than most twice his ... moreage.
Getting Ben into the team here was a huge bonus. He's been a fishing buddy and worked with some of our guide team for years and we finally wore him down. You will really enjoy meeting him in the shop as well. We like to say he is the nice one.
Ben Levin was born and raised in Arkansas on the headwaters of the Mulberry River, and started chasing fish, crawdads, tadpoles, turtles, snakes, and all other manner of creatures in creeks and puddles since he was old enough to walk. He has been catching trout and smallmouth bass on fly rod in the Ozarks since age eleven. Having spent most of his childhood exploring every nook and cranny of Ozark creeks, rivers, tailwaters, and reservoirs, Ben has a special passion for his home waters. He has been guiding fly-fishermen on the White River system since age fifteen.
Between college semesters, Ben spent four seasons working and guiding for South Fork Outfitters on the Snake River, and Mike Lawson’s Henry’s Fork Anglers on the Henry’s Fork in Idaho, one of the most famous and challenging dry fly rivers in the west. He has also traveled all over the Rockies fishing in Montana, Wyoming, Colorado, New Mexico, and Utah. He was a member of the US Youth Fly-fishing Team in ’98 and ’99, and competed in Ireland and Wales. Ben has been longtime friends with local fishing expert and renowned artist Duane Hada, and the two often team up to float people down our smallmouth streams.
Since graduating in 2005 from the University of Arkansas in Fayetteville with an honors degree in English, Ben has been guiding full time here in Arkansas on our local waters. He lives on Crooked Creek, our famous smallmouth fishery and major tributary of the White, where he fishes, writes, takes pictures, hunts critters, and spends time with his chocolate lab, Soco.
Ben will be doing both smallmouth and trout trips for us, whether it’s in a canoe on the creeks, or his jon boat or drift boat on the river. He’s also a heck of a fly tier and supplies several of our custom patterns. You'll enjoy meeting Ben and Soco.
Steve was raised on Australia’s island state of Tasmania, in Aussie fly fishing terms the equivalent of being raised in Montana. But he'll tell you he squandered his youth in the salt, ... moresurfing, diving, and fishing for all manner of species including tunas. Finally convinced in his late 20s to grasp a fly rod, an obsession was born. He cut his teeth on the challenging wild brown trout and rainbows of Tasmania’s wilderness lakes and streams before moving to the US in December 2000. A former journalist, Steve spent 3 years in the US as a traveling fly fishing writer and photographer, a job which saw him land, fly rod and camera in hand in Montana, Wyoming, Alaska twice, Baja, New York, Michigan, New Mexico, Idaho and finally Arkansas.
The experience in tackling North American conditions was invaluable as he fished the mayfly hatches of the Henrys Fork, Firehole and Au Sable, caddis hatches on the Big Wood, chuck and ducked beads on the Kenai, stripped streamers on the Beaverhead, splatted hoppers on Silver Creek, found himself tied to 40lb King Salmon on the Ayakulik, and roosterfish and snook in Mexico.
His articles and photographs have appeared in several Australian publications and websites, and he remains a masthead columnist and regular contributor on tactics, destinations and fly tying with Australia and New Zealand’s premier fly fishing magazine FlyLife.
After flirting with guiding, and several job offers on his travels, Steve started guiding out of the Beaver Dam store, in '04 and ran the fly fishing department, building his knowledge of the White River system from Beaver to Norfork and a substantial and loyal guide clientele, before joining the Mountain River Fly Shop in Cotter in ‘07.
Despite a serious and extensive fly fishing resume, Steve’s laid-back Aussie accent and attitude, sense of humor and self-deprecating wit are appreciated by beginners and experienced fly fishers alike. His mantra is that fly fishing is meant to be fun whether you are catching the biggest fish of your life, tangling around the rod tip and everything in between.
He's also been known to describe guiding as like a "duck swimming across the pond" and all the hard work gets done our of sight to make the day as easy and relaxed as possible.
Hello fellow anglers, my name is Chad Johnson, born in Mississippi in 1973, with rod in hand. I spent the next 32 years in Crystal Springs. My dad was an angler & raised me just ... morea 4-wheeler ride away from two great warm water fisheries, where we spent most of our time fishing for Catfish, Bass, & Blue Gill but never with the passion that I have found in fly fishing.
I began coming to the White River area for the first time in the spring of 2003 to fish for trout and small mouth bass. That's all it took to get me hooked and I begin making as many trips as possible to fish the area. Sometimes getting sidetracked fly fishing for Redfish on the coast but was always drawn back to the White River area.
In 2006, I decided trips were not enough; I sold my house, left my business and moved to the White River Area to pursue a career in fly fishing. Not long after making the move I joined my new fly fishing family at Mtn. River Fly Shop in Cotter AR, which is now known as Dally’s Ozark Fly Fishers. They began letting me cut my teeth on guide trips with kids to Dry Run creek and teaching them the fun of fly fishing. I soon bought a Drift boat & began guiding on the White & Norfork Rivers in 2007. In the summer of 2007, I found myself guiding at the Rocky River Lodge in Port Graham, Alaska for Salmon & Dollies season & again in 2010. Meanwhile, I worked the rest of the year at Dally’s Ozark Fly Fishers and guiding part time. Over the last couple of years, I have found myself so busy with guiding that I have not been able to work in the Fly shop full time. I am now finding myself overwhelmed with the pursuit for big fish on big flies. I guess the bottom line is there’s no better place to be than in the boat with a customer sharing this sport. I love my job!
I had no idea that my move from Mississippi would land me on such a fast track to such an awesome fly fishing career. Now being an ambassador for Simms Fly Fishing and being picked up as a Rio ambassador and being picked as a Fly Designer for Umpqua Feather Merchants, this move has been the best thing that has happen to my wife, Tiffany, and I in the last few years. Thanks to all of the support of the fly heads out there.
Eric Shores has been guiding clients on Montana Rivers for over 32 years. He's as wily as any old brown trout when it comes to getting his clients on to fish and his stories will entertain ... moreyou along the way. Many of our clients have become life long friends after a memorable day on the water with Eric.
Rooster is on the pro staffs of Simms, Scott Flyrods, Hatch Reels, Clackacraft Drift Boats and Mossy Oak Camo. An ex-USCG rescue swimmer, he’s rebuilt diesel engines, called in bull ... moreelk, and knows how to grill a mean “cowboy coffee” steak. Those that know him are certainly aware of his belief that there is plenty of room in Montana for all of God's creatures – right next to the mashed potatoes. All that said, he tends to specialize in fishing where "there aint nobody". Between Montana Trout, Washington and Alaska Steelhead he spends over 250 days a year on the water. When he is asked how The Stonefly is so successful year after year, he promptly blames it on his crew.
Most importantly, he knows how to listen, communicate, and he’ll remember your name on a handshake.
David joined our crew five years ago, fresh in from the rivers of Alaska’s Bristol Bay region, where he spent the better part of a decade guiding anglers on the fabled waters of Interior ... moreAlaska. A quick study on our local waters, he has proven himself and his skills time and again in all conditions. Quick witted and easy going, he personifies the word professional. If we had to describe him in one line it would go a lot like this.. "The last to quit and the first to buy the beer".
Some river guides will make you wish you booked 4 days on the water instead of 1, they are that good at what they do. Tyler is one of those guys. He might be late now and then, but ... morehis intensity level and uncanny ability to find fish when others can't makes up for it. Tyler understands the big picture, whether it is finding rising fish, bugling elk, hot goose fields or building a house, you can bet it will be done right. He is the guy that everyone notices on the river, not just because he hasn't cut his hair in several years, but because his anglers are having the time of their lives.
Garey once told me he was "put on this earth to catch trout". Most people wouldn't say that about themselves unless they were damned serious about it. He used to spend the colder months ... moredown south of the equator guiding for sea run browns in Argentina's Tierra Del Fuego, where he met his wife Susan. When he isn't guiding in Montana, you might find him building a hot rod, tying flies, or fishing the Big Hole with his wife.
Gray is a 3rd generation Montanan, and has been casting flies around the state since he was old enough to hold a flyrod. He grew up fishing the Big Horn, Yellowstone and all of their ... moretributaries. Like many others in this profession, he has 5 years of guiding in Alaskas Bristol Bay region under his belt, as well as another half dozen on Montana's waters. Most recently, he spends the "off season" guiding down in Chile - however, it's no wonder that he has settled in the Twin Bridges area to make a living guiding on the Jefferson, Big Hole, Beaverhead and Ruby.
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