Our Guides

J.D. Bingman has been a resident in Big Sky and fishing Montana for over 44 years. He found a passion for fly fishing for trout, and has mastered his skills to teach you to do the same. J.D and his crew have the skills and area knowledge to show you the tricks of our trade. We will get you hooked on catching your own Montana Wild Trout with a fly rod in your hand. For fly fishing at is best choose us (Wild Trout Outfitters) as your local Big Sky connection, it is never too late, for your appointment with Mr. Fish.

Dave Williamson grew up trout fishing the waters of Colorado with his father and grandfather. He headed north in 1993, relocating to Big Sky and commenced the burdensome task of extensively fishing the local rivers and lakes. He has been guiding southwest Montana for many years and resides with his family in Bozeman. If you would like to fish the Madison, Gallatin, Yellowstone rivers or smaller, lesser known options, he can get you on the fish while providing witty repertoire and scintillating conversation!

Nick Lawton has been a year round fishing guide for the last ten years. Nick guides in Patagonia Chile in our winters, Steelhead in California in the fall, and his favorite time of the year is spent guiding the legendary rivers around the Big Sky area. The Gallatin, Madison, and Yellowstone rivers are where you will find him throughout our summer. Professional and very fishy best sum up this year rounder. Armed with a custom fly fishing raft and also a drift boat this man can put you on em at anytime throughout the season. Whether you are looking for a nice walk wade trip, a whitewater fly fishing adventure, or a nice drift boat float down one of our premier rivers this is the guide to call.

Sam Geppert I grew up in Pittsburgh PA where my father instilled my love of fishing at an early age. We spent summers fishing for bass and walleye on all of the rivers and lakes in the region but what really got me hooked where the springs we spent fishing for native brook trout on a small tributary in northern PA named Baily Brooke. My great uncle Avery taught my father to fish there and he passed on the family knowledge to my brother and I. In 2000 I moved to Big Sky and was lucky enough to meet JD. He took my love of fishing and properly directed it to the wild trout of southwest Montana. I learned more in the next two years losing to JD in a little game we like to call “you miss I fish” than most anglers learn in a lifetime. In 2002 JD proclaimed that I was ready to guide. Since then I have been teaching clients to fish the waters of southwest Montana every season, and have been blessed to meet many great people and many great fish!

Matt Ruuhela divides his time between skiing and fly fishing. He is also an avid fly-tier and many local shops have his flies in their bins.The only thing Matt likes to do more than fly fishing is spinning up custom bug’s for Wild Trout Outfitters. With his background in ski school he is a natural fly fishing instructor and can get you casting like a pro in no time at all.

Tom Gardner is originally from the coast of North Carolina Tom moved to southwest Montana in the early 90’s. Having spent many years fishing the west Tom has developed a passion for the”big rivers” and loves to float fish. Whether you are a true beginner or seasoned die-hard Tom can put you on the fish.

Chris Gandy A native of Colorado, Chris grew up fishing in the Arkansas river valley. He moved to Big Sky in 2009 and fishes the water here all 12 months of the year with a particular affinity for the fall and winter months. Chris’ infectious love for fishing and patient knack for teaching are sure to make your day on the river one to remember. He guides walk/wade trips on the Gallatin and Madison rivers and in Yellowstone National Park. When not on the river, you’ll find Chris at his desk tying flies, skiing, hiking and mountain biking with his dogs, riding horses with his wife, and talking about fishing..

Joe Valaitis learned the art of fishing from his father, while growing up in Connecticut. He started dragging streamers at an early age and has had passion for fishing ever since. He cut his teeth teaching fishing to his 2 children. After a 25 year career as a professional firefighter, Joe moved his family to Bozeman in 2013. His passion of fly fishing has kept him on the water most days learning the areas world class rivers. When not fishing he continues to educate others as a snowboard coach at Big Sky Resort. He brings not only fishing knowledge to the rivers, he brings passion, energy, and humor to make sure you enjoy your day on the water.

John Sniscak John is a 15 year veteran guide on the waters of western Montana and Yellowstone National Park. He tries very hard to keep his perspective of how wondrous a trip to this part of the country is and never forget how amazing he felt visiting these waters from his hometown of Baltimore, MD back in the 90’s. His knowledge of the fish and fishing is deep, but his patience and simple teaching methods is what make folks enjoy a fishing trip (whether fly or spin) with him so much.

Ian Secrest grew up 45 miles off the grid on the North Fork of the Flathead River adjacent to Glacier National Park. Learning to fish and hunt from his dad he established a solid foundation and appreciation for the great outdoors.

Shortly after high school Ian moved to Bozeman, earning his first degree in business management from Montana State University, and a second, unofficial degree in fishing and floating on the waters of the Madison, Gallatin, and Yellowstone. For seven seasons he also whitewater raft guided on the Middle Fork of the Salmon River in Idaho’s Frank Church Wilderness. It is here where he gained a full appreciation for all things related to rivers; fish, scenery, wild rapids, and the satisfaction of sharing these remarkable places with others.

Ian spends his winter months tying flies, working as a timber framer, and fishing his favorite places with his black lab named Streamer. Join him on the water and spend a great day learning about local fly fishing, hear a few far off whitewater tales, and gain an appreciation for Montana’s great outdoors.

Jordan Corcoran was born and raised in southwest Louisiana. Jordan spent his childhood cultivating a passion for duck hunting in the marshes and rice fields and for fishing along the inland waters of the gulf coast. After chasing redfish and speckled trout and learning to fly fish for bass, Jordan set his sights for Montana and began splitting the year between Big Sky and Baton Rouge. In 2000, with a degree in Marine Biology in hand from LSU he relocated to Montana, and aside from a two year stint in Hawaii, has called the Gallatin Valley home for the past 13 years. He remains captivated by Montana’s beauty, exploring the wilderness, hunting, and of course, fly fishing. He is looking forward to his seventh year as a guide and sharing his love and knowledge of local waters.

John Kirk John developed his fishing skills early on the inshore waterways of Massachusetts, hunting the striped bass and blues of Cape Cod and the North Shore. After graduating from school hungry for bigger mountains and rivers, he moved to Bozeman and has been chasing big trout ever since. John is an avid fly tier, spending many hours during the cold months at the vice spinning feathers. He loves to test late night creations on big browns when the rivers are chilly and quiet. John has spent a few seasons as a ski patroller and is a certified EMT. John enjoys teaching others the fun and excitement fly fishing has to offer, as well as everything he has come to love about Montana.

Dave Evans grew up in a fly fishing family on the outskirts of Cleveland, Ohio. He moved to Montana to follow his passion of Skiing and Fly fishing. Dave spends his winter teaching skiing in the Snowsports School at Bridger Bowl, North of Bozeman, and his summers on the rivers of southwest Montana. Dave enjoys the teaching aspect of guiding fly fishermen and can add as little or as much instruction as you desire. Dave is equally thrilled with a trout rising to your dry fly or the fish launching out of the river with your streamer in it’s jaw! Whether it be a dry fly, or some subsurface offering he can adapt to the most productive method of bringing the fish to the end of your line.

Paul Swenson – grew up in Bozeman, Montana, and has been fishing the waters of Montana since 1967 when he caught his first rainbow on the Gallatin River at Greek Creek campground with his family. Steeped in the tradition of fly fishing Paul learned fly-tying and fishing techniques from his father, mother, grandfather, great uncles, and from any other fisherman around. Paul’s grandfather tied flies, and made fly rods in Bozeman during the late 1950’s through the mid-1970’s. His father also was an avid fly fisherman in the Bozeman area, and Yellowstone Park region. Paul’s Mom is also a very accomplished fisher-lady who usually out fishes anyone, including the rest of the family, whenever she goes along. Paul started taking people fishing in 1984 just for fun at Lone Mountain ranch. Later when he found out you could get paid for doing it, began his professional guiding career in 1988 for Lone Mountain Ranch in Big Sky, Montana. It was during this time that he met outfitter J.D. Bingman.In 1989, Paul moved his guiding interests to West Yellowstone where he guided until 2003 for Bud Lilly’s Trout Shop, Madison River Outfitters, and Bob Jacklin’s Fly Shop. Now back in Big Sky, Paul loves sharing his knowledge of the local rivers with guests of Wild Trout Outfitters.

During the off season, Paul is the Lone Peak High School science and math teacher here in Big Sky. His interests in the natural history and scientific importance of the greater Yellowstone ecosystem is something he loves to teach his students. This passion for the outdoors is also passed on to his fishing clients during days on the water. He met his wife Lori in 1998 and enjoyed teaching her to fish. She has become a wonderful fly-fisher when she gets time to go. Paul and Lori started a family in 2001 and have three wonderful children, Solae , Skye , and Soren. He resides in Big Sky year around.

Bryce Connery is the owner of Lone Peak Outfitters based out of Bozeman and Big Sky Montana. Bryce’s passion for fly fishing started at a very young age and quickly evolved into sharing this passion and knowledge of the local waters with guests from all over the globe. When not fishing Bryce can be found guiding elk hunts in the fall and exploring Montana’s back country in the winter. Bryce is a proud pro-staff member of the Hatch Reels team and R.L. Winston Rod Co.