|AJ Sanders grew up on the rolling plains of Iowa. He came to Jackson, Wyoming to ski for a season after graduating from St. John’s University in 1996, but stuck around to enjoy the run-off and hasn’t left since. Owing to a youth spent canoeing and fishing along the Minnesota/Canadian border, AJ began working as a paddling instructor for Rendezvous River Sports in 1997. In 1999 he transitioned into a drift boat as a fly fishing guide for World Cast Anglers. Today he continues to share his passion for these watersheds by helping his guests gain mastery over the day’s adventure. An ever-patient student and teacher, AJ has a keen eye and gives great attention to detail. AJ also serves as the head instructor for the Western Rivers Professional Guide School. Winter brings him full circle, during which time he works as a ski instructor, trainer/examiner and guide at Jackson Hole Mountain Resort, and as a heli-ski guide at Alaska Rendezvous Lodge in Valdez, Alaska. He lives in town with his wife Tory, and their two hooligans, Atticus and Oliver.
“Many men go fishing all of their lives without knowing it is not fish they’re after.” -Thoreau
Mike Janssen was born in Lausanne, Switzerland and attended St. Lawrence University. He has been guiding in the Jackson region since 1993 with one simple philosophy: “Every angler will walk away with more knowledge than they began the day.” Mike has spent his career developing his teaching and angling skills to suit the guests he guides, an approach that has allowed him to develop passionate and meaningful relationships with everyone who steps into his boat. With an abundance of patience and tremendous pride in the product he delivers, the end result is always better: more memorable moments, and a journey of a lifetime. Mike is also an instructor for the Western Rivers Professional Guide School, and in the winter months a ski instructor, trainer/examiner and guide at the Jackson Hole Mountain Resort, and as a heli-ski guide at Alaska Rendezvous Lodge in Valdez, AK. Above all, Mike is a beloved member of the valley.
“I love fishing. You put that line in the water and you don’t know what’s on the other end. Your imagination is under there.” -Robert Ultman
Bill Happersett grew up in Cherry Hill, NJ, and attended Ryder College. Bill moved to Jackson, Wyoming in 1974, and while guiding elk hunters he would sneak away from camp to fish the Hoback River for cutthroat with his Fenwick High Modulus Graphite fly rod. Bill began guiding fly fisherman full-time for Bressler Outfitters on the South Fork, the Snake, the Green and New Fork Rivers, as well as Montana’s Smith River. Bill has also guided salt water anglers on Little Cayman in British West Indies for bonefish, baby tarpon, and permit. Additionally, Bill is an instructor for the Western Rivers Guide School, and a local expert at catching chislers on the fly. Forty years later, Bill swears the thrill is not gone!
“There is no greater fan of fly fishing than the worm.”
Tom Montgomery learned to fly fish as 13 year old school boy in England. Tom’s first fly-caught trout was a 13 oz. brown taken from a school chum’s pond—and promptly eaten. His professional outdoor career on the water began as a canoe trip leader in Northern Ontario after graduating from Middlebury College. Thereafter, Tom began guiding anglers far and wide: Alaska’s Bristol Bay; Wyoming’s Green and New Forks; central and eastern Montana; the South Fork—and the Snake itself. Additionally, Tom founded the salt water fly fishing program at the Southern Cross Club on Little Cayman in the British West Indies in the early 1980’s. Over the course of the last forty years Tom has established himself as one of the premier guides in the Northern Rockies, and a guide with Wyoming Angling Company since the beginning. In the off-season Tom hosts fly fishing trips and works as an editorial and commercial photographer. Check out his websites tommontgomeryphotography.com and tommontgomeryexpeditions.com .
“The best-made cast begins in the brain.”
Sean Baker grew up in Maine, fly fishing on the Kennebec, Penobscot, Rapid Rivers where his dad taught him how to cast and fish for brook trout. He spent his winter seasons ski racing in Maine in alternate seasons, until he made his way to Scotland as white water rafting guide and became a fly fish guide on the rivers Spey and Annan. Sean made his way to Jackson in 2007, and has since competed on behalf of the US fly fishing team in three national championships—educative opportunities that ultimately allow him to personalize his clients’ fly fishing experiences. When he’s not working as a ski instructor, trainer and examiner for Jackson Hole Mountain Resort you can find him mountain biking throughout the Intermountain-West, salt-water fishing in Belize, Mexico or Bahamas—or organizing his flies by weight and color. Sean came to believe in the powers of karma after an unfortunate incident in his younger years owing to a jar of salsa he threw off a bridge on the Kennebec River, resulting in the worst summer of fishing on record. No salsa on board.
“In my family, there was no clear division between religion and fly fishing” – Norman Maclean
Jamie Weeks learned how to fly fish on historic Catskill Rivers: the Beaverkill; Willowemoc; Esopus and Neversink. These experiences proved to be an excellent launch for Jamie, who later honed his boating skills on the white-waters of West Virginia. Jamie relocated to Jackson in 1995, at which point he began a global search for World’s Best Trout Fishing—Alaska, British Columbia, Russia, and New Zealand. In the end, Wyoming won every time. During the winter Jamie works as a backcountry snowboard guide. Come summer, he’s back on the river, working with the Snake River Fund, Trout Unlimited and Honoring our Veterans. If Jamie looks familiar to you, it may be owing to his breakout role in the most recent film version of Lewis and Clark’s famous expedition through this region. In case you’re interested in witnessing this reprise first hand, you’re in for a fantastic adventure…and maybe a Yankees game in his truck on the way back into town. Jamie and his wife Nancy live in Wilson, Wyoming with their dog Maynard.
“If people concentrated on the really important things of life, there’d be a shortage of fishing rods.” -Doug Larson
Jean Bruun’s guiding career began on her home waters in Colorado in 1994. She has also guided in Alaska, but has been firmly rooted in her beloved Wyoming—beside her husband Paul—since 2006. Jean loves to guide, and considers it a privilege to celebrate rivers, to care for them and become immersed in the mysterious underwater worlds. Jean believes stewardship is requisite to recreation, for this reason she happily supports Trout Unlimited, the Snake River Fund and Coastal Conservation Association. She is a veteran Retreat Leader/Fly Fishing Instructor for ‘Wyoming Casting for Recovery,’ providing free fly fishing retreat for breast cancer survivors, as well as working with ‘Honoring Our Vets,’ which supports wounded military heroes through care, appreciation and fishing. Jean looks forward to sharing water with you this season!
“Fishing is not an escape from life, but often a deeper immersion into it.” -Harry Middleton
Andrew Byron, a Jackson Hole native, began guiding anglers on his home waters in 2004, although he’s been floating the Snake and wade fishing its tributaries with his dad since he can remember. The only time he’s ever been out of his boat for an extended period was while attending the University of Wyoming. Andrew is passionate about preserving the cold-water fisheries he grew up on, primarily by promoting sustainable fishing practices and teaching clients—new and seasoned— about the remarkable waters that flow through Jackson Hole, and trout species that inhabit them. When Andrew’s not working, he’s fishing with his chocolate labs, Teak & Hoback—a pup on either side of his boat. During the winter Andrew is an aspiring amateur Skijouring competitor and runs all things ski racing for the Jackson Hole Mountain Resort. Andrew lives in Jackson with his wife, Bayless.
“We are all apprentices in a craft where no one becomes a master.” -Ernest Hemingway
Tom Hartnett, Tom grew up in the outskirts of New York City but his heart has always belonged in Wyoming where as a young lad he learned to fly fish. Summer after summer his trips to Wyoming and his attachment to fly fishing and the west grew exponentially. Fly fishing has taken him around the world from the Bahamas, British Columbia and Ireland but Wyoming kept calling him back. After graduating from Wesleyan University with a bachelors degree in Environmental Science and a brief professional hockey career Tom moved to Jackson. A graduate of the Western Rivers Professional Guide School, Tom began guiding for Wyoming Angling Company. Growing up fly fishing the waters of the Greater Yellowstone region, a passion was born; one that he imparts to his guests each and every day. When Tom isn’t working you can find him fishing the rivers of the west with his black lab Lady… letting her kiss a few fish here and there.
“Look at where Jesus went to pick people. He didn’t go to the colleges… he got guys off the fishing docks.” -Jeff Foxworthy