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Eric grew up fishing, hunting and skiing in Ashland Wisconsin on the south shore of Lake Superior. He moved to the Gunnison Valley in the fall of 1999 and quickly fell in love with the area and all of the incredible outdoor recreational opportunities, particularly the incredible year round fly fishing. Eric soon found himself spending time floating the river and fishing as much as possible. He began guiding professionally in the summer of 2003 and has been guiding full time since. Eric met his wife Katherine after a day of floating and fishing the Gunnison River. On their first date he took Katherine fly fishing on the Lake Fork of the Gunnison. From that day on Katherine became his favorite fishing partner. They were married on the river and even floated and fished the Gunnison River on their wedding day. Now they both continue to fish and guide on all the waters they love here in the Gunnison Valley. Eric truly believes “it’s always a good day to go fishing.”
Katherine Grand has been guiding with Three Rivers Resort for 5 years and guides both walk wades and float trips. Her husband, Eric Grand, a top guide for Willowfly Anglers, taught her to fly fish on the local waters. In fact he took her fly fishing on their first date and they even fished on their wedding day! After their first date you could say Katherine was hooked! For Katherine enjoying the outdoors is a lifestyle rather than a hobby. She is also an avid falconer, hunter, and loves horseback adventures in the high country. Katherine and Eric live year round in Gunnison on their ranch in the Ohio Creek Valley and can take you on an excellent adventure any time of year. Katherine and Eric also specialize in couples and group trips so book your trip with one or both of them today!
“Dewey” is a native Coloradan and grew up fishing the Poudre and Thompson Rivers. His uncle taught him how to fly fish at 12 years of age, taking him to Wyoming and Utah. He then became addicted to catching big fish. When he moved to Gunnison in 1999 he began spending time fishing with a guide for Willowfly Anglers and then in 2001 he began guiding as well. Dewey’s favorite part about guiding is seeing the satisfaction on his clients’ faces as they learn something new. Ultimately, Dewey loves guiding because of all the great people he gets to meet. He is one of only a few guides who has access to take you fishing on the private waters of the East River Anglers Club (ERA).
Roark grew up in the heart of the Adirondack Mountains in upstate New York and arrived in the Gunnison Country in 1971 as an 18 year old freshman on a ski racing scholarship to Western State College. In 1975 he joined the Crested Butte Ski Patrol, the first step in what became a 38 year career with Crested Butte Mountain Resort, rising through the ranks to Director of Mountain Operations before retiring from the ski resort business in 2011. Roark’s passion for fly fishing began while he was in college. In 1982 he and a friend founded Willow Fly Anglers Guide Service and introduced the first fiberglass drift boat to the Gunnison Valley. The next year they affiliated with Three Rivers Resort and Roark has been a part of the resort’s guide team ever since; long enough to have guided three generations of more than one family. Roark has two children; son Eric and daughter Abby, both accomplished fly fishers. Eric is also an accomplished river guide and part of the Willowfly Anglers team, but most importantly, father to Roark’s two beautiful granddaughters. Be sure to book well in advance, as these girls will soon consume much of Roark’s available fly-fishing time.
For 40 years, Dave has been fishing Colorado waters—the last eight as a guide at Willowfly Anglers. He’s a retired high school teacher who finds great joy in helping folks experience fly-fishing success. Beginners and experts alike benefit from his knowledge, patience, and easy going instruction. His “keep it simple” fishing approach helps young and old gain confidence, catch wild trout, and make lasting memories. He guides both wade-walk and float trips on the many exceptional waters in Gunnison Valley.
Eric was born and raised in Almont and loved the fishing opportunities so much, he never left the valley. With 19 years of guiding experience, Eric spent more than half of his life on the water, teaching his passion for fishing. As the son of the Willowfly Angler’s founder, Eric grew up rowing and wading the area’s many streams and lakes. He says it’s the fishing diversity that makes the Gunnison drainage so special; getting the beginners hooked and keeping the old sages coming back for more. That’s exactly who Eric specializes in…everyone! Whether it’s your first day of casting, or you’ve been doing it your whole life, Eric wants to fish with you, any time of year. When Eric isn’t with clients he can be found with his wife Kendra and their new baby Gracie, floating down the rivers, sneaking around in the mountains, sitting by campfires and living the Gunnison high country life!
Steve’s love for fishing and the Gunnison valley brought him to Three Rivers Resort five years ago. Since that time, he has rafted, kayaked, and fished for the resort. He has been enjoying the area since skiing Crested Butte in first grade (in sweet red coveralls). For his second job, he teaches high school science in Colorado Springs. Whether he is boating with students on a field study to teach about water and the West or drifting the Gunnison with Willowfly Anglers clients in search of trout, he believes experiencing the outdoors is the only way to appreciate and conserve these wonderful places. Come spend some time floating in his drift boat, or knee deep in flowing water on a walk wade. Either way, you’ll be spending time in some terrific country with a guide that will work hard to help you achieve your goals.
Patrick is a Colorado Native who grew up fishing the waters of the Colorado high country. He attended Colorado Mountain College in Leadville, CO where he discovered his love for rivers and fishing. Patrick guided on the Arkansas River for four years before coming to the western slope. This is Patrick’s third season guiding float fishing and walk/wade trips for Willowfly. Patrick also works in the fly shop. When not guiding clients he loves to float and fish rivers, hike with his dog, and tie flies. His goal is to make sure all his clients leave the river with a greater appreciation for the outdoors.
“There is certainly something in Angling that tends to produce a gentleness of spirit and a pure serenity of mind” -Washington Irving
Brad has guided for Willowfly Anglers since 2014 but he has been a long time resident and guide in the Gunnison Valley. He guides both walk/wade and float trips. In between his other jobs and his work as a guide, he puts in many hours of personal fishing on the local waters. Brad’s daughter, Maya, is a raft guide and photographer for the resort as well.
Chad Stone is an Arizona native with a career in outdoor education as well as guiding professionally in places like Colorado, Alaska, and Germany. Chad was a long-time boatman in his home state of Arizona on the Colorado River in the Grand Canyon, and an outdoor educator for Northern Arizona University in Flagstaff, AZ. Growing up Chad was raised on fly fishing by his Father and Grandfather on the creeks and lakes in the White Mountains of Eastern Arizona and has since fly fished worldwide. Chad has returned to the Almont area to share his love and appreciation of fly fishing with our guests and clients. His enthusiasm for fly fishing is infectious and with his jolly laughter and demeanor you will soon find out why Chad’s past students and clients have requested him again and again. If you’re looking for a day filled with plenty of laughter and great fishing you should stop by and visit Chad in the fly shop or hire him as a walk/wade or float trip guide for any age and skill level, especially beginners.
“The finest gift you can give to any fisherman is to put a good fish back, and who knows if the fish that you just caught isn’t someone else’s gift to you.” – Lee Wulff
Graduate of the Orvis endorsed guide program, Jake is thrilled to be in his second season guiding with Willowfly Anglers. Jake was fishy from a young age, not only behind the rod, but in the library pouring over books on marine biology, transfixed by his family’s 50 gallon African Cichlid display, and recreating scenes from Jaws with his toys in the bathtub. Jake started fishing on his grandfather’s dock in the Florida Keys and then on a tiny panga boat with his dad in Baja California, learning all he could from the wisdom of senior anglers to find his now life long passion. He discovered his love of fly fishing on the Front Range of Colorado during college in Boulder. Now he spends summers in the Almont area fishing every chance he can get and learning about the Rocky Mountain flora, fauna, and stream-side ecosystem. Sharing his passion for fishing with others is one of his greatest joys, from the excitement to the challenges and humility only a trout can induce. A day on the river with Jake could leave you with a friend for life. During the winters he’s a chef in Tucson, AZ, and enjoys free time cooking with his family, friends and girlfriend, playing guitar, and tying flies. His favorite animal is the Great White Shark. Secret talents include catching grapes in his mouth at record distances and beating ten year olds at chess.