Joe grew up and learned to fly fish on the warm waters of the midwest. College and his love of the outdoors took him to Boulder, Colorado, and the cold trout streams of the Rocky Mountain West. He began his guide career after graduation, working on the rivers and lakes of Colorado’s central mountains. After a brief hiatus into the “real” world, he landed in Ennis, Montana, on the Madison River, and 28 years later.. he’s still there!
Joe has been a professional fly fishing guide for 30 years and counting…. with 10 seasons guiding flats fishing in the Florida Keys. Many species and destinations are under his belt, but the bucket list keeps growing, and he keeps learning.
All these years as an avid fly fisherman and gearhead, have contributed to his current position as Owner/Outfitter at Trout Stalkers (@troutstalkers) and the Madison River Fishing Company (@madisonriverfc) in Ennis, Montana.
What are a few pieces of gear you never leave home without?
“The Simms Rod Vault is an invaluable piece of fly fishing travel gear. It fits in overhead bins so I use it as my singular carry-on, and have never been denied on any airline. Not only can it hold 10 rods and reels, but it can also accommodate some terminal tackle, my travel documents, and other essentials like: a book, headphones, sunglasses, iPad, phone charger, and more.
More recently, I have been carrying a Garmin InReach Mini with me on my “off the grid” trips. It’s a cool device that provides great peace of mind, and a way to communicate with my family (or anyone) back home if necessary. It also has lots of other cool functionality.”
What are Your Favorite Fly Fishing Destinations?
“Two of the best trips I have done and would recommend to any adventure-seeking angler are Cuba and Alaska. For multi-species flats fishing, Cuba is hard to beat. Naturally, the weather is always a factor in that game, but all else being equal, the fishery around Cuba is pretty spectacular. Alaska is a sportsman’s and angler’s paradise! Whether you visit the Southeast for Steelhead and Salmon or the Bristol Bay region for Salmon and Trout and other species, it is absolutely spectacular and always an adventure. I would recommend a fly-out lodge in the Bristol Bay region for the max experience. Flying around Alaska on a daily basis adds immensely to the adventure in this enchanted land.”
What are trips that are on your bucket list?
“I have trout fished all my life, but never in South America. I look forward to trout fishing in Chile and Argentina someday and hope to combine this with Golden Dorado. Lately, I have also been thinking a lot about a trip to Mag Bay in Baja to sight fish for striped marlin and roosterfish.”
Why Fly Fishing Destination Travel?
“Destination fly fishing tests my skills on species not found in Montana. It also opens my eyes to different environments and cultures through the travel to get there. Guides that I’ve fished with over the years have become friends as well as valuable resources in learning more about their country.”