Guide School Instructors

Victor Babbitt

victor@tahoeflyfishing.com

Victor purchased his first fly rod at age 7 but unfortunately never had a mentor to teach him how to use it! He did catch a few catfish with it at the Colorado River though! Victor really got into the sport when he moved to Tahoe back in the 80’s and found an old fiberglass rod in the shed of the first house he lived in. A little mentoring from an old shop owner named Wayne Wilkins and the rest is history! Twenty some years later, he still loves the Sierra Nevada Mountains! “The fishing is wonderful and the outdoors cannot be beat.” Living in South Lake Tahoe has been an adventure for Victor and central to many a good fishin’ hole. After spending the past fifteen years behind the counter of a fly shop and a few years prior to that behind a bar, he has heard most all the lies he can imagine and a few secrets about fly fishing as well!

There are five watersheds within a few hours drive and he has spent his fair share of time on all of them. The Carson Rivers and the Walker Rivers are his backyard fisheries and it is where he sends most of his clients. His favorite place to guide is on the East Walker River during the winter/spring! So if you have a question about these rivers or if you are in need of a direction to be sent, now is the time to ask him, and you just might learn a secret or two. If there is one thing he enjoys, it’s talking about fishing!

Rick McGuire

Rick is the Guide School Director and began his fly fishing career twenty five years ago after a move to Montana for skiing inspired and immersed him in the world of fly fishing. A former guide for Tahoe Fly Fishing Outfitters he continues to do some instructional clinics for the shop. Rick teaches fly fishing courses at both Lake Tahoe Community College and Sierra Nevada College. Rick recently retired from a twenty year professional ski patrol career at Heavenly Mountain Resort. He now coaches varsity high school football and is a substitute teacher at Douglas High School in Minden, NV.

Matt Heron

Matt grew up catching trout and bass in the historic Adirondack Mountains, and not long after was chasing the huge trophy Steelhead, Browns and Salmon in the Great Lakes tributaries every fall and spring. Receiving his first fly rod as a Christmas present twenty five years ago would change his life forever.

He is a graduate of NOLS (National Outdoor Leadership School) and worked for the International Federation of Fly Fishers in Livingston Montana as his first job out of college where he became a Certified Casting Instructor.

Currently Matt runs his Fly Fishing School and Outfitter (http://mattheronflyfishing.com/) in Squaw Valley and Truckee in Lake Tahoe, CA. He has quickly turned his school at Resort at Squaw Creek into one of the premier fly fishing education programs in the country. Year round, he and his guides can be found guiding the Truckee and Little Truckee, or lesser known waters around the north shore.

In the off season, he can be found touring the country as part of the Fly Fishing Film Tour (http://www.flyfilmtour.com) or hosting trips with his friends and clients to some of the worlds finest destinations and lodges.

Matt resides in Truckee California with his beautiful wife Lulana and their son, Declan.

Jordan Romney

Jordan Romney grew up fishing the rivers and lakes of Northern California. While attending college at California State University Chico he spent as much time waist deep in rivers as he did in the class room. After college he moved to North Lake Tahoe to challenge himself on the beautiful streams and lakes the Sierra’s had to offer. In 2009 he decided to turn his passion into a career. He graduated from the Clearwater Guide School in 2010. Since graduating he has been guiding several different waters in Northern California, and is one of the top casting instructors for Matt Heron's Fly Fishing School.  A little while down the road Jordan has become the head guide for Fly Fishing Specialties in Sacramento.  He has also spent 2 seasons in Alaska as the head guide for Epic Angling and Adventure.

He is a patient and knowledgeable instructor and guide. Jordan grew up just minutes from the Putah Creek in the small town of Winters. Putah Creek is one of the more challenging technical fisheries in the state however Jordan has an uncanny knack for teaching and instructing. His future plan is to continue to travel to far off destinations in pursuit of elusive fish on the fly.

Jay Swartley

Growing up in a "fishing family" Jay was exposed to the sport at an early age. His family owned a small piece of land on the Upper Delaware River where multiple generations honed their skills and passed down their knowledge. Spending lots of long summer days on the river gave him an eye for the water at very young age. "My father used to set me up with a rod and just cut me loose  while he tended to chores on the property.  Like most dads, he would give me a spin rod and put me into a slow deep pool, but I would normally end up fishing the run into the pool. He has told me I was indicator fishing with bobber before we knew what indicator fishing was."

Like most teenagers Jay took a good hiatus off of fishing and became more involved in other activities, but always had the passion for the outdoors. Surfing, skiing, hiking, climbing, and just about anything else outdoors. It was the purchase of kayaks that sealed the deal on the return of the fishing bug. "When my sister moved to Vermont I took a trip out there with my parents and we had one of those days on the river that just don't happen that much. It had been a long time since I had a fly rod in my hand, but it just felt rite. I didn't know it at the time but a few months later I would quit my real job and move back to the Sierras to be a trout/ski bum. It was the best decision I ever made" says Jay.

Once he moved back to the mountains fishing became a high priority. Exploring as much new water as possible became an obsession. Everything from high mountain creeks to dessert still waters. "The exploration was a big part of it for me, the Sierras just have so much to offer. As an angler you can never get bored here". Besides the exploration, sharing knowledge of the sport with others was something that came natural to Jay. After some encouragement from friends and family becoming a guide just made sense.

With a true passion for fishing and the outdoors in general a trip with Jay is sure to be a good day. "I like to say there are easy days and hard days here on our waters, but there are no bad days!" From experienced anglers looking to learn new water or perfect techniques to the absolute first timer Jay will work hard to cater the trip to your needs. After all it is your day out there!

Chuck Reagan

From lakes and rivers of Texas, E. Tennessee & N. Georgia., bayous of SW Louisiana or the inshore/offshore salt and freshwater of Florida, Ragan grew up chasing fish. With a cajun mother and Florida boy father, both avid anglers, he held a rod early on and though the Ragans moved often due to his father’s profession as a pro golfer, the road always ended in water. Aside from their parents, Chuck and brother Paul fished aside paternal grandparents on the intercoastal of Daytona Bch. and maternal grandparents along the Blanco River outside of Kyle, Tx. Fishing became a way of life in the family. Father Dave Ragan always seemed to relocate the family around prime fisheries whether he meant to or not and having a mama born and bred into it didn’t smother the flame one bit. As a teen, he fished beaches, inlets and canals in Sarasota on the Gulf of Fl. and worked for the non profit Life Program, counseling troubled youth. With itchy feet in 94, he left for Gainesville, FL. unknowingly continuing what would end up being his music career. As his band Hot Water Music became an international touring machine, Ragan saw the world. Moving to Micanopy in early 2000, he learned from Kip Street & Bill “The Gill” Sorton, new methods of angling and woodwork. When not working, you’d find him off the coast of Cedar Key or Shellmound chasing Redfish, offshore winching grouper or poling lilies after heavy bass and striper on Rodmans, St. Johns or the Suwannee. In early 2000, Ragan left the South for California to marry Jill and continued a trade in carpentry, songwriting and fishing Pacific waters. He kept touring, this time with fishing rods in tow. As an angler and traveling musician, Ragan takes advantage of being in prime zones to fish and share music across the globe.

 

Relocating to Grass Valley, CA. in 07, he continued his career in music and had his first child and future deck hand, Grady.  As a fishing guide that focuses on Sacramento Valley Rivers and the surrounding lakes and reservoirs in the foothills of the Sierra Nevada Range, Ragan loves sharing fun and joy on the water in pursuit of largemouth, smallmouth, carp and spotted bass on the fly and the wild trout and steelhead of the Yuba and Feather Rivers. Aside from private trips, he’s now guiding for the non profit organization Cast Hope http://www.casthope.org to help give a new perspective to underserved kids who’ve yet to find the passion and reason to protect our natural resources. Always positive and fired up, he lives to see people light up when their rod bends and believes in giving others the knowledge of the outdoors, fly fishing, teamwork, independent confidence and the importance of respect and conservation for all to carry and pass on themselves.

 

Jaime Lyle

Jamie Lyle is the Sage, Redington, and Rio sales representative in California. He has fished around the world for a wide variety of species in both fresh and salt water and is a great resource for information on tackle and techniques. Additionally, he is a certified FFF Master Casting Instructor and the former National School Director for the Sage Rod Company.

Bill Lowe

In Memoriam

Thank you Bill Lowe for all you did for our Guide School.  You are missed.

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