Kootenai Angler Guide Team

Our Montana fly fishing guides are long-time local residents with over a hundred years combined fly fishing experience on the Kootenai. They fish the river twelve months of the year, under every weather and water condition. Our guide team has an extensive wealth of knowledge that they freely share with each other. They collaborate on what has been working best or the most effective technique to raise fish. This is one of the major advantages of fishing with us. You don’t just get one guide; you get a whole team that is working together. They live, work, and raise their families in Libby, year-round. They are here because there’s no place else on earth they’d rather row a drift boat, cook a streamside gourmet meal, or share the stories and satisfaction that dozens of seasons on this river have birthed. These things, along with a deep respect for the area’s natural resources and the wildlife that call the Kootenai home, enable us to provide our fishing friends with our most valued commodity, “The Real Montana Experience.”

Dave Blackburn

blackburnNot content simply running and administering Kootenai Angler, Dave continues to play a role in the guide team. He has logged more than 24,000 hours plying the Kootenai and its surrounding waters since 1982. Dave provides a wealth of knowledge and experience to his guide team and customers. You will find Dave most days at his mobile office on the river.

Joe Cielak

cielakOur senior guide Joe Cielak will be returning along with his super laid-back style of guiding. Joe enjoys revamping fly patterns to his own version. Joe was able to guide a customer from Spokane into the largest client-caught rainbow in the history of Kootenai Angler (see pic). He officially retired his red Toyota 4-Runner with 480,000 miles and drove a newer Chevy Trailblazer last season. Joe’s team, once again, placed in the top 3 of the Cabinet View Golf Member/Guest Invitational, with scores of 69 and a 72!

Monte Moniz

monizMonte Moniz continued to be a bundle of energy last season. He recently moved from Whitefish to Libby to be sure his grandkids grow up knowing trout eat flies! Monte guides with high energy and enthusiasm. He was mentored by Hal Jannsen on many of the fabled Northern California Trout and Steelhead Rivers.

Ron Ridgeway

RonRidgewayRon brings with him a lifetime of outdoor experience and enthusiasm for fly fishing. He makes his home in Eureka, Montana and has a passion for the Kootenai and its fishery. If he’s not floating the Kootenai you’ll likely find him on one of the area’s highland lakes or freestone creeks. Raised on the Gulf Coast of Texas, fly fishing for sea trout and redfish, he is now proud to call Montana home.

Gary Lamey

GaryLameyGary is looking forward to another season on the river for Kootenai Angler. He has been a mental health counselor for 6 years and a counselor for troubled teens for the previous 3 years. His interests are fly fishing, bowhunting and thoroughly enjoys working with troubled families and teens. The trips I offer not only offer the beauty of the Cahinet Mountains, but the river itself. Throughout the years of experience, he’s marveled at the relationships that have been established. He says, “I can’t believe that these relationships can’t be enhanced through husband and wife or parent and child. Fish come and go, but families and friends don’t. Experiencing a few days at a lodge on the Kootenia can build all. As an experienced therapist, I ask you to not let this opportunity pass you by.

Andrew Petersen

AndrewPetersenAndrew Petersen was born and raised in Libby. He lives on the river and has fished the river every chance he could get. He has working the fly shop since he was 14. 2014 will be his 3rd season between the oarlocks guiding for Kootenai Angler. He is currently a sophomore enrolled in the college of Engineering at Montana State in Bozeman. He is always experimenting at new ways to catch fish on flies. He is an energetic guide who will work his hardest for his clients with a big emphasis at having fun!

Trip Planning

  • Area activities

    Fly fishing isn't the only thing to do in Libby. From taking in gorgeous forested landscapes, conquering nearby peaks on foot, or learning about the history of the area, there's much to do. We can help you plan your whole trip!


    Libby, Montana experiences a continental climate. This means that typically there are large seasonal temperature differences, with warm to hot (sometimes humid) summers and cold (sometimes severely cold) winters.

    What to bring

    The perfect trip begins with smart planning before you even leave home. We want to help make it easy, so here's a check list of items you'll want to make sure you pack. It's not comprehensive - just the basics - so make sure to put some thought into packing!