Owner and Outfitter #20186
I grew up in Billings Montana, 90 miles from the Big Horn River, which is arguably the best blue ribbon trout stream in the world. Luckily, my father was a fly-fishing outfitter, which gave me the opportunity to learn from one of the best.
Around age of 7 I was learning how to manage and control a fly rod in the front yard of my parents home. Once I conquered the basics of casting a fly rod, I then graduated to rowing a drift boat, tying flies, studying hatches, and the most important, learning how to read water. When I was 11, I started traveling with my father to all of his hotspots around Montana, further expanding my fly-fishing abilities. This is when I decided I wanted to become a guide and follow in my father’s footsteps.
I successfully guided my first trip when I was 15 years old. I wasn’t paid of course, because legally one can’t guide until they are 18, but I fell in love with it and have been guiding effectively ever since.
My goal for this company is to give my clientele opportunities to fish in a diverse number of places. Many years of experience has taught me that no matter how good the fishing is in one location people will always want a new experience.
Jim “Bow Legs” McFadyean
We lost Jim in May of 2015. What a life he lived. His Biography will remain up on this page until the waters run dry…
I have often thought of myself as the evolution of a fly-fisherman. I was born in Northern Montana on the Blackfeet Indian Reservation where hunting and fishing was a way of life. My earliest fishing memory is growing up on a family ranch and sneaking away from my chores to fish at a local lake. Before I snuck away, I managed to take my uncle’s fly rod that was equipped with spinning line and a single hook. I also managed to catch a frog, which would act as bate. Then attaching this unlucky frog to the hook, I made a single cast into the lake and caught a northern pike that was bigger than I was. With that one experience I was hooked to this sport that has become my life.
In 1986, I landed my first job as a head guide of a fishing lodge on the Big Horn River. I followed that by getting my outfitters license in 1988 and in 1992 I was awarded the Orvis Guide of the Year by the owner of Orvis (Leigh Perkins). During my years as an outfitter, I was given the opportunity to teach college level guide courses at Little Big Horn College and Blackfeet Community College. I have also had the pleasure of transforming many-experienced fly-fisherman into knowledgeable guides, including my son.
Growing up in the Southwest my early fishing experiences were mostly high country trout fishing or fishing for bass on large reservoirs. After moving to Montana in the 90’s a friend took me fly-fishing; I had found heaven. I traveled the state fishing and learning all I could about different rivers, techniques & entemology. My desire to spread the enjoyment of the sport led me to guiding these remarkable tailwaters. My “home” waters are now split between the legendary Bighorn and Missouri Rivers. It’s difficult to describe the satisfaction of seeing clients having a great day on the water.
My father got me involved in the outdoors at a very young age. He showed me how to fish and hunt before I could even realize what I was experiencing. I think that he wanted me to learn how to enjoy the outdoors and all that it had to offer. I gradually molded my life around my passion for hunting big game or casting a fly rod at rising fish. My passion fiercely grew into a lifestyle. I’ve spent countless hours researching places to go to experience something new in the outdoors. I’ve floated the rivers all across Montana and climbed into some of the most grueling high mountain lakes searching for new adventure.
I gained a great respect for fly-fishing and I was persistent on learning more knowledge about how to be successful on each outing. I found myself wanting to teach others how to cast and where to find fish. When I was 19 I was given the opportunity to start guiding on some of the best rivers in Montana. After my first trip with clients I realized the satisfaction I gained from watching other anglers rip into trophy fish. I came to the conclusion that guiding gave me a different gratification that I couldn’t find anywhere else.
The long days on the water stalking trout with clients became a routine. Whether it is standing on a shelf slinging nymphs, stripping streamers from undercut banks, or presenting a dry fly to a huge pod of fish I knew that guiding was ingrained in my blood forever.
Other Guides not pictured: