schmidt-purejoy.jpg Steve Schmidt

In 1986 Steve signed his first lease that launched Western Rivers Fly Fisher.  At the time, survival was all consuming, and he never pondered that those initial years would lead him on the rewarding journey that it has been.  Since opening the shop, he’s traveled the world with his fly rod. Since the infancy of Western River he’s fought to protect the experiences we all share on our waters, and has played and integral role to gaining public access to Utah’s streams and rivers.  And, between all the amazing people he’s worked with, met, and fished with through Western Rivers, he’s never been more passionate about fishing a fly wherever his fly rod may take him.

Favorite Place to Fish: Any place a fish may rise to a dry fly  
Favorite Rod: Billy Barou
Favorite Fly: Minesweeper  




A dedicated fish-bum, teacher and student of all things fly-fishing-Nick comes from a self-educated background. He taught himself how to cast and fish from a young age, and he loves to share his knowledge with anyone interested in learning to become a better angler and caster. Nick embraces all aspects of fly-fishing: Dries, Nymphs, Streamers, Softies, etc. As long as there is potential for a fish to be on the end of his line, he will fish it. His interest in teaching motivated him to become a Certified Fly-Casting Instructor via the Federation of Flyfishers, and the "head-master" of Western Rivers fishing classes and fly-casting clinics for the past 13 years. Any water with fish willing to eat a fly is good water for him, but he holds a very special spot in his heart for Montana's Westslope Cutties, and the various fish species found in Utah.

Favorite Place to Fish: The West
Favorite Rod: Sage
Favorite Fly(s): Purple Haze/Roosters, Soft Hackles, and Chubby Chernobyl's

 061917-desolation-94-of-26-.jpeg Kigen 

Kigen Curtice, aka Doc, is the head guide for Western Rivers and splits his time evenly between days on the water and days in the shop. He earned a PhD in Biology from the University of Utah in 2014 and his scientific background underlies his passion for experimenting with new flies and learning about river ecosystems. Kigen loves fishing slow meandering streams where hatch-matching flies and stealthy presentations rule the game. Kigen also teaches fly tying and entomology classes through the shop. Outside of flyfishing Kigen enjoys adventuring with his family (Vita, Scout, and Jax), running whitewater in his raft, playing soccer, and strumming the guitar.

Favorite Place to Fish: Harriman Ranch on the Henry’s Fork
Favorite Rod: Scott G2 904-4
Favorite Fly: Last Chance Cripple 

  img-1702.png  Spencer

Spencer Madsen, aka Razor Dog, works in the shop 4 days a week and guides small streams looking for rising fish with clients. Spencer loves fishing anywhere hatch-matching flies, stealthy presentations, and picky rising fish are the name of the game. Spencer also teaches fly tying classes through the shop during the winter time. Outside of flyfishing and tying Spencer enjoys chasing upland birds with his Llewewllin setter Jules, fast cars, New England Patriots football.

Favorite Place to Fish: Harriman Ranch on the Henry’s Fork
Favorite Rod: CF Burkheimer DAL 8'9" 4 wt
Favorite Fly: No Hackle


Nicole and her dog Wren have enjoyed the challenge of learning "the Game" on Utah's waters and beyond. Inspired by the fishing stories that circulate the shop and the promise of beautiful evenings on the river Nicole and Wren have taken to the waters, seeking adventure, peace and connection with nature. Nicole has also begun facilitating Women's Flyfishing Classes and hopes to help support the women's flyfishing community of Utah anyway that she can in the shop and on the river. She also enjoys the working on the blog and spending time with her horses.

Favorite place to fish: Southern Utah small streams
Favorite Rod: BIII LS Winston
Favorite Fly: Shimazaki Ant

img-3774.jpg Kyle 

Kyle Toyama, is chief consultant for Western Rivers. Kyle learned to tie flies and cast a fly rod at a relatively young age and honed his skills on ponds, lakes, and some classic waters on the East Coast, before moving west where he was introduced to the sight fishing and challenging dry fly opportunities afforded by spring creeks like the Henry’s Fork and Silver Creek, and this now takes up much of his attention in the summer months. Kyle has also had the great fortune to travel and fish in a number of destinations like Iceland, Bahamas, and Japan. Kyle enjoys learning about the history of fly fishing from storied locations to vintage rods and reels. When not on the water, Kyle enjoys camping, cooking, and Chicago Cubs baseball.

Favorite Place to Fish: Spring creeks with glassy water like Silver Creek and The Ranch
Favorite Rod: Livingston Fiberglass 8’9” 4 wt
Favorite Fly: Nacho Baetis


 blainaford.jpg Blaine 

Blaine is a Salt Lake local who grew up fishing the waters of the west with family and friends. After receiving a degree from Weber State University in Health Promotion, Blaine started looking for opportunities to work in the fishing industry. After guiding in Park City for a couple years he began working in the shop. Blaine splits his time between working in the shop and guiding local waters. When he isn’t working you can find Blaine exploring small creeks, taking naps on the river bank, or enjoying an adult beverage around town.  

Favorite Place to Fish: Small streams in the Uinta Mountains
Favorite Rod: Winston BII T 8’ 4wt
Favorite Fly: Triple Double