Ark Anglers

Braden Baker

Braden Baker's love of the mountains and cold, clear water led him from the finance world in Dallas to Colorado.  Most days you'll find him managing the ArkAnglers shops in Buena Vista or Salida, otherwise he's hiking to the river with a 5 weight and a Chernobyl Ant or trekking to one of the valley's high lakes.  

Cody Caudill

Cody grew up in the Front Range of Colorado and during that time learned how to fly fish while earning his B.A. in Social Sciences & Secondary Education at the University of Northern Colorado in Greeley.  Since then he has worked as an in-person public school teacher, an online teacher, a curriculum developer, a union president, and a cross-country running coach.  This experience in public education has lent itself well to his success as fly fishing guide, giving him a unique perspective on being an effective educator for both social studies and fly fishing.  When he is not guiding you can find him working in one of ArkAnglers’ fly shops, fishing the local waters, running, hiking, camping, supporting his favorite sports teams (Go Avs!), spending time with friends and family, and/or fulfilling his responsibilities for his teaching career.  Cody is thrilled to spend his summers making memories with ArkAnglers and its amazing guests and learning new things along the way.

Don Harville

The best way to describe Don is that he is a loyal customer-turned-guide.  After hundreds of guided trips (ranging from Colorado to Alaska, British Columbia, Alberta, and Montana) and being an Arkanglers customer for a decade, Don was hired as a guide after he permanently re-located to Buena Vista in 2020.  He lives along the Arkansas River where he spends most of his time.  Don started using a fly rod (a fiberglass Shakespeare that he still has) at age 10, floating the Bosque River in Texas and casting hellgrammites for catfish and bass.  Childhood vacations were mostly spent at Taylor Park Colorado where he enjoyed Willow Creek and the Taylor River.  After receiving his Master’s degree in geology from Texas A&M, he moved to Colorado as fast as he could.  His career took him many places including Scotland where he got to catch some trout on the River Don.  Four years in Calgary, Alberta really seasoned his love for fly fishing with many great experiences there chasing Westslope Cutthroats. “I love the Arkansas Valley because it’s not only a geologist’s dream, but it offers so many opportunities from small creeks to rivers to beautiful alpine lakes.  I enjoy learning and discovering new places and watching our guests have a great experience through our sport.” You can follow him on Instagram - @bv_trout_guy


Drew Watson

Drew discovered his love for fly-fishing as a teenager in Oregon, where he enjoyed the challenge of fooling trout using artificial flies that mimicked their natural food. He also developed a passion for fly-tying.  After spending many years in the Washington, DC area where opportunities for fly fishing were limited, Drew moved to Colorado, which reignited his passion for the sport. He devoted himself to fly fishing and fly-tying, accumulating experience guiding across the front range and the Arkansas River. Drew takes his clients to diverse locations based on their skills and desires, and you're bound to have an interesting conversation with him. He has a wealth of knowledge about the local waters and the best techniques for catching fish.  Drew loves guiding because it allows him to introduce clients to stunning natural locations while helping them improve their angling skills. The reward is usually a few fish in the net and the satisfaction of a day well spent in nature.



Greg Felt

Greg Felt founded ArkAnglers with Rod Patch in 1998 and managed the guide service full-time until 2016. Since then he has been elected Chaffee County Commissioner, where he serves as Board Chairman, and continues his long work with water, serving as a director of the Upper Arkansas and Southeastern Colorado Water Conservancy Districts, on the Arkansas Basin Round Table, and on the Colorado board of the Trust for Public Land. He still provides daily oversight at ArkAnglers and guides a reduced schedule of float-fishing trips.  

Jacob Hill

Jacob spent his formative years catching giant largemouth bass in every body of water that Florida offers.  In his early 20’s he was shown the world of inshore saltwater sight fishing using artificial lures on spinning gear.  Shortly thereafter he quit his desk job and relocated to Islamorada in the Florida Keys.  As a licensed captain he guided the Keys and Everglades National Park both spin and fly fishing.  After years of chasing giant tarpon and bonefish the call of mountains and trout prompted him to relocate to Salida, Colorado.  


"The Arkansas River valley and the surrounding area captivated my angling soul and the art of catching these beautiful fish on a fly is something I really want to share with you!"

Jera "Pink" Vinton

A native Vermonta', and lifelong fisherman, Jera("Pink"), moved to the Salida area in '86, and after running whitewater for 14+ years, he "evolved" into one of the original ArkAnglers float guides. After spending the past 6 years living out East and chasing lunkers, from Maine stripers to New York steelhead, he has returned and is fullfilling his dream by living on the banks of the Arkansas, where beautiful fish are mere spitting distance from his backdoor. Though his specialty is float trips, he also has extensive experience hiking for high mountain cutthroats and stalking lakes for "beastly" carp.
Pink enjoys many outdoor activities, including ski patrolling in the winter, but ultimately, "fishing is what truly floats my boat". His stories can be found on his web page, "Blue Balls Diaries", on

John LaGow

Growing up on the Upper Mississippi River in Minnesota, John spent most of his childhood fly fishing for warm water species like smallmouth bass, pike, and walleye.  He got his first boat (a 14 foot jon boat) before most kids learn to drive.  At 19 years old, John moved to Colorado and began guiding whitewater paddling trips and wilderness backpacking trips.  He moved to the Arkansas valley in 2011 to focus on whitewater raft guiding.  "When I realized that I could blend my lifelong love for fly fishing and my whitewater skills, I knew I was going to love being a float fishing guide." As an avid fly tyer, one of his favorite things is to see a customer catch a nice fish on a "home tie".  When not floating or wading the Arkansas, John can be found chasing Pike and Musky with his fly rod.  

John Melrose

Originally from the Midwest, John's first fishing and paddling trips were to the boundary waters of Minnesota. Shortly after graduation from high school, he moved to Colorado and fell in love with the Arkansas River Valley. A whitewater guide since 2001, the summers would bring him seasonally to the Arkansas River while completing college in Denver. John and his wife Erin moved to Buena Vista in 2013, they enjoy the small town vibe and find it the perfect place to raise their daughter. He stays busy in the winter as a snowmobile guide patiently waiting for the river to flow. His hobbies include ice hockey, whitewater kayaking, raft racing, fly tying and of course fly fishing. John enjoys both float and wade guiding for ArkAnglers as they present unique challenges to each day.



Kevin "Caveman" Potter

Caveman Potter has worked the Arkansas in a whitewater and fishing capacity since 1986, transitioning to full-time fly-fishing guiding in 2003. He winters in Isle Morada, Florida, where he guides saltwater trips, and summers in the Salida area, float fish guiding through the summer and fall. The river life has been good to Cave. In a recent interview, when asked what he likes most about guiding on the Arkansas, his response was both expansive and concise: "Yes," he said.

Kim LeTourneau

Kim's love of fly fishing is genetic, passed down from her great-grandmother who loved fishing Colorado's high country creeks and lakes. Kim started fishing with a kids' spin rod she shared with her sisters, and eventually that evolved into a personal love of fly fishing that draws her to the water every opportunity possible. In the winter you can find her on the river and in the summertime she finds joy venturing deep into the mountains to explore willow creeks, beaver ponds and high alpine lakes. As a guide, Kim finds delight with her clients with each fish to the net, and sharing skills and knowledge they can put to work for the rest of their lives.

Larry Friedrichs

A native Coloradoan with 50 years chasing trout, Larry is not content to let a day pass without making it memorable - both for him and his guests. Seventeen years guiding multi-day trips through the Grand Canyon made him a rock-solid boater and an organized and efficient guide. Now he brings that experience to bear on our regional fisheries, guiding float and wade trips on the river and power boat trips on area reservoirs. When not guiding, hunting or horseback riding, Larry is out on the water doing research or working on new fly patterns. Facebook him at 'Larry Friedrichs' or visit him at

Mark Richardson

Mark is a Buena Vista native who winters in the Keys and summers on the home water. A licensed captain, he spends November-March chasing sailfish, tarpon and bonefish. April through October finds him working the Arkansas, where he excels at float-fish guiding. For Mark, the Arkansas is a great teaching river. Many of his fondest memories derive from helping anglers land their first fish on a fly. "The challenge of teaching and then watching it all come together as the day goes on is truly rewarding to me."

Matt Wachter

Matt has often heard people say that they love fly fishing as an escape from the real world.  While Matt loves fly fishing too, he contends that it is actually an escape INTO the real world.  You can catch up with Matt in the real world; knee deep in the river, at the oars, hiking to a high mountain lake or at the helm of a power boat.

Nathan Larimer

Nathan Larimer grew up in the Midwest, but spent many of his childhood summers rafting or fishing the Arkansas River. His formal education consists of an MFA in Photography from The Savannah College of Art and Design, but he has been a rafting guide for nearly 20 years and a fly fishing guide since 2016 all on the Arkansas. He lives in Buena Vista, Colorado with his wife Cara, son Archie, and daughter Isla Mae. He is also an avid bird hunter and has some bird dogs that seem to take up every spare moment he has. Please visit for more info on Nathan.

Preston Larimer

Preston first picked up a fly rod in 1978 and has fished ever since.  Experienced both in freshwater and tropical salt water, he has fished all over the world.  He is skilled in fly tying, natural history, and birding.  He is an avid upland bird and waterfowl hunter, as is his Duck Tolling Retriever, Tess. Professionally trained as a wildlife biologist, Preston has taught natural resources and environmental studies at both the college and high school levels.  After many years of fly fishing on eastern and Midwestern trout and steelhead streams, he guided for 12 years in the Missouri Ozarks and the Medicine Bow Mountains in Wyoming.  He started guiding for Arkanglers in 2011 but has fished the Arkansas Headwaters since the early 1990’s. Preston and his artist wife, Nora (, moved to the valley in 2008 and were the original owners of Rock Run Gallery in Buena Vista (

Rachel Kohler

Rachel grew up fishing California lakes, though truth be known, it was often with bait she didn’t want to touch.  Thankfully, she was introduced to the fly rod on a backcountry trip in Colorado, and she never looked back.   Willing to find any excuse to be on the river, it was only a matter of time before she decided to take to the oars.  She learned  to row right here with us on The Arkansas River.  Rachel enjoys guiding from the banks or her boat.  “This river, all rivers really, are magic places. Fishing and guiding  are the  best ways I know to really be a part of these places and share that.” 

Rob Whitman

Rob began fly fishing almost 40 years ago. An avid student of this therapeutic activity we call fly fishing, he began tying his own flies about 1986. With a focus on entomology, trout behaviour and the ebb and flow of the river, Rob assures that every customer goes home with a complete holistic understanding of fly fishing for trout. 2023 marks his 18th season with ArkAnglers.
"Water flows to river, river flows to sea.  Ain't never caught a trout that ain't caught me." -Harry Middleton

Steve Yugovich

Born in Minnesota and raised in Colorado, you could say fishing is in this guy’s blood.  His passion and knowledge of the sport of fly fishing seems to grow every season.  Steve enjoys the vast opportunities that the waters in and around Chaffee County provide.  You never know when or where you’ll bump into him as he’s always searching for new places and opportunities to catch fish.        

Stuart C. Andrews

A resident of the state since 1960, Stuart has been a flyfisher since 13 and a guide for ArkAnglers since 2004. During a fishing/guiding journey of 42 years that has included the Arkansas, Fryingpan, Roaring Fork, South Platte, Poudre, Big Thompson, and San Miguel Rivers, there has always been one constant, the high lakes of Colorado. Many summer days you can find him someplace above timberline leading guests to pristine waters holding cutthroat trout or doing "research" to ensure their success. When not on the water, Stuart can usually be found in his studio, paintbrush in hand. His internationally recognized artwork can be viewed at or in our shops after your fishing adventure.