Welcome to FishTales Outfitting, where owner/operator Michael Stack and his team of expert fly fishing guides bring 70+ combined years of guiding experience to the premier trout waters of southwest Montana, home of the Madison, Beaverhead, Ruby, Big Hole and Jefferson Rivers. Centrally located in the Ruby Valley and readily accessible by the commercial hubs of Bozeman, Missoula, Billings, Butte and Great Falls, FishTales Outfitting is perfectly situated to head in all directions in pursuit of a world class fly fishing.
At FishTales Outfitting, we specialize in creating personalized experiences on our world-renowned wild trout rivers and fee-access private waters. The angling diversity of southwest Montana, perhaps unparalleled anywhere in North America, naturally lends itself to accommodating anglers of all experience.
Whether you’re new to the sport or a seasoned hand, FishTales Outfitting will customize a day on the water that’s well suited to your interests and skill levels. Our expert guides have nurtured a soft-touch for those eager to learn the basics, all while possessing a mastery of their craft and comprehensive knowledge of the region’s individual nuances. Rest assured, the experts at FishTales Outfitting will teach you everything you need to know for a fun, successful, and memorable day on the water.
I grew up hunting and fishing in Connecticut. As a youth, I spent a lot of time in the woods with my grandfather H.L. Winnie, an avid outdoorsman and Connecticut State Park constable that instilled in me a deep respect and love for the outdoors. In 1995 I decided to follow my dreams, love of the outdoors and fly fishing and packed my bags for Alaska where I guided my first season in Katmai National Park chasing giant rainbows and Pacific Salmon on The Kulik, Moraine and Kukaklek River’s. The following spring, opportunity and Montana found me. Since then, I have guided here in Southwestern Montana, putting down roots and establishing FishTales Outfitting. I am a career guide and fly fishing outfitter with twenty years of guiding experience. I am very intimate with these waters and look forward to sharing our amazing trout rivers with you.
Joe Willauer is a veteran fly fishing guide from Twin Bridges, Montana. After over a dozen years of guiding for trout and steelhead throughout the west “Willow” as we know him, decided it was time to put his degree to use and works for a non-profit out of Butte and guides roughly 40 days a season on the famous rivers around southwest Montana and Twin Bridges. A true technique nerd and excellent teacher, Joe enjoys writing about ways to help anglers improve their game on his blog Evolution Anglers. When he’s not chasing trout or steelhead he’s hanging out with his beautiful wife and two kids taking advantage of living in the best part of the greatest state in the union.
Shawn has been guiding for trout and steelhead all over Washington, trout and Salmon in Alaska on the Kenektok River and trout here on the rivers of southwestern Montana for over ten years. Shawn received his Biology degree from Eastern Washington University and works in fisheries when he isn’t guiding for The Yakama Nation Fisheries in Twisp, Washington where they are currently working on restoring the Coho Salmon run in the upper reaches of the Columbia River and Methow Valley. Some say he has fish blood running through his veins. He is extremely patient and enjoys introducing new anglers to the sport of fly fishing. A day on the river with him is always a fun experience as he loves to get people into fish and has a great sense of humor. We’re happy to have Shawn as part of the team, he brings a lot of knowledge and experience to FishTales Outfitting.
With 35 years of fly fishing experience and 16 years of guiding anglers and hunters on the rivers and mountains of southwest Montana and Yellowstone National Park, Chris knows his way down the creek! Chris is a very patient instructor and enjoys teaching novices and experienced anglers the tactics and strategies that consistently produce large trout on all of our area rivers. Chris reside with his wife and two children not far from Ennis and The Madison River. When not guiding, Chris enjoys fishing, hunting and skiing with family and friends.
Tom has been guiding for the last 10 years with seasons in Montana, Alaska, Chile, Russia and Bolivia. He’s been struck with the fly fishing travel bug and now spends his “summers” in Southwest Montana near Twin Bridges. During the other parts of the year Tom is either guiding or traveling to someplace warm, usually with a fly rod within reach. The diversity of the rivers in Southwest Montana keep Tom on the move during the summer season, from the Beaverhead River to the Madison and the Big Hole and Jefferson River he loves showing anglers new stretches of water, putting fish in the boat and having a good time on the water.
FishTales Outfitting LLC is a licensed Outfitter with the State of Montana's Board of Outfitters
and Permittee for the Madison, Big Hole and Beaverhead Rivers.
Site Photography: Bruce McDaniel and Vic Sorensen