Mark Beattie grew up in Wyoming in a family of guides and outfitters, so it only seems fitting that Mark continue the family tradition of fishing. Not just fishing but paying the bills by fishing. Mark has worked for 7 years as a guide after he graduated from high school. In 2014 Mark signed up for The Montana Fishing Guide School to better his guiding skills and get some much needed pointers for getting his outfitters license. Going about that paperwork alone can be a nightmare.
Mark is a prime example that guide school isn't just for the aspiring guide but for the seasoned guide as well. At 27 Mark is now an outfitter with the Rock Creek Cattle Company and has a bright future living his dream of being a Montana Fishing Outfitter.
How long have you been fishing?
Pretty much ever since I can remember. Hunting and fishing was the activity my family enjoyed the most.
When did you attend guide school?
I attended the GRG guide school in the fall of 2014.
Why did you sign up for guide school? Did you want to be a guide when you signed up?
I signed up for guide school to better myself as a fishing guide inside and outside of the boat, and communicating with my clientele. I picked the Guide School due to its outstanding reputation as one of the best schools in the state of Montana. I also signed up for the Montana Fishing Guide School to take advantage of the 30 experience days the school provides you. There are many fly fishing guide schools out there, but only a few are accredited by the Montana Board of Outfitters.
What made you want to be a fishing guide?
I wanted to be a fishing guide ever since I was a child. My grandfather and father were both outfitters and fishing guides so I used to bug them all the time to let me row the boat so I could "put them on fish." When I'm guiding-- I'm fishing and I always love seeing people catch fish.
What was the best lesson learned from guide school? Best memory?
The best lesson I learned at guide school was to stay humble, and realize that every fly fishing guide has their own style. I wanted to learn how experienced guides like Pat Straub, Jimmy Armijo-Grover, and Craig Boyd speak to their clients in order to figure out their clients fishing styles and personalties in order to provide them with an experience to remember.
How many days a year are you guiding now?
Now that I've become an outfitter, it's not as many as I would like it to be. I'm guiding about 60 days a year. Once I took on the duties of becoming an outfitter I had to cut back my days spent on the water to handle the business end of the industry.
Do you still keep in contact with friends made in guide school? Still fish with any?
I really enjoyed my time at GRG and I made long lasting friends with the instructors Jimmy, Pat, and Craig and I still keep in touch with a few of the guys from my class. Will Kiplinger and I have fished together countless times and have become great friends. I plan on traveling out to Oregon to get a lesson in hooking up with some monster steelhead and salmon.
Why would you recommend signing up for guide school?
I would highly recommend the Gallatin River Guide school to anyone who loves the sport and culture of fly fishing. You don't have to be a 20 year old kid hungry to guide 150 days a year to benefit from the school. You could be a retired guy who wants to learn to catch more fish and become a better oarsmen. If you're like me, you could be a 25 year old fishing guide from Wyoming hoping to someday become a respected outfitter in the Big Sky State.