Heath has been fishing here in Bristol Bay since 1991 and has learned every twist and turn, rock, stream, and cut of the bank. Not only is he an extraordinary fisherman, he is also a coach father and the lodge owner and operator of Bear Trail Lodge. When it comes to anything fish and fishing, he is the man to ask.
Nanci Morris Lyon
Nanci, wife of Heath Lyon and co-owner and operator of Bear Trail Lodge, was brought up north because of her love of fish and the small town feel of King Salmon and the Naknek river. She has been a fishing guide in Alaska since her early 20s, has raised her daughter Rylie here and has the answers for everything. After spending years learning from the Bristol Bay environment and its people, Nanci saw a need for the local lodges and an opportunity for the local youth and passes her knowledge on to future generations as the lead instructor and one of the original founders of the Bristol Bay Fly Fishing and Guide academy.
Rylie is the daughter of Heath and Nanci Lyon, and was born and raised in Bristol Bay. She has a wide knowledge of the area and its watershed. She graduated college in Washington with an Associates degree in Business while playing basketball for the NWAC championship team. She transfered to University of Montana to earn a bachelor degree in business and hopes to finish school in 2022 with her masters and a CPA. Rylie is also a graduate of the Bristol Bay Guide academy, holds her Coast Guard license and has been a member of the Bear Trail guide team for 5 years. She is recently engaged to a pilot guide from the Kvichak river and looks forward to some fun adventures with Wade and a future full of hunting, fishing and exploring.
Heidi was born in Williams Lake, Canada and moved to the United states as a child. She currently lives in Wasilla, Alaska during the winter months with her family and here in Bristol Bay with her extended family during fishing season. At the age of 18 Heidi joined the United States Air Force, which ultimately brought her to Alaska after serving in the Middle East. When not guiding fishing trips, she works building functional, hand crafted, custom fly rods for avid anglers at “Wild on the Fly”. If that wasn’t enough, Heidi is also on the board of many philanthropic and socially responsible endeavors striving to enrich her community, working with her local Trout Unlimited chapter on legislation for environment projects to keep the waters clean for generations to come.
Reuben grew up in New Stuyahok, right here in Bristol Bay and has been fishing since he caught his first fish when he was three years old with his father who is also a fishing guide. He ran his own boat on these rivers and many of their tributaries since he was twelve years old. He is now raising his young family of 2 boys and a beautiful daughter on the same rivers and sharing his love of fish with them. Reuben has been working for Bear Trail Lodge since 2011 after completing the first two Bristol Bay Fly Fishing Guide Academies instructed by Nanci. Ruben says, “Working for Nanci has been a blessed experience and I believe that I am a better fisherman and guide than I ever thought I could have been on my own, I respect everything that she does for us at the lodge.”
Kvichak (Kwi-jack) is a lifelong resident of Naknek, Alaska. His childhood was spent along the rivers and streams of Bristol Bay. He spent countless hours exploring and learning what the crystal clear waters could provide. Growing up with a subsistence life style allowed him to learn more about his surroundings than most will ever know. The Aspelund family is renown throughout Alaska for their leadership, cultural background and continued support of the responsible growth of the Last Frontier. They are active members of the Bristol Bay Native Corporation and strive to bring a balance of educational opportunity and preservation for our lands to those who live in and visit Alaska. In 2013, Kvichak graduated from the Bristol Bay Flying Fishing and Guide Academy, taking his natural aptitude and turning it into a skill which he can share with others. The academy is hosted by the industry’s top leading professionals to provide the skill set necessary to become a world-class guide.
Wesley was born and raised in Wasilla Alaska and has been working in Bristol Bay as a commercial fisherman since he was 14 years old. Lucky for us, he left the dark side and the square hooks behind and joined the Bear Trail gang. Wesley spent a summer guiding at Becharof Lodge on the Egegik river and spends his winters working at 3 Rivers Fly & Tackle in his hometown. He loves spending the summers guiding in Bristol Bay, which he likes to call his home away from home. Rainbow trout and Kings are his preferred species to target, but there is not much that he can’t catch! Wes spends his downtime at the lodge tying some deadly flies and fishing in the evenings for himself.
Tim, originally from Forks, Washington came to Alaska for the first time with his dad on a fishing trip right here at Bear Trail Lodge! He fell in love with the fishing, community, and his wife and decided to spend his last twenty years guiding here. He is also a U.S. Air Force veteran, and now spends his time as the principal at Eagle River High School in Eagle River, Alaska. There he spends countless hours assisting with youth education and sports programs. Tim also enjoys hunting, ask him about his hunting stories, brewing his own beer, and spending time with his two young boys James and Luke.
Even though he was born and raised in Dillingham, Triston continues to call Bristol Bay home because the fishing here is so great! He has spent his summers, since the age of 10, commercial fishing and he currently spends his winters in Juneau studying at University of Alaska Southeast. He is also a graduate of the Bristol Bay Guide Academy and hopes to achieve his dream of becoming a full time fishing guide one day. We hope that’s with Bear Trail Lodge! His family including Grampa Robin Samuelson and parents Will & Robin Chaney all still live in Dillingham, across the bay. He loves to share his motto “Catch fish not feelings” with you when he’s out in the field, so watch out, you’ll be catching with Triston!