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 youth and passes her knowledge on to future generations and is 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 transfers to University of Montana this fall to earn a degree in wildlife biology. Rylie has previously completed the Bristol Bay Guide academy holds her Coast Guard license and has been a member of the Bear Trail guide team for 4 years.
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 also is 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 here 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.
Josh lives in Wasilla, Alaska with his wife Carrie and their two Labradors, Wallace and Artemis. At eighteen he enlisted in the U.S. Air Force and served for eleven years. He now spends his winters as a Washington State Air National Guardsman. Along with guiding, Josh loves and is an accomplished fly tier. He spends his spare time developing new flies and can be often found tying new flies for guests. He’s always happy to assist you if you have some new creations in mind, just ask!
Jose has committed his life to fishing and it’s obvious he loves it. He has spent his past 11 summers guiding in Alaska and it has become an addiction for him that he just can’t seem and doesn’t really want to kick. He calls Chile home and has been guiding there since 1998. He started his own guide service with the handle Chile On The Fly and is now putting his fisheries degree from Humboldt University to good use, guiding year round in both hemispheres.
Nate is from Longview, Washington where he lives with his fiance and thirteen year old son. His father was a huge influence in his life and taught him a deep love for fishing and the places it takes you. After spending some time in the timber industry he decided to follow his passion. This is his third year at Bear Trail Lodge and he hopes there will be many more, as do we. He loves coming back to Alaska to enjoy the friends he has made and to take advantage of the great fishing. He hopes to become a guide in Washington during the winter for steelhead and salmon, I’m sure he will have great success!!!
Ryan calls Denver Colorado home for now, but with his history of travel, I’m sure it’s just temporary. His giant love of the outdoors has led him from the Kenai river to the Goodnews river to the Kvichak river and now the Naknek river and that’s just where he’s been in 6 years in Alaska! His other travels include Uganda, South America, South Korea, Japan and Costa Rica where he has enjoyed making new friends and finding new adventures. In the winter he becomes a die-hard Bronco and Avalanche fan while guiding for Telluride Outside. He has a set direction in life to pursue the outdoor industry and fishing in general, I’m sure this will not be the only place your future paths may cross!
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.