Angling Destinations was born from a love of wild places. From Alaska to Baja and from the Bahamas to the Amazon, our founder Scott Heywood has kayaked, climbed and fished, often on extended expeditions to virtually all of the places you have heard of and many you haven't. Before Angling Destinations even had a name, adventurers would contact Scott and ask for advice on a variety of topics, but all pertaining to the places he'd visited around the world. He began leading various expeditions and, as time wore on, climbing and kayaking began to take a backseat to fly-fishing. In the mid-eighties, Scott began to apply the ethics of extreme sports to fly-fishing. He sought out the untouched and the unexplored throwing the then rather staid and stagnant angling community a challenge. “Go out there and see what’s up... It’s a big world!”
The adventuresome took up the challenge and as a result, Angling Destinations was born.
MEET THE TEAM
With a background in climbing and kayaking dating back to the 1970s, Scott always had a fly rod with him on any wilderness adventure. Having been a fly-fisherman from an early age, mountain streams, coastal rivers, and ocean flats were an integral part of the scenery he explored with a fly rod at the conclusion of a climb, whitewater run or day on the sea. Scott passionately sought out the unknown and based on his exploratory resumé was, in 1986, inducted into the prestigious Explorers Club. Shortly thereafter, in 1989, when climbing and paddling began to take a back seat to fly fishing, Angling Destinations was formed. Scott has spent the last thirty-plus years seeking out the latest and greatest fly-angling destinations. He's hardly in the office as he's usually wandering off to far-flung places hosting groups of anglers to a veritable "everywhere" worth traveling to with a fly-rod.
The only member of our team to have been struck by both a rattlesnake and a stingray, Clark recommends neither. However, if he chose to stay home to avoid such encounters he wouldn’t have very many interesting stories to tell - plus nobody believes his stories anyway. Clark fostered his luck with a fly rod and bad luck with wild fauna in western Colorado where he learned to fly-fish at a young age. He was raised on the banks of the Roaring Fork, Frying Pan, and Gunnison Rivers. The son of two teachers, education was a pivotal ingredient in Clark’s upbringing and remains so today as evident in his passion for teaching the art and sport of fly-fishing. Clark has been guiding trout anglers in central-Wyoming since 1998 and in the early 2000s, he took over Rock Creek Anglers, our local fly-fishing guide service, and outfitter. Recently, he joined forces with the Fly Shop of the Bighorns and through that transaction also acquired Angling Destinations. While Clark has fished in fabled locals such as New Zealand, Belize, Mexico, Argentina, and Chile, he has also spent time traveling to places where other seasoned anglers don't. He has caught exotic fish species and avoided exotic other species in India, Myanmar, Thailand, Mongolia, Fiji, and Cambodia, to name a few. Clark’s passion for travel is noticeable from the moment you engage him in conversation. He’s often discussing far-flung destinations tucked in some of the most remote corners of the globe and the dangerous creatures that reside in said locals. Clark brings a sense of humor, enthusiasm for exploration, and thirty-plus years of fly-fishing everywhere he goes.
Born and raised in the Green Mountains of Vermont, Cole began fly-fishing at age 12. He attended Penn State University in order to continue his fly-fishing education on the spring creeks throughout central Pennsylvania. He spent his college summers guiding for Rock Creek Anglers in Wyoming where he relocated after graduation. After 17 years of guiding in the rocky mountain west, Cole joined forces with Clark and Peter in forming Angling Destinations' trio of angling companies. During his guiding heyday, Cole spent many an off-season honing his angling skills in Argentina, Belize, British Columbia, Chile, and Mexico. He even invented a fly-rod-rack for his bike and rode it from Wyoming to Tierra Del Fuego, caught one sea-run brown (on a worm pattern) turned around and came home. During his adventure, he caught 23 other species of fish! Cole’s desire to travel with a fly rod is nearly as impressive as his sarcasm (reference his bike trip - wink).
Reared on the banks of Montana's Rock Creek and raised on the hidden streams of north-central Wyoming, Hank began guiding for trout at the ripe age of 15 where he was involved in running wilderness pack-trips in the rocky mountain high country. He continued to work as a journeyman guide in the Northern Rockies for over twenty years. His aura seems to shine brightest the closer to the 45th parallel he's situated and he'll likely remain a permanent resident of "Wyotana" for the foreseeable future. It makes a lot of sense that trout and steelhead are somehow inexplicably linked to Hank (or at least tied to Hank via Maxima Ultragreen). He sometimes attended college in Bozeman but graduated with Piscantur Salmonidae honors and brings an impressive list of trout and steelhead rivers tallied on his tool-belt. Hank has caught above average sized fish in New Zealand, British Columbia, Alaska, Chile, Argentina, Florida, Louisiana, Mexico, and Belize - none bigger than his hunger for fly-fishing adventure. Over the years Hank has worked guiding long seasons, managed a notable Montana fishing lodge and ran a very reputable Montana guide service. Then, in 2018 Angling Destinations nabbed Hank for his big fish prowess/mojo - not to mention his extensive angling resume and his ability to smoothly coordinate all of our guest's travel and angling logistics.
A native-born Cowboy (that's what people from Wyoming are called), Chaz resembles nothing of an actual cowboy except that he's outright the toughest guy in the room and also has a passionate affinity for gourmet coffee. Having grown up fond of the outdoors, Chaz has logged countless hours hunting, fishing and whitewater rafting. He's worked both as a white-water guide and a fly-fishing guide and logged a number of seasons guiding in back-country Alaska. He's now the glue that holds all things Fly Shop of the Bighorns together. He knows the name of pretty-much every fly available, can, like a chemist, match fly-rods with multiple appropriate fly-lines and he ties custom flies that are as tough, if not tougher than he is. He can be found daily in historic downtown Sheridan where he's offering sound and up-to-date advice on all of our area's fisheries as well as managing our full retail "Fly Shop"!