Are you looking to break into the fly fishing industry? Are you an established IC outfitter/guide located between Gardiner and Bozeman? We might want to hear from you. Check the open positions below.
This position is for a high season shop clerk and trainee guide at Parks’ Fly Shop. The position will be full-time through most of the summer season, with some part-time work in June and abundant opportunities for overtime work beginning in late June or early July and continuing through at least Labor Day and more likely through mid-September. The position will run from mid-June through at least the end of August (mid-late September strongly preferred). The successful applicant should expect a significant amount of variability in his/her work schedule based on staffing needs, and must be willing to work on short notice when guide service and other staffing needs require last-minute changes to the schedule.
Duties include stocking and cleaning the fly shop, booking guided trips, and helping retail customers, as well as helping guide staff prepare for their trips, as needed. The new clerk will also occasionally be asked to drive to various local fisheries to visually check water clarity and so on and to help run vehicle shuttles for our guide staff.
Since success at this position depends on first-hand knowledge of Yellowstone-area fisheries, the successful applicant will be expected to spend much of his/her off-duty time fishing the area and simply getting to know the region. This is particularly true for applicants who either have not fished the area or have only fished it a handful of times. Limited paid training time will be provided, but the only way to learn the area’s waters sufficiently enough to offer customers good advice is to get out there and see the water, the hatches, and the scenery firsthand. If the successful applicant does not make enough progress learning the water to offer good advice to our customers, he/she will not be asked back for additional seasons and may be laid off early.
This is not a guiding position. No guide days are guaranteed to any applicant, but applicants with significant previous Yellowstone-area fly fishing experience may be offered guiding work in addition to their shop clerk duties, particularly late in the summer season. This position does however include sufficient training for the successful applicant to run trips during later seasons. If the successful applicant returns for later seasons, he/she should expect to become a junior guide.
Opportunities for additional income may be available for applicants who are also skilled fly-tiers, but fly tying ability is not in any way required and will not influence our hiring decisions.
This position reports to Walter Wiese and Richard Parks, and the successful applicant will be expected to listen to advice and instructions from more-senior shop staff, within reason. Applicants should expect to spend a significant amount of time working unsupervised, as the only clerk on duty. This can become somewhat stressful at times.
Please note that attending a so-called "guide school" will serve no particular benefit to applicants. We expect to train all new hires in our way of doing things and find that general fly fishing experience is far more important than structured programs that may or may not have anything to do with what we need our employees to be able to do.
This position is ideal for college-aged applicants whose school year meets our required dates, for active retirees, and for anyone else with the flexibility to spend 3-4 months living and working in the Yellowstone area. It is not ideal for applicants who already have substantial experience working in the fly fishing industry, those who are looking for a year-round job, those who are not self-starters, or those who are uninterested in spending a lot of their off-duty time fishing.
--position will begin between late May and June 15, with the precise date flexible depending on the successful applicant’s availability, though early June is preferred
--successful applicant will be available through the month of August
--strong preference given to applicants available through mid-September
--part-time work may be available through September
--there is no possibility this will evolve into a year-round position
--strong preference will be given to candidates interested in returning for multiple seasons
--18 years old minimum, 21 preferred
--possess a valid US driver's license
--possess or can get basic First Aid/CPR certification (reimbursement available)
--intermediate or greater experience fly fishing for trout in flowing water required
--Yellowstone area fly fishing experience highly desired
--interest and ability to engage customers via multiple social media channels desired
--photographic ability (scenic, animals, fish) desired
--ability to handle cash
--ability to stay on his/her feet for several hours at a time in a fast-paced retail environment
--ability to work in an unsupervised manner at a variety of tasks
--eagerness to learn about the fly fishing industry and about fly fishing the Yellowstone region in particular
--preference will be given to applicants with goals and aspirations beyond just spending a fun summer in the West. Not to be blunt, but college kids who ONLY want to spend a summer goofing off and getting paid for it are a dime a dozen and are unlikely to meet our needs. We are looking for someone with drive and goals, whether these goals are within the fly fishing industry or beyond it.
--starting pay depends on experience but is likely to begin somewhat above the minimum wage
--significant discounts available on all in-shop merchandise and through manufacturer employee programs
--bare-bones lodging available at a reasonable rate (other lodging will be hard to find)
--the ability to spend your summer getting paid to work near Yellowstone Park, with plenty of time to enjoy it and fish.
--Please send a resume and cover letter to BOTH Richard Parks and Walter Wiese, at the e-mail links in the footer below this page
--Your resume should include your education, past work experience, and relevant fly fishing experience/skills, as well as anything else you feel would make you a valued employee.
--Your cover letter should tell us why you would make a good hire, discuss your experience in more detail, and describe why you're interested in working in the fly fishing industry, in the Yellowstone region, and for us in particular.
--We will arrange telephone interviews with the best applicants.
--We expect to make our hiring decision no later than the end of February 2018, but will make our decision sooner if we hear from a candidate we consider ideal.
We are always looking for more independent contractor guides and outfitters to add to our list. We primarily use employee guides and have a couple IC outfitters and guides who are at the top of our call list for trips we can't fill with our in-house guides, so opportunities for new ICs in the near term are limited to large trips or last minute bookings, but that said we can typically get all of our ICs at least five trips a season, more for those available at the last minute and who have knowledge of YNP. We do generally have more call for IC staff on float trips than walk trips.
Our pay scale for IC guides and outfitters is very competitive. We provide flies and terminal tackle for client use. IC staff are expected to have some tackle for client use and cover their own drinks and lunches. ICs are required to pay for their own shuttles if operating downstream of Yankee Jim Canyon or if they prefer to use their own shuttle service upstream of the canyon. We generally run shuttles in-house above the canyon and reduce IC pay accordingly when this is the case, though these shuttles are cheaper than using a Livingston-based shuttle company up here.
We are interested in finding additional IC outfitters who can run Madison River trips on the rare occasions when we need to run over there. Otherwise our requirements are pretty standard:
--Licensed MT IC guide or outfitter
--have all relevant first aid certifications, plus CPR certification preferred
--own a relatively recent drift boat suitable for the Yellowstone; raft ownership a plus
--familiar with the Yellowstone River between Gardiner and Livingston, particularly between Gardiner and Emigrant
--YNP familarity a big plus, particularly small streams suitable for beginner walk/wade trips
Give us a call if you'd like to be added to our list. We generally want to meet you in person and fish a day or two if possible before signing you on. Letters of recommendation from outfitters we know are helpful.
Richard Parks is Montana Outfitter #327 and Yellowstone Park CUA holder #13-037. Parks' Fly Shop operates under his licensure in Yellowstone National Park, the Yellowstone River Drainage upstream of Livingston, and the Custer-Gallatin National Forest. Walter J. Wiese is Montana Outfitter #22001. The shop operates under his licensure in the Yellowstone Drainage downstream of Livingston and in the entire Missouri River Drainage.
All text copyright Walter J. Wiese. Photos copyright Walter J. Wiese or the photographer. If you would like to use any of the content on this site for noncommercial purposes, you are welcome to do so provided you include this copyright notice and our contact information. Please do not use the information here for commercial purposes without written permission.
Website, text, and graphics by Walter J. Wiese. Photos generally by Walter J. Wiese unless noted.