Outfitter Envy

Setting up epic fishing vacations for people from all over the world is one of the greatest jobs that exists. I’m extremely grateful every time I am lucky enough to make a visitor’s dreams come true with a well-executed itinerary, allowing them to live out their once in a lifetime trip to Alaska. Whether it’s a single fishing trip or a weeklong fishing and lodging package, I get a major sense of fulfillment from facilitating these grand expeditions for people.

However, there is also a peculiar feeling of jealousy that goes along with the role of outfitter.

I don’t want to come off like a whiner, and I have to preface all this by admitting that I feel like the luckiest guy in the world on a daily basis, but keep in mind that the busy season for an outfitter is the same time of the season that all these incredible fishing vacations are being lived out by guests at fishing camps all around the state. There are so many incredible places to travel and see in Alaska, but the host has to stay close to camp at all times, making sure their client’s trip is everything they envisioned it would be.

Imagine being an outfitter that set up a trip that includes halibut fishing that embarks from the halibut capital of the world in Homer, a fly out fishing trip to Lake Clark National Park to catch silver salmon while surrounded by brown bears and towering snowcapped mountains, a couple days fishing on different stretches of the emerald-green waters of the Kenai River to catch salmon and trout until your arm hurts, and a sightseeing trip through Kenai Fjords National Park to see marine life in some of the most breathtaking country imaginable….

Pretty awesome right? But remember that the outfitter doesn’t get to go on all these trips!

Fortunately the outfitter has experienced each of these trips before, and also is blessed to be able to sit around the campfire each evening, cold drink in hand, reliving the experience each guest had that day as they go on and on about the wonders of The Last Frontier. It just doesn’t get much better than that.

It’s possible to be jealous of your guests, and also feel like the luckiest person in the world at the same time. In fact, sometimes during the madness and mayhem of mid-summer I find myself shaking my head in amazement at the incredible life I’ve fallen into, being able to share this great land with my family, as well as new and old friends from all over the globe. At times, it almost feels like a dream.

Please do me a favor and don’t pinch me, because I want to enjoy this dream a little longer.


  1. Beth Martin

    Eloquently written, Mark. Sharing your love of the Alaska Experience with friends and clients is a priceless gift from you to them.. I’ve watched you grow from a very young age to an adult who has been fantastically successful at shaping your life around all that Alaska and the world beyond have to offer. The outfitter stays in camp, but I know you make sure to carve out time for yourself to wet your line and revel in all that the Greatland has to offer. Carry on and continue to shine your knowledge and joie de vivre on everyone around you!

  2. Rusty Bean

    See you in July


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