Seth McLean and Chris Knott of Four Rivers Fishing Company have recently joined the team at ShuttleSnap. I got lucky catching them both at the same time for a short interview, mainly because of my own interest in how they felt about ShuttleSnap as fly shop owners, outfitters, and shuttle service providers. Here's the summary.
A brief background on Seth McLean will give you a decent grasp on his commitment and loyalty to his native of Twin Bridges, Montana. Born and raised in Twin, Seth started guiding at the age of 18. I remember my early days of guiding for Healing Waters Lodge and watching this young curly-haired dude supposedly named "Seth" drive this huge Dodge Ram with knobby tires dragging a drift boat, and watching the same "Seth" crush trout up and down the Beaverhead when I was trying to string my own two senses of bent graphite well enough to keep my clients from watching him too. It turns out, after 13 years of devotion to his town and local fly shop, it seemed fitting that he ended up, in the spring of 2014, co-purchasing the shop with Chris Knott of Bozeman, MT.
Chris Knott could be one of the happiest dudes I've ever met. Always stoked about the day, always smiling and laughing at a hint of good humor; good nature that is contagious to flyfishing clientele and it's a no-brainer this man took his outfitter exam to embrace that. Chris worked for years "over the hill" in Ennis, MT; mainly guiding the Upper Madison and trust me, a complete predator up there. He was another guide I saw from a distance, with this giant yellow RO drift boat, which was convenient to notice so I could focus my clients on thier own drifts instead of watching Chris dictate the eating behaviors of trout on his side of the river. The dude was fishy then and remains fishy now.
I asked a couple questions about their alliance with ShuttleSnap, here's how it went down:
Before I get into the ShuttleSnap questions, what's going on here at 4 Rivers Fishing Company as of lately?
(Seth) "A fresh start to another season Seng, that and turning smiles one trout at a time!" (Chris laughing) "Spring fishing was a crowd-pleaser for sure, looking forward to a long busy summer." (Myself) "Perfect, cheers!"
"Gents, tell me what this fly shop represents with the new ownership?"
(Seth) Well, we still represent what we always have; great guides, service and flies-- I guess we want to remain open-minded to how our industry is changing and try to stay on top and hopefully ahead of what our competition has and keep the integrity of what we do best... put our clients on trout and our customers happy." (Myself) "Well said, Chris?" (Chris) "We're a "Fishing-First" operation-- we cater to the anglers who come here to fish. The program is designed around our fly shop, gear, fly selection, lodging, local diners, etc., but our #1 focus remains on our water."
You’ve just joined alliances with ShuttleSnap, how is this going to affect your business as fly shop owners?
(Chris) "We're stoked-- we see the value in it from several avenues and it's obvious that this day and age the process of reserving shuttles is ready for it; going back to what we talked about with aiming to be progressive with the new ownership, we can see ShuttleSnap being part of that." (Seth) "We cater to all anglers, both from a guided/non-guided perspective. From the best selection of flies to local lodging, we want to accomodate our clients and customers the best we can and our shuttle services include that."
(Chris) "Exactly, technology is something we are all learning to embrace from our new POS systems of shop inventory to our Google Calendars of guide availabilities; it sounds great to incorporate that into our shuttle services. At the end of the day, I mean, less is more and what we see as a gain over a loss with the ShuttleSnap software we want that simplicity in an already logistically-challenged environment."
TO BE CONTINUED.....