Donovan Best

Years Fishing?

21

Years Guiding?

6

Who introduced you to fly fishing?

My father

Can you tell us a little about your home waters and the fish you pursue there?

My home waters are quite expansive. Summed up I fish the entire greater Yellowstone ecosystem and then some. Some of our most well-known rivers are the Madison, Henry's Fork, Yellowstone, Gallatin, Missouri and the Firehole. I'm able to chase Rainbows, Browns, Yellowstone Cutthroat, Westslope Cutthroat, Grayling, Brookies and Mountain Whitefish.

What's the height of the season for you? What time of year is your personal favorite?

It's tough to pick one time of our season that is the peak since we fish so many waters across so many elevations. There's always somewhere with great fishing. For me my favorite season is the second half of June on the Henry's Fork. This is prime mayfly season with a side of Golden Stones and Caddis. 

What are your favorite travel destinations? What's on the bucket list?

I've been lucky enough to travel to some cool places with a fly rod in my hand including Thailand, Baja, Canada, Alaska, The Olympic Peninsula, Florida Keys, Argentina and I've even spent a season working in Chilean Patagonia. As far as the bucket list goes Its always been a dream of mine to take a month or two and fish my way around New Zealand. I've also been very curious about the Seychelles and Christmas Island. 

What do you like most about Thomas and Thomas rods? Which rods do you fish?

I really appreciate rod manufactures that give attention to detail and are always striving to make things better.

What's your current go-to fly?

My current go to fly is this sparse CDC green drake cripple I tie. They crushed it all morning today then when the hatch dies off I've got this ice dub PMD I tie on a jig hook they can't seem to say no to.

Other than fly tackle, what piece of gear do you find indispensable?

Lately one of my favorite pieces of gear has been the pair of nippers my girlfriend gave me for my birthday. I know, kinda sappy but I use them all day every day. Never underestimate a pair of good nippers. 

My favorite thing about guiding is:

My favorite thing about guiding is being able to spend my days outside in nature and how no two days are ever the same.

From the angler’s point of view, what do you see as the main value of going on a guided trip?

I think the opportunities for learning are the biggest value for an angler taking a guide trip. Even if it's just a better faster way to tie a knot or learning a new way to present a fly to a rising fish.

What can new fisherman expect to get out of a guided trip? My favorite thing to teach a client is ...

I think new fisherman can expect to find a few things they can work on in their casting and mending techniques at the very least when they go on a guided trip. I really enjoy teaching people about entomology and just how important the bugs are to what we do. 

What's your ideal lunch when on the water? What do you actually pack?

My favorite lunch on the river is a pastrami and provolone on rye with sprouts, jalapeños, onions, home made spicy mustard and a little balsamic vinaigrette on the side. It's out of this world and I eat it more than I'd like to admit. 

What fly fishing blogs/magazines do you read regularly?

I read the Sexy Loops blog from time to time. Most of the fly fishing related media I read is sent to me from friends so it's kinda all over the place. 

When I'm not fishing you'll find me:

When I'm not fishing you'll pry find me sliding around on some snow somewhere in SW Montana.