Matt McCannel

Matt McCannel

Home Waters

Uncomphagre River “Paco”


Matt McCannel started his guiding career in the depths of the Gunnison Gorge and at the tail water section of the Uncomphare River in Colorado where he still guides today.  Matt’s career took a big jump for word when he started to figure you how to find and get his clients into some of the Uncomphagre’s biggest fish.  Matt has an out of the box style of guiding and his attention to detail is other worldly, but it has to be when pursuing fish over the ten lbs. mark.  Matt is also a photographer and an author his work has been in books and magazines.  He is also a contract fly designer for Umpqua Feather Merchants.  Matt is the head guide at RIGS Fly Shop, and lives in Ridgway, Co

What conservation issue do people need to know about in your back yard?

Water flows on the Uncomphagre throughout the winter.  If the water users were willing to stop water calls when they didn’t need it anymore in the late summer and early fall.  That water could easily be held back for higher winter flows.  Even 60 cfs. Would make a world of difference.  Matt has also worked on the Board of Directors for the local TU Chapter.

What Fishpond products do you always have with you?

A Fishpond Nomad net, my Gunnison Gorge pack and the Thunderhead submersible back pack for my camera gear.

You walk into a gas station – what two items do you come out with?

A coffee and a pack of peanut butter M&M’s.

What makes for a #perfectday in your eyes?

Spending a day on the water with an angler who appreciates the thrill of the hunt and the opportunity to catch a good fish.

Who are your heroes or mentors?

My Father and my Uncle, they both instilled a good work ethic in me.

Favorite quote or one liner?

I’ve always had one foot over the line – Waylon Jennings

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