Frontier River Guides of Alaska

Trip Guides and Staff

A trout is a moment of beauty known only to those who seek it.

-Arnold Gingrich


At Frontier River Guides, we set out to provide the finest Alaska wilderness fly fishing float trip experiences possible. Period. The critical factor in attaining this objective is the quality of our guide staff. Our team of experienced, capable, upbeat and intelligent Alaska fly fishing guides are the best in the business, this is why people return to fish with us year after year. We are proud of our ability to attract and hold onto so talented and harmonious a team. Together we have explored the rivers we operate on and refined the Frontier River Guides “program”. Our Alaska float trips are well oiled and smooth operating. The staff truly enjoy working together and this is reflected in the positive outcomes for the fishermen joining us for an Alaska fly fishing raft trip.
Marty Decker

Marty Decker

Marty Decker grew up in the frontier town of Fairbanks, Alaska where at a young age he began his fishing and river adventures. Marty is at home in the wilderness and enjoys sharing his passion for adventure and the beauty of Alaska with our guests. Marty’s wilderness skills have been developed through many years of back country experience as a fly fisherman, mountaineer, river rat, gold prospector, skier, adaptive outdoor recreation specialist and wilderness guide. Marty first began his guiding career on the Kanektok River in 1982. In 1998, after many years of conducting Alaska float trips and driving guide boats for reputable lodges and outfitters, Marty established Frontier River Guides, intending to offer the finest guided fly fishing float trips available in Alaska. He has explored countless miles of back channels and hidden river braids by raft and on foot to locate the best, most secluded and productive fishing waters on the several rivers on which Frontier River Guides operates. Marty’s culinary skills and joviality set the tone for the Frontier River Guides approach to providing memorable Alaska fly fishing vacations.

Chuck Ash

Guide Emeritus

Chuck Ash is a veteran raft guide who for over forty years operated Brightwater Alaska, the state’s original provider of hard-core fly fishing floats in Alaska. Chuck brings a wealth of knowledge and experience to the Frontier River Guides’ team. He is a most excellent guy to spend time with on the river, or in any circumstance for that matter. Chuck is the ultimate professional and has been inducted into the Freshwater Fishing hall of Fame as a legendary guide. He is the most capable and savvy Alaska float trip guide on our rivers. Chuck is a biologist and retired high school educator; he is ultimately knowledgeable regarding Alaska’s flora and fauna. In Alaska’s off season, Chuck has for many years led saltwater flats-fishing trips in warmer climes. No one on the planet knows the the Goodnews and Koktuli Rivers better than Chuck, and FRG is excited have him leading guided Alaska fly fishing float trips on those rivers, and joining us for new adventures.

Zach Johnson

Zach Johnson (17 years with FRG) was truly born to fulfill the role of leading wilderness Alaska fly fishing trips. He is the consummate raft guide and wilderness guru. Zach has a solid skills set in all aspects of conducting fly fishing float trips in Alaska: he is an expert fly fisherman, oarsman, cook, camp worker and is enjoyable company on the river. Zach is renowned for being able to do an incredible field repair on any item of equipment a person can imagine. ZJ has a degree in Outdoors Studies and worked for many years as a mountaineering guide on Denali and elsewhere. His background includes years of experience as a white water oarsman. He is a stout individual who maintains cheery spirits even under the worst of conditions. Zach is level headed, reliable and foresighted; he can flow out the best of Alaska float fishing trips. Zach and his family have created a good life for themselves in Seward, enjoying the bounties of Alaska.

Pat Ganje

Pat Ganje (14 years with FRG) returns to the FRG guide team, after sending his twin daughters off to college, to share his skills, talents and years of experience leading fish and float trips in Alaska. Congenial and good natured, Pat can take foul weather, challenges, and the fates…and still be positive and smiling. He is level headed and makes good decisions. Pat is among the upper echelon of Alaska Fly fishing raft guides; his enthusiasm, sturdiness and work ethic make him a good guy to have around for a wilderness float fishing trip in Alaska. The man knows his stuff, and is highly capable when it comes to rolling out a smooth running and very productive Alaska float trip. Pat is an incredible asset for FRG and we are happy to have him back onboard to fish and float Alaska with our clientele.
tom schwartz

Tom Schwartz

Tom Schwartz (14 years with FRG) is a highly experienced river expedition leader, naturalist and Alaska fly fishing guide. Tom is one of several FRG guide team members who spend winters in a classroom (or who have retired from one). He is a middle school teacher and lives in Juneau with his wife and daughters. Tom is a life-long fly fisherman and is rock solid in putting people into excellent Alaska rainbow trout and salmon fishing. On the side, Tom occasionally does some catering in Juneau and is an especially proficient camp cook. HIs many years working as a naturalist prepared him to be very well informed on the flora and fauna encountered on a guided Alaska fly fishing trip. Tom is conscientious, hard working , kind hearted and knowledgeable. His skills set and experience make him a good man to have on hand, for a float fishing trip in Alaska.

Oscar Jones

Oscar Jones (5 years with FRG) is the youngest of the Alaska fly fishing guides on our team, but his youthfulness belies his capability and level of experience. Oscar grew up in Juneau and is a consummate outdoorsman, expert fly fisherman, avid hunter, rock climber and a guy who runs a trapline in the winters. He is also a skier, which is almost a prerequisite to being on the FRG guide team. Oscar is sharp minded, observant, is upbeat company and a very handy guy to have onboard for a fly fishing river trip in Alaska. From his late teens through his early 20’s Oscar has professionally guided Alaska fly-out fly fishing trips based out of Juneau and Haines. Oscar is completing an undergraduate degree at the University of Alaska Southeast, with the objective of a career with a state or federal agency, working in resource management and the preservation of wildlands in Alaska. In the meantime, he contributes a very positive attitude, youthful enthusiasm and a strong work ethic to FRG’s multi-day guided Alaska fly fishing float trips.

Ben Johnston

Ben Johnston (3rd year with FRG) grew up in Denver Colorado and has been fly fishing “since before I can remember”; an activity his father shared with him. While attending high school Ben was employed by the local fly fishing shop and by age seventeen had saved up enough money to purchase his first drift boat. Ben shared an Alaska fly fishing float trip with his father In 2017, which got him hooked on Alaska. At age 19, Ben began his guiding career, first in Colorado and most recently in Montana, Alaska and Patagonia. His passion for fishing and guiding Alaska fish and float trips is evident. Ben’s youthful enthusiasm is indominable, he’s personable, upbeat and steadfast; his fishing instincts are right on the mark and he is a huge asset to guided float trips in Alaska . Ben has earned a degree in Fish and Wildlife Management from Montana State University in Bozeman and has immersed himself in river ecology and the craft of guiding fly fishermen. He is a solid oarsman, proficient at rolling out camp chores and an ace at putting people into fish. When he’s not fishing, Ben can often be found in the woods of Montana with gun in hand, hunting waterfowl, upland birds and deer.

Mark Hodges

Mark Hodges (3rd year with FRG) has extensive experience as a fly fishing and white water guide in Alaska and has recently returned to raft guiding after several years hiatus. Mark is the ideal team member for an Alaska float fishing trip: calm, level-headed and steadfast, congenial and capable, an excellent oarsman and expert fly fisherman. Mark acquired a foundation of outdoors skills from his father, often associated with his grandparent’s cattle ranch in rural California. From the cattle ranch he learned to be a hard working guy. Mark and his father would frequently venture out into the Sierras, fishing the high country lakes and the Kern River. This led to him guiding white water rafting trips on the Kern as a college student and eventually to employment guiding fishermen (and white water) in Alaska. Mark completed a degree in Recreation Administration and in the period of time he was not guiding in Alaska, he applied the skills obtained to involvement in a backcountry trekking operation in Utah.

Sean Johnson

Sean Johnson (2nd year with FRG) although new to the FRG guide team, is a highly experienced wilderness river guide and fly fisherman. His passion for exploring wilderness places has taken him to many points around the globe and within the state of Alaska, Sean is well traveled and brings interesting perspectives to our Alaska fly fishing float trips. He began his professional Alaska backcountry guiding career in 2015, after completing a degree in Outdoors Studies at Alaska Pacific University. He is highly experienced at guiding wilderness rafting, fly fishing, pack rafting, trekking, glacier travel and kayaking trips. He has experience in five national parks in Alaska, four mountain ranges, two national wildlife refuges and two national monuments, Sean became hooked on fly fishing during a residency in New Zealand and loves the quiet, non-competitive nature of the sport. He is a Wilderness First Responder, Swiftwater Rescue Certified and Avalanche Pro 1. His upbeat, jovial personality is infectious and his skills set for guiding fish and float trips in Alaska is rock solid. Sean and his wife reside in Anchorage and share a common passion for outdoors activities.

Hunter Nida

Hunter Nida (2nd year with FRG) is a second generation disciple of our guide service. Soon after FRG was founded, his father Gary became one of FRG’s first regular patrons. Alaska has a way of “getting under your skin” and after many float trips in his youth, Hunter has returned to the northland. He had long dreamed of guiding fish and float trips in Alaska and the opportunity arose in 2023. Despite the fact that Hunter operates a very successful meat processing plant in Perry, Oklahoma, is a loving husband and father (with a combined family of 7 children), he is able to carve time to live his dream of pitching in as an FRG guide team member. Hunter is amicable, experienced, fast thinking and capable in all aspects of guiding float fishing trips in Alaska. Hunter grew up working on his grandparent’s farm; his work ethic is outstanding and he is a staunch individual. Hunter’s “can-do” attitude and cheerful demeanor contribute to the spirit of our Alaska float trips.
Frontier River Guides of Alaska