CAPT. JAMIE ROUSE
Ahhhh! Man, I love my job! I was fortunate. I realized in college that I was not cut out for a "real" job. I'm not a 9 to 5 kind of guy. I migrated to my passion- FLY FISHING! I have been guiding people in Arkansas and Alaska for quite some time now and have had many nicknames ranging from the Fish Whisperer to the Fish Nazi. Over the years I have learned how to pursue a wide variety of species in a wide variety of water conditions for a wide variety of anglers.
In 2004 I became an Endorsed Guide for the well known Orvis Company. In 2007 I was awarded their prestigious Guide of the Year. I'll have to show you my belt buckle. I was an Orvis Endorsed Guide of the Year Finalist in 2011 and now we are the current Orvis Endorsed Guide Service of the Year. I was involved in starting the Water Shed Alliance for the Little Red River, which is now Trout Unlimited Ch. 722 and currently serves on the Arkansas Trout Advisory Committee.
I have been really blessed over the past several years first, with an unbelievable team: my wife, Kati (CEO, CFO, web designer, editor, The Fish Pimp), Guides Matt Millner and Tony Simmons, who bring a lot to the table. Secondly, the birth of my little girl, Allie, on January 12, 2008. Wow! I'm a dad! And now, our newest team member, Thomas, born on October 6, 2010. Allie has already been introduced to a fly rod, and Thomas will be soon! Look forward to fishing with you.
I have much to blame of my fish addiction to my father. As a young child we spent many a weekend camping in the Ozarks. I caught my first fish when I was 2 years old. A tiny perch out of a pond around Memphis. By the time I was in the 3rd grade I had become well acclimated with a fly rod. After high school, I was drawn west and moved to Durango, Colorado I probably spent a little too much time outside playing in the mountains instead of doing school work. I found myself out of money and moved back to Memphis. I couldn’t stay in the concrete Jungle for long, and the familiar waters of Arkansas brought me to Heber Springs. I spent every day all over the river in an aluminum jon boat chasing trout until dark and sometimes into the night. This is when I met Jamie Rouse. Jamie was able to get me hooked up with a job as a guide in Iliamna, Alaska. It is a place like no other, such a wild, powerful frontier. I love all fish, and have been blessed to fish all over the country for many different species -as long as they pull hard. As I like to say, “The tug is my drug”. I am especially fascinated by brown trout. Our fishery has a completely wild brownie population, and their aggressive behavior really attracts me. If I am not guiding, you can find me somewhere on the river purely in pursuit of a big yellow belly. Fishing and guiding for me is not just a job, it’s a way of life. I live to fish. I live to teach people how to fish. The joys of watching someone else catch fish and experience the adventures of being out on the water is so fulfilling to me, its unreal.
For me the joy of Arkansas Rivers started out simply enough as a boy playing in the JFK campgrounds, with the Little Red River serving as a backdrop to the adventures of childhood. On my path through this wonderful world the river managed to go from a fun place to visit to the place where I NEEDED to be! Some things just happen, and for me it took one afternoon for all of my focus and desire to land on one thing…Fly Fishing! Once that realization was made, my life took on a reorganization of sorts into two categories: time on the water, and time spent thinking about being on the water. This new direction has brought me more excitement and light than I could have imagined. This is the excitement I want to share with whoever wants to take the time to find it.
The time I’ve spent as an angler along with the past seven years of guiding have given me a deep love for teaching and sharing such a wonderful pursuit in amazing environments. Not only do we get to fish, but we do it in the state I’ve called home for 28 years! The same drive and desire for learning that took me through two undergraduate degrees and a masters degree is now used for learning and teaching the wonderful pursuit of fly-fishing. We all learn every time we hit the water! I have been very fortunate to have many teachers of many techniques in many locations across the country, and I use all of my experiences to provide you the trip you desire. I served as vice president for Chapter 722 of Trout Unlimited, and am currently Chapter President. I recently finished guiding the rainbow trout season in Alaska.
The River also ran me smack dab into my wonderful wife, Taylor, and her son (my little home boy) Andrew. No matter your skill set or goals, I look forward to sharing a day of fishing and fun that will leave your spirit enriched, your abilities improved, and a little music in your step!
"Angling may be said to be so like the mathematics that it can never be fully
learnt" - Izaak Walton
I am always fascinated by things I'll never be the
best at or know everything about or get to the bottom of. The river keeps my
mind young and also offers the most soothing calm. Moving from the
music industry of Nashville to the natural beauty of Heber was the best thing
our family ever did. I'm a recovering rock n roller and although music will
always be my first love, fly-fishing is a very close second. I love meeting new
people and seeing them catch their first fish on a fly rod! My beautiful wife
Courtney and absolutely crazy two year old, Scarlett love the water as well and
it is truly a blessing to our family to have such a renowned trout fishery in
our backyard. Oh, and our other child, a neurotic chocolate lab named Miles
Davis, loves it, too. Let's go catch some fish!
My love for the outdoors started
as a young boy catching catfish with my Grandpa out of muddy cow ponds in Mt.
Vernon, Arkansas. Once I got a little older, they cut me loose to roam the farm
every weekend, this is where I learned to respect wildlife and mother nature. By
the time I was a young teenager I was successfully hunting turkey, deer, duck,
and catching big bass on my own. It was during this time period I discovered the
Little Red River. I had my dad taking me to Heber Springs every chance he got. I
soon became obsessed with the clear cold river water and the trout that called
it home. It didn't take me long to figure out what a fly rod was. When I did, I
began learning the sport of fly fishing from the bottom. I picked it up quickly
because thats all I wanted to do, rain or shine. When I turned 16 and got a set
of wheels I made the trip to Heber Springs as often as possible, so often that I
missed more school then I should have. Thankfully, I had a supportive mother who
understood how deep my love for the outdoors really was. I spent countless hours
on the river in my duck hunting boat exploring it from top to bottom. Most
everything I have learned has been self taught, besides picking up a few things
from some of the old timers along the way. I've met some really good folks on
the river across the years and there is no doubt that this is where I am
supposed to be. I feel so fortunate to be apart of this awesome team of guides
at JRFFA and can't wait to teach others the joy of fly fishing!
I graduated from Rhodes College where I majored in Biology, served as a student trainer, and ran track and cross country. I also did some graduate work in Exercise Physiology at the University of Memphis. I am a licensed athletic trainer, having worked at Campbell Clinic Orthopedics and Baptist Rehab with many high school and college athletes. My work with youth in Memphis also included numerous climbing, rafting, hiking, and ski trips. It was when I was getting my CPR renewal in Memphis that I unexpectedly met this fly fishing guide who was getting ready to go to Alaska for the rainbow season. Little did I know, just over a year later we would get married, move to the Little Red River, and I would join him for two more seasons in Alaska at Rainbow King Lodge. It was certainly the beginning of a new adventure for me! Since then, I have served as a board member and secretary of Trout Unlimited Ch. 722. Since our location didn't provide me an opportunity to ply my trade as an athletic trainer, I trained my sights on becoming an integral part of Jamie Rouse Fly Fishing Adventures, which has been a blast. Obviously, I've always had a passion for the outdoors, and now we enjoy the outdoors together with the rest of our pack--Allie, age 6, Thomas, almost 4, Gus, our yellow lab, and Lucy, our rescue dog. You can keep up with our adventures on my blog, Outdoor Kids Play!
Oh, and by the way, I would love to help you book your next fly fishing trip with one of the boys!