At Alaska West, we are luckily to not only have some of the state’s best fishing located right outside our backdoor, but we also have one of the most experienced guide staffs in the Last Frontier. When guests leave our remote lodge, they brag about the incredible fish they landed along with the friendships they formed with the guides. Leading our guide staff again this season is head guide Ben “Big Country” West. Ben took some time out of his schedule to answer a few questions for us. Get to know Ben below!
- How long have you been guiding or working with Alaska West/ Deneki/ Overall?
- Ben: I have spent my last six summers Guiding at Alaska West. This place has changed my life in many ways and allowed me to grow as an angler and guide! I met some of my best friends while working here and have been able to connect and fish with some of the best in the business and from across the world. This place draws in fishy people like a magnet!
- Do you have a nickname? How did you obtain it?
- Ben: They call me Big Country, or BC for short hahaha. It’s cause I’m six foot four, look like a lumberjack, and I grew up in the country. I was born to hunt and fish! A friend of mine deemed me that name in college when I was racing mountain bikes, and it stuck with me up to Alaska.
- What do you do when you’re not working with us in Alaska?
- Ben: I have done a mix of work throughout the years and in between guiding gigs. I spent a couple years guiding wild turkey and whitetail deer hunts out in Nebraska. I have also worked on several farms, built houses and installed residential and commercial solar arrays. I also have worked as an artist, making portraits of beautiful fish that I have caught in oil paint and watercolors. I like to work hard and then fish hard too. I have spent the last three “winters” fishing and exploring the South Island of New Zealand. I love sight fishing for those big trout.
- What is something interesting about you most people don’t know?
- Ben: Well along with my passion for fishing and hunting comes a skill of cooking wild game and fish. If you have fished with us at Alaska West you might know I like cooking our guests shore lunches upon request. Having a hot lunch of fresh salmon on the bank of the river is a meal you won’t soon forget. At home I love cooking Venison, wild turkey, and of course our Alaskan salmon!
- Anything else you would like people to know about you?
- Ben: Favorite movies…comedies, anything with Will Ferrell! Step Brothers, Old School, Wedding Crashers, Talladega Nights!
Want to spend some time on the Kanektok with Ben? Reach out here!
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