If you have been to Alaska West then you know our main focus is on the fish and fishing for them, but we could argue that coffee comes in a close second to the fishing. And at Alaska West, no one knows coffee and how to make it on the river better than Jim Palmersheim. His on river coffee making skills are requested almost daily. Jim is also just a great guy to spend time with and someone you want on your team. Jim has been with Deneki Outdoors for a long time and leads the setup crew in building the entire camp each spring along with guiding during the season. He’s also a lot more than a fishing guide and coffee cartel leader as you will find out below.
We (DO – Deneki Outdoors) sit down with Jim (JP – Jim Palmersheim) to help you get to know him a bit better.
DO: Experience: How long have you been guiding or working with Alaska West overall?
JP: I have been guiding/working with Alaska West since 2006
DO: Do you have a nickname? How did you obtain it?
JP: Moses.Hmm, it was either because I can remember when tennis balls were white or Methuselah was too hard to pronounce!
DO: What is something interesting about you that most people don’t know?
JP: Brown bears seem to have an attraction to me!
DO: Who was your role model as a kid?
JP: My uncles. They taught me to fly fish and to fly an airplane.
DO: Anything else you would like people to know about you?
JP: Ex-musician, ex-college professor, ex-museum curator. My artwork is in permanent collections in museums. I am currently volunteering to teach veterans how to cast, tie flies and fly fish.
DO: What do you do when you’re not working for Alaska West?
DO: How did you get started in your art?
JP: Whoa, that’s a long story but I’ll save you. I didn’t start taking art courses until I was in college. I originally started college as a music major.
DO: What or who has played the biggest part in influencing your art?
JP: You’re probably expecting Rembrant or Monet or the like…which they are in their own respect. But I would have to say my best friend Gerald Kindsfather and Bill Stockton. Both Montana artists who live to make their art without being pretentious.
DO: Who is your favorite artist?
JP: Classically, I would have to say the sculptor Isamu Noguchi. His aesthetic is pure and simple. Contemporarily, my grad school advisor Thom O’Connor was always thinking outside the box.
DO: Where can people find your art?
JP: You can find my art at the Kneeland Gallery. Click here to check out Jim’s Art on display.
DO: If you weren’t a guide, what would you be doing?
JP: Probably, teaching others how to cast a fly rod and how to fish and tie flies.
DO: What made you want to be a guide?
JP: Fishing for big fish in Alaska! Huh, little did I know I’d spend most of my time catching up on sleep.
DO: What do you think is the best thing about Alaska West?
JP: Besides the staff (a.k.a. family), the returning clients, the fantastic fishing, the river, driving the river in a small jet boat, the location, it’s the best tasting water I have ever drank. It also makes the best coffee!
DO: What advice do you have for someone who wants to be a guide?
JP: Besides the obvious passion for the sport you also need to be patient, a good teacher, organized and tidy, and you have to possess a very good sense of customer service.
DO: Ok Jim, one final question, If you had a warning label what would it say?
JP: Don’t F***K with “Moses”! (Woops! Can I say that?)
DO: Thanks for being part of the Alaska West family Jim! We can’t wait to have some coffee with you next summer!
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