Born in Minnesota, then raised in Montana, Mike Petersen made a home in Alaska thirteen years ago. Mike got into the outdoor industry as an avid angler and hunter by answering a craigslist ad for a moose packer at a lodge. This lodge also had guided fishing on the docket—Mike Guides for eight months in Alaska. Before the shutdowns, Mike also guided in Chile for five winters. If you ask Mike, he’s been in the outdoor industry since he was fifteen years old, and it doesn’t look like he’ll be doing anything else for quite some time.
When Mike is not guiding at Rapids Camp Lodge, he has his guide service. You can find it here at akbackcountryoutfitters.com. Check it out.
All photos courtesy of Mike Petersen.
Let’s get to know Mike.
Deneki Outdoors (DO): Do you have a nickname, and how did you acquire it?
Mike Petersen (MP): Sneaky Pete. Got it in the army.
DO: Who is or was the most significant influence in your life?
MP: My father.
DO: If you lived on a deserted island for the rest of your life, what one music album would you take?
MP: Rolling Stones
DO: Name a song that best describes your personality.
MP: A Pirate Looks at 40, by Jimmy Buffett.
DO: What is the last book your read?
MP: The entire Game of Thrones series
DO: What is your favorite food?
MP: Currently Mexican food, because I’m living in Mexico this winter.
DO: What’s one thing most people don’t know about you?
MP: I graduated from Montana State University with a degree in Economics and a degree in Business.
DO: What is the most important thing to get your day started?
MP: Organize everything I need the night before. Also coffee.
DO: What did you want to be when you were a kid?
MP: An adult movie star or a professional fisherman.
DO: What superpower would you have and why?
MP: Teleportation. I absolutely hate commercial airlines.
DO: If it’s one skill you wish you could learn, what would it be?
MP: Currently, it is to speak Spanish fluently.
DO: What’s your best fish story?
MP: Fishing for kings, and the client says, “I’m snagged” they try to rip it free a few times before the”snag” takes off on a drag-burning run upstream.
DO: What made you want to be a guide?
MP: It beats the hell out of pouring concrete any day.
DO: What personality trait makes a great guide?
DO: What do you like best about being a guide at Rapids Camp Lodge?
MP: Getting the opportunity to fly out every day to various remote rivers for some of the best fishing in the world.
DO: What do you think are the biggest challenges the fishing industry will face in the next five years?
MP: Climate change, Pebble Mine, and Commercial fishing.
DO: What makes a successful day of fishing?
MP: Catch five fish and see an eagle equals a good day. Catch ten fish, and seeing a bear equals the best day ever.
DO: What advice do you have for someone who wants to guide?
MP: Be organized, be prepared, smile, and remember it’s about the client.
DO: If you had a warning label, what would it say?
MP: Stupid questions may receive wiseass answers.
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