Guide Bio:  Travis Ortiz

I grew up in Southern California in a small town rodeoing and traveling around the country. But along the way I got into fly fishing and that was that. In my mid-twenties, I dove in and bought my first drift boat and began chasing steelhead on the swing. Still living in southern CA, I would split my time from going to rodeos and hitting the Trinity River. Well, 15 years later, here I am working for The Fly Shop® and guiding up in Alaska during the summers – traded in the ropes and spurs for fly rods and oars. I would like to say I’m pretty happy with the decision.

Q&A with Travis Ortiz:

How did you get started in fly fishing? 
Pretty simple, I saw a guy when I was a kid who was fly fishing. It was the first time I saw it or heard of it. I had to try it. And when I did, I loved it.

Travis Ortiz with a Chinook salmon at Lava Creek Lodge in AlaskaHow did you get started as a fishing guide?
It was a tough decision. I was still down in southern California at the time and I made the decision to drop what I was doing and make a go of it. Spent a lot of the first six months camping on the river and staying in hotels. But I knew some of the right people and they definitely helped me along the way.

If you had one piece of advice to give to your guide clients, what would it be?
As a guide I think the best thing I’ve learned from fish and teaching clients, is you have to be adaptable. Everyone has different personalities and learning the best way to adapt to these personalities allows me to not only give my clients the best experience I can, but myself as well. I love my job and I want to have a good time with you.

Favorite Fish to pursue?

What fly fishing destination is on your Bucket List?
I want a Golden Dorado. So Bolivia is where I really want to go.

Favorite Fly Rod and Why?
I love all Scott rods. But I use The Fly Shop® rods mostly because they do the job and are work horses.

Favorite Reel and Why:
Hardy Perfect. Say no more.

Pat's Rubberlegs (Jimmy Legs)Favorite Fly and Why?
Don’t know if it’s my favorite but I use it the most. Good ol’ Rubberlegs. It’s probably gotten most of my fish over the years and it also provides good weight on days they don’t eat it. It always has a purpose.

What is your greatest fly fishing extravagance?
I went to British Columbia ten years ago and got two Steelhead over 20lbs. Best trip I ever had. Fish everywhere.

Which living or non-living fly fisher would you want to spend a day Fly Fishing with?
I don’t know if he fly fished or not. Possibly. But Johnny Cash would have been cool.

Who are your favorite writers?
Honestly, I don’t read much.

What single issue in fly fishing do you feel has the greatest adverse potential?
I think fly lines have really come a long way. There are still so many applications waiting to be exploited. Your Spey casting lines with full sinking Skagit heads. Those are a cool new addition that cast way better than they did originally.

What is your most memorable fly fishing trip you’ve taken?
When I went to BC. It was indescribable.

Which talent or natural gift would you most like to have?
I’m good with being good at what I do.

Travis Ortiz guiding in Alaska at Lava Creek Lodge

Who are your heroes in real life?
My father. I never knew a man that worked so hard to provide and now I have my own family so I look up to what he does every day.

What is your Fly Fishing Pet Peeve?
Probably stepping on and kicking the fly lines on the diamond plate floors. Tears them up.

What do you most value in your friends?
That’s easy. Loyalty.

If you were to die and come back as a person or a thing, what would it be?
I wouldn’t mind coming back as a drift boat. I’d be there every day.

Booking Travis for a day of guided fishing

To book Travis or one of our other excellent guides, please give us a call at 800-669-3474 during business hours any day of the week, or email us at or anytime. We can give you the answers you need, detailed explanations to questions you might have, or check on availability and confirm your reservation in minutes.