View this email as a webpage      |   December  |  2015  

In This Issue...


  • President's Report


  • Executive Director's Report 


  • New Members


  • Guides' Corner
  • IOGA Election Results


  • Calendar of Events


  • Classified Ads

                                             Steve Burson


They say that the older you get the more time accelerates.  It must be true because this year has just flown by.  It seems like just the other day I was wading the Selway fishing and now it is almost Christmas, and I am not even close to being ready. 

We had to move our annual IOGA meeting in Boise up 1 week from our normal date this year to accommodate the America Outdoors Association meeting.  Their meeting this year was in Salt Lake City and a number of Idaho Outfitters attended.  Lorrie and I were part of the Idaho group.  It was my first time attending an AOA meeting and I highly recommend joining AOA and attending the meeting if you get a chance.  They rotate the meeting from back East to out West each year.  Next year the meeting is in Florida.

America Outdoors works on outfitting issues at the national level.  AOA is currently working to defeat the Department of Labor’s rule to implement a higher minimum wage and overtime for seasonal permittees offering recreational services and equipment on federal lands.  An issue that is very important to all of us.  They are very effective at working in Washington DC.  The following is from their latest bulletin in case you are not a member.  BTW the house passed the bill and next it goes to the Senate.

Proposed FY 2016 Appropriations Bill Defunds Implementation of E.O. 13658 for Federal Land Outfitters

The FY 2016 Appropriation bill unveiled by House and Senate negotiators yesterday includes a provision which will defund implementation and enforcement of the Department of Labor's rule implementing a higher minimum wage for seasonal permittees offering recreational services and equipment on federal land.  The provision should prevent inclusion of the Department of Labor standard contract clause on new permits, CUA's and contracts in 2016.  The DOL clause, when added to these authorizations, raises the minimum wage to $10.15 per hour in the coming year.  Many federal land outfitters are struggling with the requirements to convert their guides from day wages to wage and hour employees, which includes requirements to pay overtime and keep records of tips, meal credits and off-duty hours.  The FY 2016 provision, if it passes, will eliminate enforcement of the DOL rule implementing E.O. 13658, but will not eliminate requirements to comply with the FLSA and state labor laws.

AOA pushed for the Appropriations provision which will serve as a stop gap until permanent legislation is passed to clarify and expand the seasonal recreational establishment exemption in the Fair Labor Standards Act so that it applies to outfitters, while also exempting outfitters from the Service Contract Act and making it clear that E.O. 13658 does not apply to outfitters.

The FY 2016 Omnibus Appropriations will avert a government shutdown and fund covered agencies to September 30, 2016.  The House of Representatives is expected to take-up the bill on Friday, December 17, 2015 and the Senate shortly thereafter.  The bill, which is over 2,000 pages long, is not without controversy although it is expected to pass the House of Representatives and has support of the leadership in the Senate.

Be safe and I hope that you and your families have a great Christmas Season.



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IOGA Staff

Grant Simonds, Government Affairs Liaison; Janey Bruesch, Office Manager; John May, Executive Director


I would like to start off this month by wishing all of you and your families a safe and happy holiday season. As noted in our President's report, earlier this month we had our annual meeting and convention in Boise. I want to take a minute to thank Janey and Grant for helping pull together a great agenda this year that I hope you got a chance to enjoy. Many of our members also stepped up to help our this year but I would like to especially thank Barbara Judge, Lynn Demerse, Deborah David Simonds and Dee Crane for their assistance during the meeting.

Although our fundraising event the” Thaw” was down in attendance our general meeting attendance was up. We also had one of the best turnouts of our industry folks this year that made for some great conversation and perspective in our sessions. We received many positive comments on holding the event at the Riverside Hotel this year from not only the membership but also our vendors and sponsors so your board has voted to hold it here again in 2016.

Speaking of sponsors I would like to take one more moment to thank all for those companies who stepped up this year to sponsor something during the annual meeting and Thaw. Sponsors included Gem Air, Down River Equipment, Enterprise Insurance, McNeil & Co., Safari Club International, Buck Knives, Wild Sheep Foundation, Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation, River Mountain Roasts, Sockeye Brewery, and Buckhorn Gun Shop, 

Please mark your calender and plan on joining us at next year's annual meeting December 13th, 14th and 15th. If there is something that you would like to see changed or added to the 2016 meeting, please make sure you let one of your section VP’s or the staff know.

Besides updating our members on all the accomplishments that occurred on your behalf over the past year, we were excited to introduce some new programs at the meeting. First, with the help of our marketing partner Rizen Communications, we rolled out two new brands that now have a presence on our web site. “Hunt Idaho” and “Fish Idaho” are up and running. With the help of the board’s new marketing team we hope to be able to promote and drive traffic to these new sites and ultimately to our outfitters. These two new brands compliment the “Raft Idaho” site that was previously launched. As with any new site, we ask that you take a few minutes and review the information, especially on your business, to assure that everything is correct and working. If you find anything that needs to be addressed, email Janey and we will make sure it gets fixed ASAP.

The new IOGA website was also introduced and we are excited about many of the new features and opportunities that the site will bring us. One of the new features is a new members forum that is within the “Members Only” section of the site. This forum will give you, the member, the ability to interact with other members to discuss issues, look for temporary help, or even buy and sell things. Our “Pro Deals” section is expanding and you will find many new companies who are extending discounted deals to our members. If you have problems logging on to the members only page, contact Janey Bruesch for your user id and password.

Advertising on the main IOGA site or on one of our new branded activity sites will now be possible. This will give not only our members but also those companies who support our industry another opportunity and way to get exposure. We will be offering everything from complete brand or event sponsorships to individual banner advertising on each page. Stay tuned for the details of these programs in the first quarter of 2016.

Finally I would like to personally thank all of you who are members of the IOGA. We are here to support you and the outfitting industry of our great state. The staff and board are dedicated to do the best job possible for the organization but we cannot do it with out you. Please let us know what we can do better for you in the coming year to help make your decision to renew your membership a simple one. Encourage those in our industry who are not members to step up and become a member in 2016.

Have a great day!









Adventure Idaho, Inc.

H2O Idaho

Rapid River Outfitters, LLC


Sadie Grossbaum


Jessica Jarvis

Jon Kittle


Globalstar, Inc.





The first year to have a designated section just for the guide membership at the annual IOGA meeting in Boise, was a small success and a large step forward for guides.  A special THANK YOU to the new faces who showed up to participate in this historic first!  There were something like twenty (20) guides who attended as non-outfitters.  Highlights included :

  • Guides of the Year awards!!  Congratulations Larry “Magoo” McGowen (Boating), Dan Morris (Hunting), and Marty Rood (REC).  Look for biographical info on the 2015 GOTY awardees in the coming months’ FYI bulletins. 
  • Open discussion on professionalism, with panel led by Tom Evenson (Orvis), Ian Malpeai (Idaho Dept of Commerce, former manager at South Fork Lodge), and Chad Allen (Three Rivers Ranch Outfitters and Fly Shops)
  • Long range shooting clinic with advice guides can easily give to their clients, led by Mike Perkins (Cross-Hairs Long Range Shooting School)
  • Food Safety (Central District Health Dept) and First Aid (Clint Frank) courses
  • “Fly Fishing Idaho and the World” movie night
  • “Idaho Headwaters” preview for the newest Outdoor Idaho program on Idaho Public Television
  • Redside Foundation prescence – Thanks Jane Evans and Tom Tremain for manning the Redside booth.  We love what is going on over there and the Guide Section has the unofficial goal to partner with Redside whenever and wherever possible.  Redside is doing great things.  We feel we are moving in the same direction, and we support Redside!

All the above programs were attended by Idaho guides, and were well worth the price of admission. The programming specifically for guides turned out excellent this year, and will only continue to get better in the future.  Please let guides who could not attend know what they’re missing. 

Let’s be looking forward to next year and have an even better attendance by guides.  There has already been discussion to attempt to make the conference cheaper to attend for guides, not only by lowering our admission, but also by fostering a ‘Boise hosts’ program where guides can crash with local supporters during the annual meeting so as to avoid extra cost.  Looking forward to 2016!!


If you were an outfitter at this years’ conference, and if you liked what you saw in terms of the new guide/IOGA movement, please spread the word to your guides.  Don’t wait, do it now!

In order for guides to become effective dues-paying members of our association, we need an effective means to get word out to them.  The current monthly news bulletin (in which I now write) of course only reaches those who are already dues-paying members of IOGA, so it is not an effective means for reaching potential members that might not even be aware of recent efforts to get guides involved.  

What we need to continue an effective outreach effort, is a guides’ emailing list.  OUTFITTERS:  Please forward this message to all your guides.  Let them know if they have any desire to be involved, or simply to be informed, that they should email me directly ( with their email addresses so we can build an email list to keep Idaho guides connected.  Or, if you feel comfortable transferring your respective guide-email lists directly to IOGA, please email myself or Janey with those lists so we can put them together. Please spread the word and help us build a state-wide guide email list!

Also, keep your eyes and ears peeled this coming season for your nominees for 2016 Guides of the Year (GOTY) candidates.

Don’t forget to keep up with the Idaho guiding community on Facebook.  Follow the “I Guide Idaho” Facebook page, as well as the IOGA Facebook page, in order to keep up on current events.


If you are a guide member of IOGA you can finally now access the website in order to utilize the open-format posting page.  Email Janey to get your login info then go to today!  From there you’ll have access to a growing family of pro-form deals just for licensed Idaho guides, as well as being able to make post on the new site.  The open posting page was created specifically so that guides can communicate with outfitters.  Feel free to get creative in how you use this new tool.  We’d love to see what you’ll come up with!  For starters, you can post a resume along with dates and locations you’re looking for work this coming season.  Have fun with this, and please don’t be shy about giving us feedback.
















During the IOGA Annual meeting earlier this month, members elected Clint Frank as IOGA Vice President; Ron Ens as Hunting Vice President; re-elected J.R. Williams as REC Vice President and re-elected Shane Moser as Guide Vice President.  Stephanie Bernt Ellis and Cody Korell were elected to a three-year term on the Board; Kelsey Helfrich was re-elected for a three year term and Jessica Cortright was elected to fill the remaining one-year term for the position vacated by Clint Frank becoming IOGA Vice President.  Click here for the complete list of IOGA Officers and Board members. Below are photos and a short bio on the new Board members.


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Jessica Cortright - Jessica has traveled and lived in many places on the planet but considers Idaho home for the soul. In 1993 she recognized that the river guides in Stanley were having way more fun than being a mountain guide and building yurts and so declared her love of the rivers and its people. This began the incessant journey towards the sea, running rivers and guiding throughout this country and the world.

Her passion for exploration, seasonal employment and curiosity of life lead her into a diverse range of jobs. Some including Divemaster during whale and shark migration in Honduras, heavy equipment operator, wetland restoration, landscape design, insurance adjuster, small business owner, forest inventory, fence builder and mentor of young women. Jessica is a very outgoing person who enjoys spending time with her friends and attending social functions. Within life and context as a professional river guide, the importance of being a steward of wilderness and sharing Idaho’s precious lifeblood rivers and resource has been paramount throughout.

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Stephanie Bernt Ellis –  Stephanie grew up in Salmon, Idaho. She turned five on the Salmon, her first long river trip. She has been hooked ever since. Steph started working for her dad, Bill Bernt, when she was 13, and has had an Idaho guide's license since 2000. She has a BA in History from BSU, as local history is a strong interest. One of her earliest river memories is asking, "But dad!!! What did Jim Moore eat???" She has guided on several Idaho rivers, and spent four falls working in hunting camps all over Idaho's backcountry.  Steph and her dad have spent spare moments exploring the backcountry with horses, and recently climbed Aggipah Peak in the Bighorn Crags. Steph and her husband, Eric Ellis have a 4 year old son, Wesley Koffler (yes, he has TWO river names). Wesley has been accompanying his mom on river trips since he was 18 months old. Steph helps her dad run Aggipah River Trips, and plans to take over the business one of these days. 


Cody Korell - Cody was born and raised in Garden Valley, Idaho. He graduated from Emmett high school.  Cody began guiding hunts for his brother, Chris Korell, right after graduating.  He has been married to his wife, Dali, for 9 years.  They have two sons, Nessen is 7 and Layden is 6.  Currently, Cody lives in New Plymouth but plans to build a home in Sweet. 





We would like to thank Will Judge, Tammy Overacker and Alison Steen for their service on

the IOGA Board.  Will served as a Board member from 1993 through 2002.  He then served

as IOGA Vice President from 2013 through 2015.  Tammy served as Hunt Section Vice

President from 2009 through 2015.  Alison served on the Board 2003-2006 and again from 2012

through 2015.  She also served as IOGA Vice President from 2006 through 2008 and as

President from 2009 through 2012.   


Thank you all for your time, service and dedication to IOGA.


Calendar of Events

Idaho Fish & Game Commission

January 27-29, 2016 -- Boise

March 9-11, 2016 -- Boise

Idaho Outfitters & Guides Licensing Board 

March 23-24, 2016 -- Boise

IOGA Board Meeting

April 11 & 12, 2016 --  Salmon

IOGA Annual Meeting  - 2016 Tentative Dates

December 12-16, 2016 -- Riverside Hotel, Boise


Classified Ads   



For Sale: Salmon River Experience includes positive brand recognition and market share, all equipment (37 S.B. rafts/boats, 25 S.B. IK's, enough associated equipment for up to 300 guests), vehicles (buses & vans), permitted and licensed on SA7A, SA7B, SA8, SN12, SN14 (Riggins area, Lower Gorge, Hells Canyon).  Asking $295,000.  Real property at Riggins for sale or lease separately.  Contact Chuck Boyd, 800-892-9223.





For Sale:  Swan Falls Excursions is licensed to offer inflatable kayak adventures from Swan Falls Dam to Walters Ferry and airboat adventures from Swan Falls Dam to Brownlee Reservoir. The asking price is $40,000 and other offeres will be considered.  Call for more information:  800-422-3568 or 541-785-3352.



For Sale or Lease:  We are the 100 Acre Wood Lodge in North Fork, Idaho, located on the Idaho/Montana border and only 3 miles from the Salmon River.  We are pursuing a "lifestyle" change and are for sale (or lease).  We are a turnkey operation with plenty of room to expand. We have a lake, acreage and an Outfitter's license. Check out our website or contact Jon & Nancy Cummings, 208-865-2165.


Classified Ads



For Sale:  Two 18 ft. NRS self-bailing oar rafts, completely rigged - $7,500; one 21 ft. EuroCraft Gear raft, center rowing frame, floor decks & more - $10,000; Double axle pontoon trailer with rollers - $3,000; Used Demaree Waterproof gear bags; Army Surplus Waterproof black gear basg; Used Alps Extreme outfitter tents; Used sleeping bags. Contact Hughes River Expeditions, 800-262-1882.



If you are in need of well trained individuals i.e. Packers, Guides, Wranglers or Camp Cooks, we have students ready to go to work. Contact Elm Outfitters and Guides Training Program 406.961.3603 You can also check us out on facebook.



For Sale:  Outftting business in the heart of the 380 sq. mile permitted area. Held by the same family for nearly 50 yars, this is the largest single permitted fishing and big game hunting business held by one family in the state of Idaho.  Contact Kit Cave, Northwest Territories LLC at 208-315-2255.  



Swiftwater RV Park is a private campground located 2 miles from put-ins at Hammer Creek and/or the Rock Pit on the Lower Salmon outside of White Bird.  We welcome individual and group tent campers and RV-ers - for a day, a week, or a month. Amenities include showers, restrooms, free WiFi, covered picnic area with BBQ, overflow parking, vehicle/trailer storage.  For more information contact Anna or call 208.839.2700. 

SATMODO SATELLITE PHONE RENTALS starting at $34.99/wk. Watertight case, 2 batteries, chargers all included.  10 FREE minutes! Reach us at 800-279-2366 or via our website.


ZEISS SPORTS OPTICS  Our Outfitter and Guide program is open to any registered Idaho outfitter or guide looking for top-quality German optics.  Please contact Barton Dobbs at 303-903-4455 for more information.


SITKA GEAR  The Sitka Outfitter and Guide program is open to any registered Idaho outfitter or guide looking for top-quality hunting gear.  Contact Jeff Sposito for more information.


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