meet your guides

Our guides have a passion for what they do and are excited to meet you. Their technical ability and knowledge of fishing is the perfect match in the waters of Alaska, and specifically in the Mulchatna River. With years of experience in their waders, it’s not all about the catch and the release…learn about the fish you catch and the area you catch them in. Surrounded by the great wilderness you are fishing in, there is abundant wildlife and magnificent scenery – so bring your camera!

 

Chet Benson, Owner and Master Guide

Chet was born and raised in Northern California, hiking and fishing the streams and rivers in the Trinity Mountains. He started coming to Alaska in 1997 as he continued his outdoor adventures as a packer and hunting guide for a local outfitter, moving there permanently in early 2000. As the sole proprietor of Bearfoot Adventures and a certified master guide with 20 years of experience specifically in 3 states and 2 countries, the knowledge and resources he has elevates any adventure trip. When he’s not wading through waters, climbing mountains or being the ultimate family man, you’ll find Chet flying a Cessna 172 airplane and rocking out to ZZ Top.

Along with a Wilderness First Responder license and a Coast Guard license your trip will be just as safe as it will be that Alaskan adventure you’ve always wanted to experience. Feel free to call him directly with any questions at 907-240-4868.

Chet met his wife, Halie in 1999 at a hunting camp in Arizona. In 2002 they were married in Idaho, starting their own adventure and then a business together within a year. Two kids and a fishing lodge later, the adventures continue.

Kautumn Lodge is a combination of both daughters’ names, Kaia and Autumn, as well as a great play on words befitting to a unique Alaskan fishing lodge sitting on a magnificent river with an abundance of fish.

 

The Benson's

Daniel Holybee

Ever since Dan was a boy his parents could never find him inside. Dan was always outside running around, fishing, hunting and exploring. Dan’s father was an avid hunter and fisherman who him out every weekend to learn about the great outdoors. After high school he spent 15 years of working in the HVAC industry which kept him from the outdoors except on weekends. Then in the fall of 2012 Dan got a lucky chance, he took a temporary job with Bearfoot Adventures as a packer for a 10 day hunt. After that trip he quit his job, sold everything that would not fit in a truck and drove to Alaska and has been guiding fishermen and hunters ever since. For the last 4 years he has been guiding specifically on the Mulchatna river and has learned all the productive fishing holes and where to look for the fish. As a natural experimenter, Dan finds creative new ways when entering any fishing hole whether it’s with a spin rod or fly fishing. He likes to figure out how to catch a fish one way and then when that proves consistently productive, he’ll go about finding another way that is just as effective.

Where passion meets production, Dan also loves to build and work with his hands and has big plans ahead for building his own house. From logging the trees, to milling the lumber, it’s not work, it’s a lifestyle for a person to enjoy the finer things in life like using what the land has to offer. Turning a standing tree to a milled piece of lumber to a house is a beautiful transformation and one to be proud of.

When Dan isn’t on the river he spends his springs and late falls as an Assistant Big Game Guide. Then in the truly, offseason you’ll find him travelling with friends to exotic places like Mexico, Costa Rica and Cuba. He goes where the wind takes him and where the fish are calling. Learning different styles of fishing from all over the world is a passion that runs deep – he hopes to share his experience and stories with you!

Caleb Viano

As a boy growing up in New Hampshire, Caleb first started fishing at a young age with some help from his uncle. Driven by his passion for the outdoors and the desire to do things to the fullest, he began tying flies at 11 years old and by his 12th birthday, he was teaching himself how to fly fish. His passion for fly fishing led to hundreds of days spent on the water each year, perfecting his flies and techniques, from tempting native brook trout in small brooks to poling the saltwater flats on the coast for striped bass. Throughout high school he started a small business tying flies for a variety of shops, building custom fly rods and selling furled leaders. Using his earnings, he began to travel the Caribbean and the West in search of the best fisheries. In 2008 Caleb moved to Bozeman, Montana, using college as an excuse to move west and start a career in guiding.

Since the move West, Caleb has managed to not only fish many of the greatest trout fisheries, but has also travelled extensively around the world fly fishing for some of the most challenging species. For the last five years he has been running a vintage Harley-Davidson based custom motorcycle shop in Montana, guiding backcountry horseback big game and upland bird hunting in Idaho for Heaven’s Gate Outfitters, becoming a commercial helicopter pilot, and still finding time to make it somewhere south to do some saltwater fishing. Living life to the fullest, a strong work ethic and a passion for hunting and fishing has now led Caleb to join the Bearfoot Adventures crew here in Alaska. 

When Caleb isn’t working he loves to cook (eat) great food, ride old choppers across the US, fly helicopters in the mountains, spend time in the Caribbean fishing, surfing, spearing or hunting for all the elusive game North America has to offer. He can almost always be found with his faithful German shorthair dog named Chopper, and is never quick to turn down an adventure. You can be sure that no matter what kind of an adventure Caleb takes you on, it will be one to remember.