Alaska Raft Fishing Trip Guides and Staff



A trout is a moment of beauty known only to those who seek it.

-Arnold Gingrich


At Frontier River Guides, we set out to provide the finest Alaska wilderness fly fishing float trip experiences possible. Period. The critical factor in attaining this objective is the quality of our guide staff. Our team of experienced, capable, upbeat and intelligent Alaska fly fishing guides are the best in the business, this is why people return to fish with us year after year. We are proud of our ability to attract and hold onto so talented and harmonious a team. Together we have explored the rivers we operate on and refined the Frontier River Guides "program". Our Alaska float trips are well oiled and smooth operating. Our staff truly enjoy working together and this is reflected in the positive outcomes for our Alaska Fly Fishing Raft trip clientele.


Marty Decker grew up in the frontier town of Fairbanks, Alaska where at a young age he began his fishing and river adventures. Marty is at home in the wilderness and enjoys sharing his passion for adventure and the beauty of Alaska with our guests. Marty's wilderness skills have been developed through many years of back country experience as a fly fisherman, mountaineer, river rat, gold prospector, skier, adaptive outdoor recreation specialist and wilderness guide. Marty first began his guiding career on the Kanektok River in 1982. In 1998, after many years of conducting Alaska float trips and driving guide boats for reputable lodges and outfitters, Marty established Frontier River Guides, intending to offer the finest wilderness Alaska fly fishing float trips available. He has explored countless miles of back channels and hidden river braids by raft and on foot to locate the best, most secluded and productive fishing waters on the several rivers on which Frontier River Guides operates. Marty's culinary skills and joviality set the tone for the Frontier River Guides approach to providing memorable Alaska wilderness fly fishing vacations.


Chuck Ash is a veteran raft guide who for over forty years operated Brightwater Alaska, the state's original hard-core Alaska fly fishing float trip guide service. Chuck brings a wealth of knowledge and experience to the Frontier River Guides' team. He is a most excellent guy to spend time with on the river, or in any circumstance for that matter. Chuck is the ultimate professional and has been inducted into the Freshwater Fishing hall of Fame as a legendary guide. He has a degree in biology, is a retired high school educator and is ultimately knowledgeable regarding Alaska's flora and fauna. In Alaska's off season, he has for many years led saltwater flats-fishing trips in warmer climes. No one on the planet knows the the Goodnews and Koktuli Rivers better than Chuck and FRG is excited have him leading guided Alaska fly fishing trips on those rivers and joining us for new adventures.


Zach Johnson (11 years with FRG) returns to lead wilderness Alaska fly fishing float trips after taking a hiatus to raise his sons. He is the consummate raft guide and wilderness guru. Zach has a solid skills set in all aspects of conducting fly fishing raft trips in Alaska: he is an expert fly fisherman, oarsman, cook, camp worker and is enjoyable company on the river. ZJ has a degree in Outdoors Studies and worked for many years as a mountaineering guide on Denali and elsewhere. His background includes years of experience as a white water oarsman. He is a stout individual who maintains cheery spirits even under the worst of conditions. Zach is level headed, reliable and foresighted; he can flow out the best of Alaska float fishing expeditions. Zach and his family have created a good life for themselves in Seward, Alaska.


Larry Holmgren, (8 seasons with FRG), although originally from New York City, Larry is one of the most staunch and capable of wilderness Alaska fly fishing trip guides in the state. He came to Alaska many years ago to complete a degree in Outdoors Studies at Alaska Pacific University, and has gone on to be gainfully employed in the outdoors recreation industry for many years. Year round, Larry looks after the safety and well being of people in extreme wilderness conditions. From ascents of Denali and adventures in the Antarctic, to remote river rafting fly fishing trips in Alaska, he is a go to guy when it comes to expeditions of any kind. A client was once heard to say, “pound for pound, Larry is the strongest, fastest working guy I have ever seen”. Ultimately capable, good hearted, well versed at putting people into excellent fishing...and, as and with all of the FRG crew, Larry is an excellent chef.


Tom Schwartz (8 years with FRG) has accrued twenty years experience as an Alaska wilderness river guide, naturalist and environmental educator. Guided Alaska float trips are a perfect fit for Tom, who is enthusiastic, up beat and hard working. Born in Alaska, Tom is now raising a family in Juneau, where he also works as a naturalist, providing hands on nature education programs for elementary school children. Tom has been fly fishing since he was eight years old and is adept at steering people into the right water and the correct techniques to make things happen. He is solid behind the oars, is very efficient around camp and has training in the culinary arts; all of which make Tom a superlative Alaska fly fishing float trip guide.


Craig Brown (7 years with FRG) spends a great portion of his time in the outdoors. Craig is a guy with boundless energy and a "can do" attitude that are beneficial to any Alaska wilderness fly fishing float trip. He's an expert oarsman, fisherman and guide. In the winters Craig works as a back country ski guide for a heli-ski operation and in the spring he works as a mountaineering guide and instructor. His people skills are polished by years of ski teaching and public contact. Craig is level headed, well organized, experienced behind the stove and is the ideal team player for a float trip in Alaska.


Zak Decker (7 seasons with FRG), has the dubious distinction of being the boss's son, and while he is cut no slack by anyone (poor guy), he is able to truly hold his own. Zak is a very solid rower, capable Alaska fly fishing guide and all around great guy to have on board for a wilderness Alaska float trip. Zachary is highly regarded by our clientele for his level headed approach to things and his ability to be conversant with people many years his senior. When things get tough, Zak is a handy guy to have around, he doesn't whine and he gets the job done. Zak has years of Alaska salmon fishing experience and been fly fishing for Alaska rainbow trout and other resident species since he was 6 years old.


Cory Hansen (3 seasons with FRG) is a lifelong resident of Juneau, Alaska, and is a seasoned, second generation fly fisherman. Cory was raised in a family oriented towards outdoors adventure, and he carries on the tradition admirably. Congenial and good natured, Cory can take weather and storm, and still be smiling. He is a top notch Alaska fly fishing float trip guide. Cory’s enthusiasm and work ethic make him a very handy guy to have on board for an Alaska fly fishing trip in the wilderness. His youthfulness belies his high degree of capability and talent at contributing to a positive experience for our fishermen. As with the entire FRG crew, Cory is a avid skier and works winters as a pro patrolman at Eagle Crest Ski Area outside of Juneau.


Mark Williams (2 years with FRG) is our new resident chef and food coordinator. Based out of Anchorage Mark prepares some of our delicious main courses in advance and resupplies the guide teams with food between trips. Mark is a truehearted Alaskan and artistic individual. One realm of his creative talent lies in the kitchen. Mark has many years experience working as a chef in local eateries and as a caterer. He enjoys baking and 4 wheeling and, by the way, makes the best jams and jellies in the world.