From the very start, the Missouri River Outfitter “team” has been what make us the premier outfitter on the Upper Missouri River. In 1965 it started with a “motley crew” of teachers who strove to share their love and fondness for the Missouri Rivers vast legends, oral history and natural splendor with others. We have continued to strive to provide exceptional customer service, to run polished and expectation-shattering adventures with locals and travelers alike. Whether it is the vast and varied history of the area, the flora and fauna, biology, geology or just how to relax and go with the flow of the river, our guides bring that which is special to share.
Not only are our guides the face of the company, they are the backbone of who we are. Our varied backgrounds, experiences, expertise, personalities, stories and aspirations are what make us a cohesive team. Many of our guest come here for the thrill of adventure travel but leave with fond memories of shared experiences, new friends and stories.
“Badger”– Nicolle has been a guide on the Missouri River since 2009 and owner of Missouri River Outfitters since 2017. She has degrees in Special Education and taught for 4 years before taking over the company. Nicolle has a lifetime passion for rivers and the Upper Missouri River Breaks holds a special place in her heart. She believes in giving clients the “true Montana experience” through generous hospitality, sourcing food locally, learning and teaching local history, and sharing her river knowledge. “I am very honored to be a part of people’s vacations.” I am here to share, help, and encourage people to come see all that the Missouri River Breaks and surrounding area has to offer.” Nicolle has a passion for her community and serves on the following boards and committees; Montana Tourism Advisory Council, Chouteau County Performing Arts, Fort Benton Trail Committee and Choco Fun. During the off season you will find Nicolle chasing her dreams and traveling all over the world in a search of lifelong adventure and exploration.
“Bean Counter”– Jenice is the company Mom extraordinaire. Jenice grew up ranching out of Circle, Montana. She has worked as a CPA in the role of accountant, internal auditor and accounting manager in the private sector. When her daughter Nicolle moved to Fort Benton, she joined this new adventure. In her “retirement” she fills many roles as needed to help keep things running smoothly. She is our master baker and makes all the tasty treats for our guided trips. She is happy to jump in and help whenever and wherever she can. MRO wouldn’t be the same without our “company mom”.
“Dr. Edge” – Keith is Missouri River Outfitters historian and guide extraordinaire. Keith is a one-of-a-kind Missouri River legend. He is a professor of history at MSU-Billings and is the chair of the History Department. Keith’s lifelong passion for history is evident on the river when you hear his witty humor, sharing of off-the-wall facts and unforgettable presence. Keith has been guiding on the river since 2001 and stared working as a Missouri River Outfitters guide in 2004. Keith returns every year because, “I love the people that take part in these trips and I get the opportunity to share the unique history of the river with them. Due to the climate, the rivers’ landscape is unspoiled and one can get a true sense of what it was like hundreds of years ago. My goal is to make it a once-in-a-lifetime experience for everyone that has the opportunity to join me on the river.”
“Queen-O-the-River” – Lenette is the companies camp mom, chef and consistent moral support. Lenette started working for Missouri River Outfitters in 2010. As CEO of the Rimrock Foundation, the largest addiction and mental health treatment center in Montana, Lenette is a very busy woman off the river. Prior to working for the Rimrock Foundation, she was a pediatric nurse and is a graduate from the CIA (Culinary Institute of America). Lenette said that, “I get out on the river to renew the parts of me that don’t get nurtured in my day-to-day life. I guide because I have never met such a variety of neat people. So many fond memories have been formed on the river, both with my personal family and new friends. I enjoy seeing people’s eyes light up as they see the landscape around them”.
“Papa Canoe” – Kelly is our company photographer with amazing work displayed throughout our website and social media. Kelly is a 3rd generation Montanan and was born and raised in Fort Benton, Montana. Kelly has been guiding for Missouri River Outfitters since 2015. He has a passion for photography/ videography and is a freelance photographer during and after the river season. Kelly is currently in school, working towards his Master’s in education and has his undergraduate degree in Social Science with an emphasis on psychology. On the river, Kelly’s desire to teach and learn are very apparent and he is often heard talking about the history, geology, birds and flora. Kelly guides year after year because, “The Breaks are a different quality of wild. The Breaks have a unique beauty and rugged quality that I have yet to experience elsewhere in the world. One of my favorite things on the river is to see guests from all walks of life getting to know each other and develop lifelong friendships and memories. I also love seeing guests conquer their perceived limitations, both mentally and physically. The joy in their eyes after they push past fears or the unknown is elating to see.”
“Drewyer” – Logan is our local expert for the Missouri River Breaks. Logan grew up on the Missouri a couple miles downstream from Fort Benton. Growing up in agriculture has taught him a lot about the “Montana way of life” and the area’s unique history and challenges. As a teenager, between the years 2004-2007, he worked as a guide for Missouri River Outfitters. After graduating from Fort Benton High School, Logan played college football and pursued his career in engineering. Logan is currently working full time as an engineer for IND Hemp with his wife Morgan. Logan came back to guide in 2017 to enjoy “vacation” time on the river and considers this job as a paid vacation. Logan guides because, “I love the river and breaks country. It is a big part of who I am and where I am from. I love sharing my passion of the breaks country with people.”
“Q”– Since 2020 Jacquelynn has been our unparallel company chef and freelance photographer. Jacquelynn grew up in a large family of nine siblings in Loma, Montana. Growing up, she spent a lot of time floating on the Missouri and Marias River. Jacquelynn’s family has a long history of catering events and it is evident in her culinary skills. Jacquelynn helps on a local farm and works for MaxAg of Montana conducting soil sampling for farms throughout the local region. Every other winter, she works at the Montana State Capitol. Jacquelynn guides because, “I love being on the water and what better way to spend your summer? I have a love for the local area and history. It’s the scenery that started me on the river and the people that keep me coming back for more.”
“Ace” – Since 2019 Ace has been our company ecologist. She has a passion for rivers, the non-profit world, humans and history. Aissa graduated from the University of Montana Western in 2016 with a degree in environmental science and history. She works for a nonprofit called the Watershed Education Network where she leads citizen science and stream monitoring efforts. Her job entails looking at water quality, biology communities (aquatic bugs), and how physical properties of streams and rivers change over time. Aissa loves to teach people what healthy stream life looks like and is quick to educate our clients on the Missouri Rivers history, aquatic properties and flow history. Aissa said “I enjoy guiding on the river because I get to experience and hear everyone’s unique life stories. I like experiencing the breaks beauty in the stars, bugs, history, water, sunsets, sunrises, geological wonder and magnificent storms.
“Momma Goose” – Heather is the companies “Jill of all trades”. She can do it all! Heather has made the Missouri River a part of her life since she started guiding in 2014. She is a woman of many trades. She is a small engine mechanic, teaches people around the state how to process game, works on a crabbing boat in the winter, and is passionate about empowering women. She is a modern-day pioneer and is constantly teaching and learning new hobbies in life. Heather grew up in a large family and enjoys her role as the “big sister” to her siblings. Heather said’ “I enjoy everything about the Missouri. I am proud to have that muddy water flow through my veins. It’s a magical place that draws extraordinary people to come explore all she offers.
“Hoss”– Seth is the company’s passionate storyteller and historian. Seth has been guiding for Missouri River Outfitter since 2020 and is an abundance of positive energy on the river with a presence that is felt wherever he goes. Seth’s selfless goal in life is to make sure those around him are seen, heard and loved. Seth has an undergraduate’s degree in history from MSU Billings and loves learning and talking about the history of the Missouri River. Seth enjoys being around his close friends and can often be found traveling the country to be near them. Seth said, “I enjoy all the people that come down the river and truly want to enrich their experience. The Missouri River Breaks is a unique river that holds a lot of history and beauty.”
“Maama’ Bear”- Anne is our company botanist with a passion for the flora and fauna that surrounds her. Anne grew up close to Glacier National Park in northwest Montana. She spent summers at her family cabin, tromping through the woods and playing in creeks, keenly focused on building forts, making mud pies, and searching for interesting creatures. “No rock was left unturned.” She has always been a collector of beautiful nature specimens: rocks, feathers, pressed flowers, etc. Her love for Glacier and the surrounding area led her to study biology, ecology, geology, fine arts, and organic farming at the University of Montana. While studying, Anne continued spending her time in the outdoors working in Glacier National Park as a captain on a historic boat and in Alaska as a seasonal naturalist in Denali National Park. She has returned to Glacier to work as a winter education ranger, leading school snowshoe trips and ecology lessons in the park, and has since transitioned to teaching early elementary PE in Browning, MT. In July 2019, Montana Gov. Steve Bullock appointed Anne to a Grizzly Bear Advisory Council, designated by executive order to facilitate a statewide discussion on long-term grizzly bear management and conservation. In her free time, you can find her backcountry snowboarding, splitting firewood, mountain climbing, or playing with her plants and dogs
“Baby swan” – In 2017 and in 2018 Sarah came to Montana and got the opportunity to float the Missouri River as a guest guide with her older sister Heather. In 2019, three weeks after she graduated high school, she packed up and moved west to guide full time and reside in Montana. From the first trip on the in the Upper Missouri River Breaks, she knew it held a special place in her heart. “Every river mile on the Missouri River presents unique history that cannot be rivaled. The “white cliffs” are magnificent and always future something different. The “badlands” are grand and truly make you feel small.” Being the youngest of six children, Sarah was taught the importance of family and sharing. “There is nothing more important than time well spent with my family. I enjoy sharing my time and working with my siblings Heather and Isaac in a place that we now call home.”
“Greenskeeper” – Sarah started guiding with Missouri River Outfitters in 2021. She grew up with the Mission Mountain Range in her backyard in St. Ignatius, MT. She has always been inspired by the endless amounts of things to learn while experiencing the outdoors with friends and family. Sarah is a hard worker and owns her own landscaping business in Missoula. Prior to landscaping, she worked with Inner Roads Wilderness Therapy as a guide for at-risk youth and has experience in Wilderness Medicine with Aerie Backcountry Medicine. During the winter, Sarah is passionate about getting into the mountains to snowboard and enjoys taking cold water therapy dips in the river. “One thing I really love about being on the water, is the sense of stillness you get to experience while still in motion. It gives you time to sit, while reveling in stunning landscapes, wildlife and the opportunity to learn the history of the area. I look forward to experiencing those moments with the guests on the Missouri river.”
“Snakes”- Ryan is kind, laidback, hardworking and always happy to lend a listening ear. He currently resides in Odessa Missouri and is a man of many talents. Ryan has a master’s degree in communication disorder and works as a speech pathologist in a school for kids with autism and behavior disorders. Ryan employs a desire to work with his hands in his personal luxury leather business and creating wheel thrown ceramics. For over a decade Ryan fed his creativity as a touring musician, playing the drums and keys. However, the most important passion in his life now is being a father to his cherished daughter Rhexx. He is very eager to introduce her to recreation in the outdoors and wants to see her follow her dreams. When not working you can often find Ryan ultra-running and biking long distances. Ryan has enjoyed working in the Missouri River Breaks since 2021 because, “I like the river community and am thrilled to have the opportunity in life to meet such great people. I love watching people gather and create comradery among themselves. There is also something magical about the sounds of the Missouri River Breaks; cottonwood leaves blowing in the wind, the river passing by, coyotes howling in the distance, and birds of all kinds chattering about. All-in-all, guiding on the river is a pretty good way to enjoy some time off.”
“Da Goat” – Jesse is currently pursuing his goal to become an ICU Nurse at MSU Great Falls. Jesse’s family moved 7 miles outside of Geraldine and have been farming there since 2012. Jesse is a true outdoor adventurer and seeks out exploration through rock climbing, ice climbing, mountaineering, skiing, mountain biking, hunting, ultra-running and slacklining. Before guiding for Missouri River Outfitters, Jesse worked as a hunting guide for 4 years at Deep Creek Outfitter. When Jesse started working for MRO, it was to be in the outdoors but now, he finds that “my favorite part of guiding is getting to know people’s unique life stories. The river truly brings out the best in people and allows everyone to slow down and just be.”
“Owl” – Isaac came to Fort Benton in 2021 to be with his sisters and quickly became a valued part of our team. He started out as a shuttle driver where he quickly earned our respect as he has the ability to sit back, observe and determine what needs to be done with minimal instruction. He moved from guiding day trips to multi-day trips where his calm, confident, outdoorsy demeanor and quick accomplishment of the multitude of tasks necessary to ensure the comfort of our clients earned him the respect of the rest of our team. Isaac enjoys all aspects of the outdoors with a special interest in plants and birds of this area. He enjoys sharing the experience of the Missouri River Breaks with our clients and is a sought after confidant and caretaker of stories.
“Zan”- Sara started guiding with Missouri River Outfitters in 2022. She has her B.A. in Sociology and Environmental Studies and a M.A. in Environmental Sociology with a focus on climate change. She is currently pursuing a nursing degree with a specific interest in Wilderness Medicine. When not on the water Sara enjoys teaching mountain biking to youth, trail running, snowboarding, climbing, playing guitar and learning more about human physiology podcast. Zan said, “I am drawn to the peaceful experience of spending time on a river, and the way it makes you feel more connected to the earth and to yourself. The river makes you slow down and focus on being present. I love the geology, the history of humans in wild places, and feeding my deep appreciation for the natural world.”
“Aud” – Audrey came to Join our team in 2022 so she could work alongside the Graham clan. She enjoys being outside on the river in the summer and working for ACE (American Conservation Experience) during the winter months. At ACE she does trail work, restoration projects, rigging and saw work. Audrey has a passion for reading and learning about the natural world around her. “My favorite part of the job is enjoying those tranquil moments on the Missouri. Time seems to slow down and allows one to rejuvenate. I enjoy the customers and getting to know them individually. We are all so unique and everyone has a story.”