Dale Sexton, owner
Dale held a fishing rod before he could walk. Fly fishing Park County’s wild streams and rivers grew to an obsession in high school. Dale’s love of fly fishing led him to seek employment at Dan Bailey’s in 1983, as the kid who cleaned up the fly shop after hours. He started guiding in Bristol Bay, Alaska while still a student at Montana State University. In 1988, John Bailey hired Dale as the retail manager at Dan Bailey’s. Dale left Dan Bailey’s in 1996 to start Timber Trails, an outdoor company in Livingston based on a passion for the outdoors. As a local outdoor company, Timber Trails gave back to the community in many ways, including providing bike safety lessons for kids, helping to raise money for a skatepark and raising nearly $10,000 every year since WHEN for Loaves and Fishes, a local soup kitchen, during the Timber Trails Backcountry Film Festival. In 2020, Dale and partner Mark Gurley bought Dan Bailey’s from John Bailey, promising to continue the legacy started in 1938.
A lifelong wilderness and fishing guide, Dale has helped hundreds of people have deep experiences in wild places. Dale is passionate about conservation and has served on or is still serving on the boards of Trout Unlimited, Invasive Species Action Network, The Avalanche Center and many others. As a member of the Yellowstone Gateway Business Coalition, Dale helped lead the fight against a gold mine in Paradise Valley and worked tirelessly with the Park County Environmental Council on public access issues as a member of the Crazy Mountain Working Group.
Those who are lucky enough to experience a guided trip with Dale can be assured they will not get home before dark.
Rick has held just about every job there is in the fly-fishing industry during his 40+ year career. He has been a fly shop sales associate, a fly shop manager, a wholesale sales rep and a wholesale sales manager. He has been an outfitter/guide and has owned his own fly shop. During his career he has fished throughout the United States, Canada, Mexico and Japan. While stationed at Davis-Monthan AFB, Tucson, Arizona in the late 1960s Rick was introduced to the joys of chasing trout with a fly rod. His first fly-fishing experiences were on the Little Colorado River in the White Mountains of Arizona. After his discharge from the Air Force, Rick attended the University of Arizona where he received a Bachelor of Science Degree in Fisheries Science. Soon after graduation Rick made his way to Montana where he landed his first job in the flyfishing industry, thanks to John Bailey, at Dan Bailey’s Fly Shop. Now forty years later he finds himself back home where it all began. Rick’s passion is pursuing the native cutthroats of the Rocky Mountain region. Rick is a life member of Trout Unlimited and has served as an officer and board of director member with several chapters in the state of Montana. He is also a life member of the Federation of Fly Fishers.
Minori S. Smith
Minori was born and raised in Japan and has been fly fishing for more than 30 years. She has fished throughout Japan, Alberta and British Columbia, Canada and the western United States. Minori made her first trip to the western United States and Canada during the 1990’s. She immediately fell in love with the fishing and the people and returned every summer to fish.
On one of those trips she met Rick Smith in West Yellowstone, Montana and in 2004 they were married. She loves to fish throughout the Yellowstone area with Rick and their yellow lab, Yogi. Minori’s passion is pursuing the native cutthroats of the region with dry flies. She also has a strong affinity for the native grayling of the Big Hole drainage. Minori is an accomplished fly tier and has built her own landing net and several of her own fly rods. She spent several summers working at Blue Ribbon Flies in West Yellowstone, MT and seven years working for the SIMMS fishing products company in Bozeman, MT and managed Trouthunter leaders, tippet & tying material business in Island park, ID for 2 years.
Minori attended the University of Toyama in Japan where she studied apparel science. She earned a Masters’ Degree in Education and taught junior high home economics where, as part of her program, she taught environmental science. She has volunteered many hours of her time to participate in a variety of conservation activities in both the United States and Japan.