Craig Mathews holds a BS with honors from Michigan State University. He went for post grad study there in education and criminal justice while working in law enforcement. He and his wife Jackie came to West Yellowstone in 1979 from Grand Rapids, Mi. Craig was the Town’s Police Chief. In 1979 they founded Blue Ribbon Flies.
Craig and Jackie have won numerous conservation awards for their environmental work such as “The Protector of Yellowstone National Park Award” presented by Yellowstone National Park, both The Nature Conservancy and Greater Yellowstone Coalition’s coveted “Business Conservation of the Year” awards, The Federation of Fly Fishers “Lee Wulff Award” and few years later the Federation of Fly Fishers International presented them the “Frank and Jeanne Moore Award” for their conservation and environmental work. Craig was Fly Rod and Reel Magazine’s
“2005 World Angler of the Year”. In 2009 they were presented the Madison River Foundation’s “Guardian of the Madison” and Trout Unlimited awarded them their “Stream Champion” honor in 2011 for their ongoing national conservation work.
Craig has authored and co-authored 9 important books on fishing. His latest, “Simple Fly-Fishing with Tenkara” was released in April 2014 and co-authored with Patagonia Inc. founder, Yvon Chouinard and Mauro Mazzo. The book has won 2 prestigious awards, the Banff Mountain Guidebook of the Year and the National Outdoor Book Award for a guidebook and instructional quality. In 2018 the book was revised into a second edition and released again in Nov 2018. In 2019 Craig revised “The Yellowstone Fly-Fishing Guide”, first published in 1996, which will be released in summer 2019.
In October, 2015 Craig completed a book project with Yale University, “The Artist Guide to the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem”, released in December 2017.
Craig co-founded 1% for the Planet with Yvon Chouinard. 1%FTP is an alliance of businesses donating 1% of their gross sales to researched and approved environmental and conservation causes. To date 1% for the Planet members have donated over $200 million to conservation and environmental programs..
Craig and Jackie both enjoy dry fly fishing for wild and native trout in Yellowstone country. Their favorite streams are the Madison and Firehole Rivers. They have enjoyed winter fishing for bonefish and permit for over 30 years in Belize, Mexico and the Bahamas. They also enjoy fishing South America for trout as well as British Columbia’s dry-fly steelhead.
Both are avid bird hunters and bird dog trainers. Their 3 German Shorthairs get plenty of time in the field with them each season.
Both enjoy cross-country skiing. Craig still ties 750-1,000 dozen flies each year. Craig enjoys writing and is working on another book.
“We have always felt that giving back go the public resources we use to make a good living is not only the right thing to do but necessary to protect, preserve and enhance wild trout, wildlife and wild places for future generations to enjoy”. That is how we modeled BRF business ethic.