Guides, Staff and Owners | Montana River Guides

Meet Our Guides

We know the only reason we’re providing great river adventures is that of the skills and efforts of our river guides. We believe they’re setting the standard for professionalism and fun in our industry. While they all have different backgrounds, our guides share a respect for the river, a concern for your safety and enjoyment, and a span of river skills and experience. The guides we’ve worked with over the years have all left their mark at MRG by making us a better company.  GUIDES VIDEO CLIPS FROM THE MRG ARCHIVES

Guides at MRG

We have always had such a great  team at Montana River Guides. Year after year the guides not only uphold our company tradition of running great river trips for our guests, but they increase the bar for next season.  There is so much enthusiasm and talent in our team, perhaps more than we’ve experienced in 30 years at MRG. We are proud that our guides have treated our guests like friends and their fellow guides like family.

2023 was another memorable season. A major train derailment and asphalt spill cleanup on the Yellowstone River required some of our guides to spend major part of the season helping the Whitewater Rescue Institute with a major clean up effort. Thanks to our 2023 team: Jane Webber, Amy Braig, Tyler Bisson, Caleb Dickenson, Everett Johnston, Kadin Kisse,  TJ, Emmaline Derry, Hannah Baumes, TJ Davis, Sam Johnston, Layne Rolston, Georgia Kelleher, Neil Mondova, Jack Duerk, Gracyn House Adam Votova & Sean Reynolds


Alberton Gorge Guides


Caleb Dickinson- Lead Guide& Instructor

Caleb DickinsonCaleb is a lead raft guide, riverboard guide and swiftwater rescue instructor. A Florida waterman, Caleb loves the river enough to guide trips all day and then go paddling until dark. He developed his whitewater chops attending school and guiding in Colorado. Now a devoted local paddler,  Caleb has a comprehensive set of river skills to go with his friendly professional demeanor.

“My husband and I had a great time on the river with our guide Caleb. He was excellent at hitting all the rapids to create a great ride. The views and the wildlife were amazing, especially the river otters. I’ve been on many rivers, but never had the pleasure of seeing them in the wild before. I hope we can come back again for a longer trip down the Alberton Gorge!” -Andrea, Fairborn, OH

Sam Johnston – Operations Manager
missoula whitewater rafting

Sam grew up on the Clark Fork River spending summers at the Alberton Gorge and Montana River Guides. So at this point he should know what he’s doing!  Sam is our operations Manager at MRG and has a lifetime of river knowledge and humor to share with guests. He attended Lewis and Clark in Oregon and came back to MRG  to help out our short handed team, provide some enthusiasm and expertise, and set a record for doubles in a season. Sam also works as a Swiftwater Rescue Instructor for the Whitewater Rescue Institute. A devout kayaker, Sam leads the charge for guide laps just about every evening all summer long at the gorge.

Sam Johnston Montana Rafting

Sam Kayaking the Gorge back in the day.

We arrived on a surprisingly COLD day for August – 70 degrees, wind………but our guide SAM got us outfitted with Neoprene long sleeve tops right at the beginning and we are so thankful we had these. Sam was awesome, full of energy – making this a absolute BLAST for the 8 of us in the boat. He pushed us toward the bigger waves, made sure everyone was very taken care of, and even got a warmer fleece for Thatcher, one of the boys with us who was on the front of the boat and got quite wet. Sam was awesome – has us wanting to come back in early June when the high water is running to try it out again. The run on the Gorge was one we will remember for a long time.
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Amy Braig – Lead Raft Guide

Missoula Rafting

Amy Braig, AKA “Snax”.  Hailing from Kalispell Montana, Amy grew up running the Middle Fork of the Flathead River and came to our rescue in 2020 when we were understaffed and trying to survive the COVID season. A stand out student, soccer player and recent graduate of the University of Montana, Amy worked just about every day of the 2020 season until we finally shut down in September.  Her leadership and people skills are unsurpassed. She’s smart, thoughtful and genuinely cares about our guests and guides. We are so lucky she found us.
We had a fantastic all day float trip with Montana River Guides, including a shore lunch. Highly recommended.
Amy, our guide, was a lot of fun and had us laughing at every turn. She also did a great job guiding us down the Class 2 and 3 waters.
Before we were finished, we had her calling the HOGS. We will certainly do a repeat the next time we are back in Missoula
Absolutely loved our white water raft guide, Amy! Amy told us some hilarious stories—most of which were about the history and “features” of the landscape. Most importantly, she really knows her stuff on the river and communicated clear instructions the whole way. We had one woman who was a little nervous and I believe it was Amy’s positive attitude that helped her enjoy the experience. After the first few rapids, you could tell the woman was enjoying herself! Overall, I would recommend booking your rafting trip with Amy and the rest of the Montana River Guides crew. We’ll be back next June to enjoy the river when it’s a bit higher. Thanks again for the amazing experience!
Everett Johnston-MRG Manager
River Guide

Everett has been running the rivers with MRG his whole life. Born in Missoula and a graduate of Loyola, the Big E attended Carroll College on a hoops scholarship. During the summers he guided raft trips, helped run safety and riverboard and stand up paddleboard trips. Smart, funny and easygoing, Ev grew up spending summers around MRG’s guides, running the Missoula area rivers. Ev moved to North Carolina to raise money for progressive non-profit groups for a couple years before moving back to Montana to work on Kathleen Williams bid for Montana’s lone congressional seat. He recently settled in Missoula with the amazing Chelsea Chandler and has been focused on keeping MRG running smoothly. Everett and Chelsea welcomed little Lou into the family last season. Lou loves to ride in the bus.

GOOGLE REVIEW: “Such a fun and beautiful trip! Our guide, Everett, was knowledgeable, kind, and professional, and we had an absolute blast! Thanks guys!!!”

Tyler Bisson – Lead Guide
Lead Guide

Tyler BissonTyler, AKA Deep Blue, is a native Montanan with a deep love and appreciation for his homeland and it’s whitewater. We met Tyler when he was still in high school and he took one of our Swiftwater rescue classes. We liked Tyler immediately and noted his relentless positive attitude and enthusiasm.  Now an experienced whitewater trip leader with plans to run his own raft company one day, Tyler is attending Ft Lewis College in Durango, guiding on the Animas and also guiding for MRG in the summers. We is always the first one up at the ranch, setting an example for the other guides. He also helps improve our operation with suggestions on improving guide training, risk management and hiring.

“This trip was awesome! Our guide Tyler was so much fun. He has tons of local knowledge with both the technical aspects of the river and general natural history and current natural information. He knew exactly how to get our kids excited and delivered a really fun experience. Will definitely book another trip in the future.”

-Trip Advisor Review from Trent

Join Our Team


Montana River GuidesRafting Guides together from Montana River Guides

Montana Raft GuidesMontana River Guides

2022 Guides: River, Caleb, Hannah, Cat, TJ, Marley, Kaden, Lucia, Cy, Richard, Jane, Kate, and Emmaline
Raft Guide

Thank you to our River Guides who made 2022 an amazing season.  Katie, River, Tyler, Amy, Caleb, Hannah, Cat, Jane & Marley returned to MRG for another year as trip leaders. New guides Richard, Cy, Kaden, TJ, Lucia, Emmaline, Kate and Cale ran great trips and helped us become a better company. Return Guides Steven “Squid” Quade , Toots Burgmuller, Sam Kinney and the WRI Guys also showed up to guide occasionally. Thanks to Everett and Sam for running the show and to our newest future river guides, Babies Lou and Marlow! We’re looking forward to 2023, living and working in beautiful Montana.

Montana River Guides 2022

Alberton Gorge Raft Guides 2022


Katie Matthews – Legacy Guide & Instructor

Montana Raft Guide

Katie Matthews arrived at MRG a few years ago to bring a big dose of professionalism, energy and enthusiasm. Katie showed up early for all of her trips and usually went kayaking afterwards. When she’s around we are smarter and better behaved. “Ms. Mathews” is a sixth grade teacher extraordinaire when she’s not guiding kayak or raft trips for us.  We are so lucky to have someone so smart, talented and conscientious on our team. She’s the heart of our operation these days. Katies an EMT, teaches rescue classes, leads our guide schools and whitewater workshops and sets the standard for our new guides. On top of everything else she is our social media director.

Awesome outing with my two kids and I. First class operation. The water was better than our experience on the Colorado last year. Our guide Kati was fantastic, energetic, and great with my kids. Would highly recommend the experience with them any day.
This was our first white water float trip. We were nervous, but really excited. It was a smooth booking experience and we loved our guide, Katie who in her off hours teaches 6th grade. The scenery was amazing! There was time in between rapids to relax. We stopped for lunch and enjoyed the time on the hot rocks too. We went the first week in August and it was truly a perfect experience!
Trent “Sugar” Baker

Perhaps the finest pure athlete and legal mind ever to paddle for MRG in the early days,  Trent Baker was a great guide for MRG and continues to be a great friend and advisor. He holds the company record for gracing the MRG Yellow pages photo (our equivalent of the sports illustrated swimsuit cover). His first official training trip ever –he was 45 minutes late to help pack–despite this, he got Johnston to not only like him but convinced him he was reliable–no wonder he’s such a good attorney. As it turns out MRG still relies on Trent, not only for our occasional texas hold’em sessions, or for dawn patrol invitations to Triple Bridges, …we rely on Trent for his advice on all matters, whitewater and legal. More importantly, Trent uses his considerable talent as a boater and attorney to do great things for Montana trails and rivers. He was President of the Missoula whitewater Association and spearheaded the effort to build Brennan’s Wave, arguably the best man-made surf wave in the world.

Steven Quade- Guide

Steven Quade is simply one of the nicest, most capable human beings we have ever had on staff at MRG. “Quade” is everyone’s favorite guide to work with. Friendly, capable, professional, smart and a great guide on top of everything else. Steven shows up early, stays late, and is the guide who keeps the operation running smoothly. Squid keeps track of all of our vehicles, trailers and ranch maintenance needs. TRIP ADVISOR REVIEWS: Squid Rules! We had a great trip with Steven. He gave us a great ride and a lot of laughs. We’ll be back for more!


Steven Quade

Quade Flying through the gorge

Leon Laborde – Legacy Guide

Alberton Gorge Raft Guide

A recent graduate of University of Montana and part time river surfer, Leon gets the award for the guide most mentioned in our guest reviews. And that’s because Leon is a great guide who loves people, loves the river and knows how to share his passion for Montana whitewater by running great trips. Don’t take our word for it, here’s what our guests say.

“Leon, our guide was beyond excellent and he helped make this already amazing experience simply unforgettable! My friend and I came from CA and had heard about the Montana River Guides but we could never have expected it to be as awesome as it was! I’m back in Orange County now and sitting at my desk wishing I was back out on the Alberton Gorge with this incredible group! As soon as I get time for another vacay I will be, for sure! If you are considering whitewater rafting in the most literally gorgeous setting imaginable, this is the place to go, and THE company to go with, hands down! (And did I mention, definitely ask for Leon — he’s brilliant!) Thanks again, Montana River Guides.”

Leon Beltran Laborde



Mike Johnston

A former backcountry ranger in Yellowstone and Glacier National Parks, Mike is a longtime guide who created Montana River Guides in 1994. An EMT and river rescue instructor, Mike has served on the local search and rescue team, the local whitewater association board, local bike path and historic park steering committees, the convention and visitors bureau, and chaired the local school board. For many years Mike was the only swiftwater rescue instructor in Montana. In 2008, Mike co-founded the Whitewater Rescue Institute  and has provided rescue training for thousands of boaters, guides, and professional rescuers. WRI has been a leader in Inland Oil Spill Response, both responding to river accidents and providing training nationwide on how to respond to and clean up industrial spills in moving water.  Mike also introduced the sport of riverboarding to Montana over two decades ago and became the only outfitter in the United States guiding whitewater rafting and river boarding trips. One of these days it’s going to catch on with the masses–one of these days.

My family and I had a once in a lifetime experience River Boarding with Mike. He was an amazing guide and made even the less adventurous among us comfortable in the water. River Boarding, which is essentially boogie boarding in the river wearing wet suits, helmet, and life preserver, is something that Montana River Guides developed and is an incredible way to be intimate with the River. We thoroughly enjoyed our 7 mile journey through swiftly moving currents and a some rapids. Along the way we were able to observe the River and scenery and even saw bald eagles up close.
Super fun for the whole family!
Bernice Johnston

Bernice JohnstonIf you’ve ever booked a trip with us chances are you’ve talked with Bernice, our boss and reservations manager. B grew up in Hawaii surfing the south shore of Oahu never knowing one day she would end up owning a rafting company and surfing river waves in Montana. Bernice manages the MRG office and reservations during the season where her bbq’s and homemade brownies are legendary. Bernice volunteered for 10 years at the Missoula YWCA as a facilitator for women’s programs and has a Masters in Counseling from the University of Montana. A fierce protector of MRG’s standards, Bernice is tenacious about making sure that after she has promised people a great trip on the phone–that our guides follow through and take care of our guests and give them the best day possible on the river. In her spare time, Bernice keeps an eye on her five river kids.

138 Big Bend Ln, Alberton
We have taken many rafting trips over the years and hands down this was one of the best ones yet!!! We took a private full day rafting tour with river side picnic and couldn’t have had a better time!! Our guide set up the best lunch spread at the waterside including fresh fruit and veggie trays, salad, sandwiches, chips/salsa, and the best homemade cookies!!! We had many stops, chances to swim, small cliff jumping, and the most beautiful scenery!!! Shout out to Amy as being the most fun guide to our crazy “Billy Goat Cyrus” group from Texas!!! Request her and you won’t be disappointed!!!
Our Montana River Guide trip down the Clark Fork was the highlight to our Montana vacation. Our guide let us paddle some while we were going thru the rapids which was an awesome experience. Weather and sun on the morning trip made for some great pictures.
We did a scenic float with our young kids. This was the absolute best thing we did our whole trip! So beautiful, so much fun. Amy was our guide and she was incredibly fun, knowledgable and kind. Cannot wait to float with them again!
There were three of us over 60 year old gals on our trip. Our guide, Jack, was outstanding. We felt safe and secure under his care the whole time while having the time of our lives. The beautiful scenery and wildlife were a bonus to the incredible river with its rapids along with calm areas to relax & enjoy the ride. Top on my list of the other incredible things we did this summer.
One of the best experience in the US was spending our Sunday with Montana River Guides! The crew was able to accommodate to over 60 of us on the YSEALI alumni tour and all of us thoroughly enjoyed our time on the river - Whitewater Rafting or Scenic Tour. Guides are 100% professionals who have fun with safety in mind. Highly recommend and must visit when you're in Montana. Thanks for the memories!