Paradise Valley Guide Chester Marion Dies

Long-time Livingston-based guide Chester Marion died Thursday in a rafting accident while fishing the Boulder River with clients.  One of Marion’s clients also died.  Marion was 73.

Marion—who earned a reputation as one of the most talented fly-tiers, casters and guides  in south-central Montana—was one of Dan Bailey’s first employees and was known for his highly creative Marion Marabou and Marion Spruce Fly patterns, as well as for his fantastic midge-fishing skills.  Long-time Wyoming guide Paul Bruun told us this morning that Marion, who always wore a pigskin glove on his casting hand, was well-known for his ability to cast a shooting head across the Yellowstone river.

This entry was posted in People. Bookmark the permalink.
  • Diana Rudolph

    Chester was a great fishing partner and friend. He could hurl a streamer across the Yellowstone River like no other. He will be missed.

  • Brian Ramsey

    Chester was the best.  Dan Bailey’s was the first shop I worked in when I was 19-years-old, this would’ve been in 1991.  He would always talk to us shop grunts, ask us where were from, did we go to college, what kind of fly fisherman we were.  He was short, had a cigar in his mouth, always in good shape and always had a nice thing to say to us and encouraged us to fish even more.  He wanted to know if we would eventually become guides, gawd knows Chester didn’t want more damn guides on the Yellowstone!. He was an English highschool teacher for years until he retired.

    He guided in the summers and weekends during the school year, but the Montana fly fishing history this individual has seen in is simply unbelievable.  I’m sure he fished with Bill Browning, Joe Brooks, Charley Waterman, all of Dan & John Bailey’s friends from all over the world, politicians, you name it.  Guided the Missouri river below Hauser dam when it had a run of huge browns in back in the early 1960s.

    I’m not sure, but he maybe the longest running fishing guide currently in the state, I’d have to check MT Fish, Wildlife & Parks records, but to put it into perspective, in Montana we have Guide License numbers on the side of our drift boats,  I started guiding in Montana in the early 2000s and my guide number is #3992 and I’m sure Chester’s was below the #100 mark.  I just knew him as being good to us in the shop and that he knew where the big freakin’ browns lived in the Yellowstone on a yearly basis, he was talanted indeed.

    Brian Ramsey
    Viroqua, WI