Dave Kumlien was born and raised in Janesville, Wisconsin. After Graduating from Macalester College in 1973, Dave headed west. He landed in Bozeman, Montana, and fell into guiding the rivers of Southwest Montana. Dave has spent time in every aspect of the fishing industry in Bozeman. He began as a guide, quickly turned outfitter in 1976, and eventually founded Montana Troutfitters in 1978, the oldest shop in Bozeman. Dave and his Wife Karyn ran Troutfitters for 20 years, until selling the retail side of the business. This allowed Dave to devote much of his time the whirling disease foundation, which he was instrumental in building from the ground up. This foundation combated the crippling disease that was wreaking havoc on the rainbow population across southwest Montana. In 2001 Dave took over as the development director for the organization. By 2007 the organization had merged with Trout Unlimited (TU). Dave has spent the remainder of his career working with trout unlimited to protect Montana’s fisheries. Although no longer president of the chapter (Retired in 2020), Dave is still a familiar face at all the fundraisers, events, and programs TU puts on.
Dave has been a pilar in the fly fishing community for years. He has been a wonderful father, grandfather, and mentor. He has done as much as anybody in the world for the trout streams of southwest Montana. However, often overlooked is what he has done for the fly fishing community. Whether it be starting Veteran organizations such as warriors and quiet waters, or taking a new shop employee under his wing, Dave is always there to lend a helping hand. It has been an absolute pleasure to watch a man share his passion, and help other people find purpose and passion through fly fishing. These days, Dave can be found chasing family, friends, and fish. If you see him on the river, stop and say hello. Thank him, as the rivers wouldn’t be half the fisheries they are today without his efforts. There is no one more deserving of being inducted to the fresh water fishing hall of fame. Congrats Dave!
Enter your number below to receive new, up-to-date river reports from Montana Troutfitters.