The Outdoor Stage plays host to a select group of well-known Canadian Outdoorsmen. Keep checking back as we get closer to the show!
Meet Wes David
Wes David was born and raised on a cattle ranch in central Albert and has called Airdrie, Alberta home for the last 14 years. Former professional bull rider turned professional walleye tournament angler, outdoor writer, and host of Fishing the Wild West TV, a fishing show dedicated to angling throughout the western provinces and the northern U.S. States.
Wes spends about 125-days on the water each year fishing, videoing, and researching information for magazines, TV, and conservation efforts. Wes has videoed and written magazine articles covering all freshwater species of fish and fishing for them and many saltwater species. Articles and videos also cover wildlife and fisheries, fishing gear, outdoor youth, and future conservation.
Wes is a big believer in conservation, educating about Canada’s fisheries and wildlife, and getting our youth involved in the outdoors.
Meet TJ Schwanky
For T.J., the hunt is as much about the adventure as it is about the pursuit of game and he has hunted around the globe. He is recognized as a mountain-hunting expert and is always in search of unique adventures that challenge both him and his gear. He has hunted all seven continents and considers himself blessed to have experienced so many cultures. T.J and Vanessa share a real passion for Africa. They have hunted the Dark Continent five times and have not only taken some great animals but also shared their harvest with and brought humanitarian supplies to those less fortunate in some of Africa's most remote regions. He is, however, still proud to call Canada and all its incredible hunting opportunities home.
Meet Gary Hanke
Gary was the former team Captain for Team Canada at the 35th Annual World Fly Fishing Championship in Bosnia 2015. With this distinction, he was able to be involved at the highest-level skill competition in the World, through both qualifying and leading a five-man Canadian team. This experience of training under some of the best fly anglers in the world, under extremely competitive conditions, allowed him to vastly broaden his fishing knowledge. Gary’s learning curve increased ten-fold and has considerably improved his personal mainstream fishing ability and has given him an advanced edge in completion tactics.
Gary has been fly-fishing for 50+ years and teaches Fly tying from the most basic level to the master class level. In 2016 he won the Gold Medal in the Dry Fly Category at the German EWF 2016 Fly Tying Competition. He is the first Canadian to have won such a prestigious medal at a world Master Class fly tying level. He guides, teaches, and shares many aspects of a variety of fly fishing styles, from loch style fishing, bank fishing, and river and creek fishing to a host of techniques from new European Nymphing techniques to traditional loch style (Irish, English and Scottish) and the presentation. He also offers lectures on various topics and hosts private, community and public presentations worldwide.
Gary is the Owner / Operator of Eastslopes Distributors, a fly fishing and tying wholesale company and is also the Owner / Operator of one of the most popular local and global Fly fishing Facebook pages, Alberta Flyfishing, he has articles have been published in many outdoor magazine publications. In Western Canada, the primary magazine is Fly Fusion that contains step-by-step instructions where he has designed or had the privilege to feature the completed flies. Gary has ran his business and operated at a local Alberta level consisting of both adults and youth, for the Southern Alberta fly fishing league. This league provides opportunity (through practicum) for Alberta fly anglers to experience the knowledge, sharing and commitments through entry-level competition, while fishing and partnering with other anglers at various skill levels. These are fun events that can merge into provincial, national, commonwealth or even world level competitions if desired.
Meet Josh Nugent
Josh learned to fly fish at the age of six. By the time he was in Junior High he was giving casting lessons to other kids from his school. After completing a coaching diploma and playing basketball for Red Deer College Josh moved to Calgary. Once again he was back on the Bow river. His passion and love of fly fishing are second to none. In 2003 Josh started Out Fly Fishing outfitters Ltd at the urging of others in the industry. Guiding put Josh through the rest of his undergraduate and graduate degrees at the University of Calgary. Josh did an eye tracking study for his Master's Thesis, which was on the visual characteristics of expert fly casters.
Josh has been fortunate enough to be featured in many fly fishing publications, both as a writer and photographer (Fly Fisherman, Fly Fusion, Outdoor Canada, Fly Tyer, Canadian Fly Fisher and more). He has also worked with several Fly Fishing shows such as LL Bean's Guide to the Outdoors, In The Loop: Modern tactics on fly fishing, Fly Fusion TV, Sport Fishing on the Fly and more. Josh also served as one of the Co-Hosts for Fly Nation (Seasons 1 & 2) and hosted the Destination Spain Series. Josh serves as a Pro Staff member for Clackacraft and spent 5 years as the Canadian Echo Rod rep. When Josh started the guide company at the age of 21 it was a risk, knowing he wouldn't be afforded the mistakes competitors twice his age would and knew that it would be no different owning a fly shop at 34.
On a river as world renowned as the Bow river there is going to be competition in the industry. Competition is a great thing, because competition forces Outfitters and guides to work harder and strive to provide the best service possible for their clients and now he continues to do the same thing with the Fly Shop and its customers. Josh wants Out Fly Fishing outfitters to be a shop that every man, woman or child of any age or experience can come into and feel like they belong there, from families to fanatics and everyone in between.
Meet Dianne Hunter
Dianne grew up in a home that was fully sustainable with amazing outdoorsy hunting parents. Born in Quesnel, BC, she started experiencing hunting as a child by going on the back of a snowmobile with her father at six weeks old. As a baby, her family moved to Holman Island, NWT, there they lived completely off the grid, hunting Polar Bears, Muskox and Seals. She learned to make stuffed toys out of the hides of the animals and experience the local Inuit indigenous people. She learned to provide for herself through a self-sustainable lifestyle because there were no stores.
When she was a young girl her family relocated to southern Alberta where she lived on a secluded farm. Dianne grew up hunting, fishing, playing, dog training, sledding, and savoring the outdoors. She learned success through her mother and father’s entrepreneurial spirits. Working hard to achieve all goals as a family. Dianne has created a successful professional career in oil and gas. She has also become a provincial archery champion and is working towards World’s. She is the ambassador for Bass Pro and Arcus Hunting, LLC(Obsession bows), the official hunter for Shaw GMC, and represents many other companies in the industry. You can also watch Dianne on CanadaHunts West (Consuming The Wild). She adored bow hunting and was a strong believer in the challenge and mental game it takes to succeed in hunting and harvesting an animal. Her genuine love for hunting and outdoors is something Dianne has graciously passed down to her children. Having being raised by real avid hunters, Dianne believes in giving all she knows to the next generation and helping as many people as she can along the way. Dianne is filled with passion for life. You can feel this when she shares her love for the outdoors. Dianne never passes an opportunity to stop and talk with anyone who is open to share with her. Teaching and listening are her gifts. Her goal in life is to not buy meat from the store as she has always grown a large garden, hunted and processed her own food, and fished her heart out. She was raised on good clean food. She has always appreciated the lives of the animals and respected the land. She is grateful to all landowners and farmers who have shared their land and allowed her to hunt and to continue with her family traditions. She feels blessed to be a mother and be free to hunt.