The BrothersDan Vermillion, is the oldest and arguably the wisest of the Vermillion brothers. Dan grew up in Billings, Bolivia, Ecuador, and, most importantly, on the banks of the Yellowstone River. As the oldest of three boys, Dan resisted the dark side for a while and pursued a career as attorney in Billings. While he still practices law, his career in the world of legal firms ended as a flock of geese passed his window on a fine fall day. He joined Pat and Jeff and Ron Meek a week later to help build the Sweetwater Travel Company Empire. Certainly the empire is small but it is fun. Dan married a very cute and talented free lance photographer, Lynn Donaldson in the fall of 2003. Dan runs our programs in Mongolia, French Polynesia, and Montana.
Jeff Vermillion is the middle brother. Over the years, Jeff worked hard to avoid work so that he could fish more. Eventually, he realized that perhaps the right road was to set up a fly fishing business. Appropriately, at the age of 18, Jeff formed Flojo Ventures, but the business failed when Jeff realized that pursuing fish full-time time was financially difficult at best. In the end, eight years of maturity, his two brothers and Ron, provided the whip he needed to collectively build a successful business. Jeff grew up in Billings, Chile and Brazil. Jeff was the first brother to tie the knot, marrying Catherine Cranston in July of 2003. The wedding on the banks of the Yellowstone River was the “Montana social event of the summer” and featured in several wedding magazines. Jeff and Catherine spend as much time as possible steelheading and trekking near their home on the Bulkley River in British Columbia. Jeff manages the Canadian and Latin American programs.
Pat Vermillion was Margaret and Dale’s third and final attempt for a daughter. Despite this fact, Pat is the happiest of the three boys. In fact, he is the only person we know looking forward to the never ending nuclear winter. Aside from his wife Jen, deep powder and fish pretty much sum up Pat’s ever present smile. Pat grew up in Rio Grande, Argentina, Ecuador and the Magic City, Billings. Pat is the company finance guy and the Alaska specialist, having guided 13 seasons there. Pat’s newest project is the Royal Coachman Lodge near Dillingham, Alaska. It is our first fly-out operation and is in the heart of the best fishing in Alaska.
Ron Meek is the fourth member of Sweetwater Travel Company. Ron grew up on a crab boat, in a lumber store, in Chile and South Bend, Washington. Ron is the brain of the business. Ron has a remarkable ability to entertain Mongolians, pack containers, fix anything, run guide schools, tie great flies and keep the Vermillion boys from fighting. Ron’s claim to fame, aside from his wife Vicki, is that he once guided over 10 months straight in destinations from Tierra del Fuego to the Ponoi River in Russia. He is in our guide rehab program and seems to be recovering nicely. Ron is the director of our guide schools and handles all camp ordering and logistics.
Scott Schumacher joined Sweetwater Travel in 2002. Scott is originally from Minnesota and gets his fill of square head jokes from the Vermillion’s. Scott grew up fishing the Brule River in Wisconsin where he still spends a few weeks a year guiding, chasing steelhead and hanging out at Trout Camp. Scott has worked in the industry for over 20 years and has guided and/or managed camps in Montana, Wisconsin, Alaska, Russia, Brazil and Mongolia. Scott spends his summers between the Copper River Lodge and Royal Coachman Lodge in Alaska and also works in our Brazil and Montana operations during the winter and spring.
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