Meet The Team

Ed Leviness – Co-Owner

Ed's fishing journey began when he was 8 years old and decided to try fishing in a canal near his house in Florida. After catching a few bass, he was hooked. He continued his time on the water when he moved to Pennsylvania, and it was only natural to try fly fishing when he moved to Colorado. Fly fishing became a genuine passion for Ed because it combined the enjoyment of fishing with being outdoors in the water. In combination with being on the river, Ed started tying his own flies. He found fly tying to be engaging and gratifying. He would spend hours in front of a fly tying vise perfecting flies for his next fishing adventure. He was approached by a machine shop, that made the fly tying vise that he used, to sell their vises. Without hesitation, Ed began sharing his knowledge and selling vises to fellow anglers. Over time, Ed expanded the shop's product offerings and grew lifelong friendships in fly fishing. Ed finds it most rewarding to help new and experienced anglers, alike, with their fly fishing queries and determine the right gear for their fly fishing needs. To date, Ed's most memorable fishing adventure was in Alaska where he caught a 30-inch rainbow on the Kenai. 

Michelle Bangert – Co-Owner

Michelle's enjoyment of fishing started at a young age when she would troll for bass and walleye with her dad and grandpa in Nebraska and Kansas. She can remember spending an entire day sitting in the boat waiting for a bite. When not fishing in a boat, Michelle enjoyed fishing at her parents nearby bass pond. When Michelle moved to Colorado, fly fishing was on the list of activities to try in the mountains. Michelle found her time on the river to be peaceful and reminiscent of her childhood. She enjoyed being outdoors and refining her casting and setting skills. She began participating in women’s fly fishing clinics and found other newcomers that enjoyed fly fishing as much as she did. Michelle became a promoter for newcomers in fly fishing and joined the shop in 2016. Michelle's most memorable fishing adventure was in North Park, Colorado where she caught 24-inch brown trout.

Brandon VanNooten - Shop Manager/Guide

Brandon VanNooten was born and raised in Montrose Colorado where he spent the first decade of his life along the Uncompahgre River, being born into a fly fishing family Brandon spent many days on the Gunnison, San Miguel, Dolores, and many other rivers and lakes. Fishing came natural from Brandon to which he joined the fly fishing industry straight out of high school Brandon is currently working towards a business degree at Western Colorado University where he probably fishes more than actually studying. You’ll often find Brandon working and sharing his love of fly fishing in Ed’s Fly Shop but when he’s not in the shop you’ll find him in the woods somewhere doing what he loves.

Robert Kato - Head Guide

Robert Kato, aka KATO, grew up in Japan where he picked up fishing since he wasn’t very good at video games.  He first started fishing for carps and catfish as well as other bottom feeders in the rivers next to rice fields. 

He relocated to Colorado in 1996 to live with his father in Colorado Springs and his love for fishing continued as he found trout streams all over the area.  After years of searching for a purpose, he chose guiding as he loves to be outside and to teach his love for not just fishing but all that the river has to offer.  He is super fun to be with on the river.  If you ever get a chance to get down in the canyon with him, he’ll make you an awesome meal!

Adam Parrett - Guide/Social Media Manager

Adam Parrett was born in southern Mississippi, where his love for fishing began with his grandfather catching stocked catfish in the family pond. After moving to middle Georgia at a young age he cut his teeth fishing the muddy waters of middle Georgia running jon boats in the Oconee river fishing for brim, bass, and catfish where his passion grew even larger. Camping and fishing trips with his father to the Blue Ridge mountains grew his love for trout fishing through his school years.

After school Adam traveled and did odd jobs for a few years before meeting his lovely wife Heather. They moved to Colorado together in 2010. Montrose presented many fishing opportunities, he picked up fly fishing shortly after the move. It began with a short 3wt fly rod and chasing brookies and rainbows in small creeks. Then moved to tying his own flies, and exploring new waters around Western Colorado.

Currently you can find Adam and his dog Lucy in a boat or walking the waters of the gunnison river, and surrounding areas in the summer. In the winter you can find him teaching his son how to ski on the local mountains, ice fishing with the family on the Grand Mesa, or Blue Mesa lake.

With all of these experiences under his belt, Adam enjoys sharing his knowledge, positive attitude, and willingness to learn with new and old friends along the way. With great adventures in the future, Adam is happy to share the river and lakes with all the guides at Ed’s Fly Shop!