Meet our Staff

Nelson Ishiyama, Owner I’ve been fishing the Henry’s Fork every year since I first saw it in the mid-60’s as a college student – some 48 years. Since then, I’ve had a chance to fish with a fly for everything from bluegill to billfish in some great places both mundane and exotic, and I’m still exploring. My favorite place and home water is still the Henry’s Fork, without question.

I am into almost everything related to fly fishing – fly tying, fly casting, equipment, entomology, fly fishing history, fishing lodges and you name it. As my wife, Terrie, and our daughter, Julia, would tell you, our house is full of antique reels, bamboo rods, a library of fishing books and piles of old fishing magazines.

After about 20 years as a lawyer I was fortunate to be able to make my hobby part of a business by starting Henry’s Fork Lodge in 1991. Though I’m involved in other family businesses, the Lodge is definitely my favorite. I’m at the Lodge for over half the season, commuting from the San Francisco Bay Area where I live. I hope to see you at the Lodge this season. When I started Henry’s Fork Lodge, my past experience at fishing lodges enabled me to incorporate the best from other lodges and to avoid what I didn’t like. Above all, I wanted my lodge to offer the best of gracious, friendly personal service. I’m most proud of our staff for doing just that.

I look forward to meeting you at the Lodge and seeing you on the stream.

Amelie Kappes Amelie has worked for the Lodge since 2002, and oversees the Lodge from San Francisco where she also works for the Ishiyama Family Office. The great news is that she remains a central figure here! She will be at the Lodge in the early part of the season and again from time to time during the season to ensure that all our guests are well taken care of and that the new staff members are comfortable and well versed in their jobs. We are all extremely fortunate to have Amelie continue to be an important part of the Lodge.

Amelie, her husband Dan, and their boys, Ben and James, continue to make their family home in the San Francisco Bay Area, where Dan is an attorney. 

Amelie maintains her strong connections to Island Park. She, Dan and the boys have their cabin in Pinehaven and expect to be there for vacations as well as for Amelie’s Lodge work. Amelie currently sits on the boards of Henry’s Fork Foundation and Cal Trout, two organizations who share an interest in water issues and conservation in the western states.

Eben Schaefer, Manager I learned to fish on small Vermont streams. I tied bucktail streamers while sitting on my father’s lap, but mostly dragged spinners around. We moved to the west coast of Florida where I fished the flats with live bait and plugs. I commercial fished, worked in restaurants, and even on an ocean-going tugboat for a while. Twenty-five years ago, I came out to the Rockies and was instantly hooked on fly fishing. I loved it so much I made it my life’s work.

The Yellowstone River and its tributaries became my stomping grounds. I’ve fished and guided the main river, spring creeks, and nearly all of Yellowstone National Park. I founded a guide school, where I taught dozens of guides not just how to read the water better, but also how to connect and share the experience with guests. I’ve chased fish all over the Western Hemisphere, and hosted fishing trips through Central America and all the way into the wilds of Patagonia.

I spent the last 17 years managing an award-winning fly fishing lodge. Over the years I’ve gotten into every aspect of the business, from cooking and cleaning in the kitchen, to fixing and building all sorts of things. But mostly my job is people – it’s about the guests - from booking reservations, arranging an outing or just fixing a problem, to swapping fish stories, or sharing life-advice about kids or anything else. It’s also about the staff, sharing my passion, inspiring them and making sure they are happy, so that everyone has a great experience.

I’m very excited to be part of the Henry’s Fork Lodge team and to share my passion for fishing and to help our guests have the best possible lodge and fishing experience. I’m also looking forward to working with our terrific staff to make sure every guest feels Henry’s Fork Lodge is their home and leaves with great new fish stories.