Meet Our Guides
Kevin McConnell: President of Backwoods 2.0 LLC
Kevin leads by example, living an active an adventurous lifestyle. He is an avid fly fisherman, hunter, and general lover of the outdoors. In addition to being the leader of the company, Kevin also spends a fair amount of his time hosting individual trips for Backwoods Adventures, and will be hosting Cocodrie, Chandeleur, & Belize this year.
Outside of the office, Kevin enjoys the live music scene in Austin, spending time with his family, and getting outside every chance he gets!
Mandy Mantzel: Director of Backwoods Adventures
Mandy is the resident adventure travel expert. She has worked in the outdoor & travel industry most of her adult life, but grew up camping and fishing in the hills of Texas.
She has supervised outdoor therapeutic programs for troubled teens and young adults, leading hiking trips through the Appalachians, extended canoe trips on North Carolina rivers, and various aquatic excursions on the Big Island of Hawaii as well as North Shore, O’ahu. She enjoys gardening and teaching others about sustainable harvesting of food sources.
She has traveled to over 30 countries and is conversant in 5 languages. Having worked in marketing for a major airline, and then organizing birdwatching tours worldwide, she understands the travel industry well and is happy to help you plan the details of your trip.
Needless to say, she is looking forward to hosting a few trips (Cuba & Patagonia), and helping you plan your next big adventure.
Stacy Lynn: Fly Fishing Specialist
The sport and industry of fly fishing has been central in Stacy’s life since 1995. Stacy has worked in several of Texas’ best fly shops since that time and is an avid saltwater and freshwater angler. She has 20+ years as a professional casting coach and is a Fly Fishers Intl. Certified Casting Instructor and a graduate of Joan Wulff’s Fly Fishing Instructor’s School. She is an active supporter and member of many of the Texas fly fishing clubs and related organizations. She is a volunteer Lead Instructor for Texas’ Casting for Recovery program – a weekend fly fishing retreat for women surviving breast cancer – and has been a co-organizer for the Lydia Ann Fly Master’s saltwater fly fishing tournament benefiting CfR. She has been a feature speaker, demonstrator and instructor at numerous events including The Fly Fishing Show, The Shallow Water Show, Fly Fish Texas, Flat Out Fishing!, TPWD Expo, Oktoberfisch, the Houston Fishing Show, Texas Fly Fishing and Brew Fest, and several FFI Conclaves/Fairs. Stacy is an experienced traveling angler also, having fished in Canada, Mexico, Argentina, Belize, Bahamas and many states in the USA. Most recently, Stacy opened Bayou City Angler, the only full-service fly fishing specialty shop in Houston, Texas. Her favorite fly fishing endeavor to date is sight casting in saltwater, especially to Redfish, Tarpon and Permit, and her instruction specialties are conducting casting diagnostics, and helping fly casters prepare for the challenging and exciting Saltwater Fly Fishing experience. When not traveling or instructing Stacy spends time fishing from her flats skiff, or hanging out in Austin – where she calls home.
Stacy Lynn is our secret sauce when it comes to fly-fishing, and will be hosting Cocodrie, White River, and helping out with other fly fishing endeavors.
Tim Martin: Ft. Worth Store Manager & Backpacking Specialist
Tim Martin is the General Manager of Backwoods’ retail outlet and Backwoods Paddlesports at Panther Island Pavilion, both located in Fort Worth. Tim grew up hunting and fishing in South Louisisana and South Texas, but discovered a love for hiking and backpacking while earning his bachelor’s degree from TCU.
Tim is also an American Canoe Association certified kayak and paddleboard instructor, Red Cross certified lifeguard, and received his wilderness first aid training from National Outdoor Leadership School.
Tim leads our camping and hiking trips in Big Bend National Park. In his spare time he enjoys hiking, backpacking, kayaking, and fly fishing.
Tom Adams: Oklahoma City Manager & Fly Fishing Specialist
Tom Adams, a native of Oklahoma City, has had a passion for the outdoors since childhood summers spent playing in the creeks and streams of Colorado and New Mexico. An avid outdoorsman, he loves hiking, climbing, camping and his latest passion of fly fishing.
Tom has been a beginner and advanced fly fishing guide clinics in Oklahoma since 1988 and hosts a monthly fly tying clinic at Backwoods in Oklahoma City.
He has fished the Middle fork of the Salmon, Madison and Big Hole rivers of Wyoming, Montana and Idaho, as well as numerous rivers in Missouri and Arkansas.
Tom has all the patience in the world whether you are a beginner or more experienced fisherman. The only thing he likes better than hooking a big one himself, is watching a first-timer bring in a great catch.
Stephen Woodcock: Fly Fishing Specialist
Stephen Woodcock of Fort Worth is an avid fly fisherman and guide. His passion for fishing began at the age of 14 when his older brother invited him on a fishing trip. Since then, Stephen has become an experienced in fly fishing and now passes on his knowledge through guided trips, casting lessons, fly tying sessions, and volunteer work.
Stephen currently works as the in-house fly fishing expert at Backwoods in Fort Worth. Each month he hosts fly tying sessions at the store and teaches fly casting classes. He is also an active member of Fort Worth Fly Fishers and he volunteers with Reel Recovery and Casting for Recovery.
Stephen guides several trips for Backwoods including Alaska Fly-Fishing, Pyramid Lake Fly-Fishing, and Colorado Fly-Fishing.
Laura Friesell: Backpacking Specialist
Laura is from Omaha, NE. She loves to travel, and has been backpacking all over Wyoming, Colorado, the Upper Peninsula of Michigan, and Slovakia. Her first trip to the Wind River Mountain Range in Wyoming in 2002 is what ignited her passion for the outdoors.
When it comes to guiding, Laura enjoys introducing people to nature, watching them engage in new activities, helping them accomplish tasks and problem solve, taking care of people if they get hurt, and offering them a hot drink. She is leading Snowy Range Wyoming, as well as a trip to Bear's Ears National Monument this summer.
Guillermo Gonzalez: Fly Fishing Specialist
Aside from being a professional kayak angler, Guillermo Gonzalez is an in house fly-fishing sales associate at Backwoods in Fort Worth, and a Farm and Ranch real estate agent. There’s no question that he prefers to spend as much time as possible outside.
In the last five years Guillermo has won five Classic Championships & four Angler of the Year titles in four different tournament trails. In 2016, he punched his ticket to the Hobie Fishing World Championships in Leeville, LA and finished 11th.
In the fall and winter, Guillermo can be found in the bottomlands and backwater sloughs of Texas and Oklahoma chasing waterfowl. His true passion as a sportsman however lies in the sharing of such magical experiences that only the outdoors can provide, with others. Guillermo will be hosting the adventure down the Devils River.