The Guided Life was a brainstorming idea that hit us in March of 2020, just as COVID-19 was hitting the U.S. The idea was simple, and two-fold, to show the world the behind-the-scenes perspective of what it takes to film an outdoor show. Whether it is a guided trip, fishing with a celebrity, or just a good ole boys outing.
The other part of The Guided Life is Host Matt Tratz although he has spent over twenty years in the outdoors fishing and hunting, he is still new to a lot of things and isn’t afraid to show it. Matt has the ability to ask the right questions and get the right answers. Matt is also good at getting the guests to settle in and show their fun side. We all know that Matt is a no-nonsense goofball and not afraid to act like a fool!
Lastly, The Guided Life has the ability to go live on the stream…( no pun intended) and interact with the viewers. This is very popular with the fans because it gives them the opportunity to interact with Matt and the guests and get their questions on products or techniques answered right now.
We encourage you to follow along with Matt and the team as they live The Guided Life!
I grew up in Appleton, Wi where I was always outside and playing sports. Fishing with my Dad was the closest thing I had to becoming an outdoorsman. My Dad was a big fisherman and I remember him taking me fishing for Panfish. I also remember catching small Northern Pike in the ditches around the house where I lived. My true passion at the time was playing sports. At the age of 9, my family moved out to the Wild Rose area. I was not a fan of that idea of leaving my friends and having to live away from all the conveniences that the larger city offered. This is where the small flame that was burning to become an outdoorsman turned into a torch. I was not only introduced to more fishing opportunities but I also found archery. My passion for archery grew after a neighbor let me shoot his Martin bow. I would fling tons of arrows all the time while at their house. I had brothers that hunted and shared some of their skills with me, but most of my learning came from T.V., videos ( Dan Fitzgerald), magazines, and books. I remember having a class project in the 7th grade where you had to choose what you wanted to do for the rest of your life, and I answered simply with I wanted to host my outdoor show.
I graduated from Wild Rose High in 2002 and went to Mid-State Tech in Wisconsin Rapids to pursue a degree in Urban Forestry. After I graduated from Mid-State I worked in the “green industry” for over 10 years before I got my break to work for The Reel Shot. I had a small role as a factory rep for a treestand company and that is where I made a connection with the staff at The Reel Shot. I ended up working the Madison Deer and Turkey Show with Marc and Brian and pretty much walked away with a job offer. Funny thing is, I said no! I came to my senses a couple of weeks later and took the job as Assistant Manager for the new store that was opening in Appleton, WI in August of 2013. I worked as Assistant Manager and Manager for 6-years before the offer to work in the Marketing and Social Media departments came around. That also led to an opportunity to become the host of the “new series” called Head2Head Fishing. I started hosting H2H in the fall of 2019 and still work as a lead commentator to this day. Spring of 2020 is when Brian approached me about also hosting the new concept show. His idea was simple and not to reinvent the wheel, but just put the TRS spin to a show where the host would fish and hunt with local guides and celebrities. The difference was that we would have the ability to live stream during the show to interact with the viewers. I have been on so many great trips in the short year of The Guided Life, but the idea still stays the same... educate and entertain.