Peter began his fly fishing career in Lake City, Colorado, going on his very first guided trip with our shop where he’s now a guide. Peter likes to say that he became hooked after landing his first fish on the fly. However he tells us the truth is that he was enamored with fly fishing from the first time he every stepped into the river here.
Peter worked hard and dedicated himself so that he could help people enjoy the beauty of the river. He has spent countless days and hours on the water, perfecting the many different techniques associated with fly fishing, and he offers all of that to his clients in a calm and patient teaching manner. Peter works with beginners and veterans alike so that they can experience a quality trip and an overall great fly fishing experience.
Although there are countless miles of water around Lake City, Peter’s favorite river is his home water, the Lake Fork of the Gunnison River. The majesty of the river as it tumbles through high, steep canyons paired with the willingness of voracious browns to inhale dry flies combines for one of the best experiences a fly fisherman can hope for, and we couldn’t agree more!
When not guiding the summer and fall in Lake City, Peter guides on the Lower Mountain Fork River in Oklahoma for Beavers Bend Fly Shop. He is a member of the R.L. Winton Rod Company and Catch Fly Fishing pro staffs. Peter also volunteers for several organizations, such as Reel Recovery and Tomorrow’s Hunter. When asked what he is most thankful for, Peter tells us it’s “the opportunity to guide at The Sportsman, where I work with incredible friends, guide on the best water around, and get to impart my knowledge and skills to other fly fisherman.”
David has been hooked on fly-fishing since his father handed him a rod when he was eight years old and told him when he got good enough with it, he could go with him in the boat. Fly-fishing in his native state of Alabama was not a mainstream activity, but it led to its natural conclusion of seeking trout in the mountains.
David has been coming to Lake City for the past 14 years with his wife, Melody, and has been guiding the last four of those with The Sportsman. He relishes being able to pass along enough skills to the willing beginner so as to allow them an opportunity to have a reasonable chance of becoming self-sufficient after a few days on the water. Mostly, he enjoys sharing his enthusiasm for the Lake City area, its natural beauty and its outdoor activities.
Since his retirement in 2007, David has been spending between four and seven months in Lake City; fishing, hiking and hunting. Obviously an avid fisherman, he is also an enthusiastic hiker and has even through-hiked the Appalachian Trail from Georgia to Maine at age 60.
David has fly-fished eastern mountain streams in Georgia, Tennessee, North Carolina and Virginia as well as waters in Wyoming, Montana and Alaska. From high mountain brookies to Coho salmon, he finds great joy in seeking fish in beautiful surroundings, whether it be with an eleven foot float tube rod and long casts or a seven foot rod casting to a hole within spitting distance.
Darren is the quintessential outdoorsman. Growing up on a family farm near Sayer, Oklahoma, he spent as much time as possible outside and developed a passion for the outdoors as a very young boy. Hunting and fishing was a way of life. Darren’s family made regular trips to the mountains to escape the heat where he learned to fish for trout, camp, and climb every mountain in sight. The mountains turned into a playground he just couldn't get enough of and created a lifelong dream of living and breathing the mountain life.
Darren graduated from Southwestern Oklahoma State University, with a degree in recreational leadership with an emphasis in biological science and outdoor education. He headed for the mountains and landed in Gunnison, Colorado, while he searched for a career position. He taught Physical Education back in Oklahoma at a charter school using nontraditional techniques and subjects such as backpacking, mountain biking, fly fishing, and outdoor survival skills.
In 2007, Darren moved to Lake City and has been here ever sense, honing skills and learning about every crook and cranny of the county. Darren is a fly fishing guide, hiking guide, and tour guide with a passion for showing you what he has learned about this area. Darren is also a wilderness first responder and serves on the Hinsdale County Search and Rescue team. He is also a Captain with the Lake City Fire Department. Darren has beautiful wife and two children and is proud to say that the kids are growing up in the mountains we call home.
Jim Hendrix is a native North Carolinian and presently lives in the N.C. mountains. He was fortunate to discover Lake City in the summer of 1974 and has only missed spending time here four out of the ensuing 41 years.
An avid trout fisherman and backpacker, he has fished and backpacked in 19 states and five foreign countries. But the Lake City area remains for him the best of them all, followed closely by New Zealand, where he has fished on 11 different occasions.
A teacher and professional historian, he has taught at both the University and Secondary School levels. His graduate degrees focused on American History and Literature. He has a special interest in the Lewis and Clark expedition, has backpacked 100 miles of their route over the Bitterroot Mountains of Idaho, and retraced by car most of their journey. He has published several articles on Lewis and Clark and lectures widely on their amazing adventure.
Jim enjoys guiding all ages and levels of experiences but especially, as a teacher, likes working with beginners.
In addition to his passion for fly fishing Jim enjoys reading, both bluegrass and classical music, cooking, playing his mandolin, and walking with his friend Laura and their Labrador Retriever, Salmo Lewisi Clarki (named for the cutthroat trout!).
Mike is a year-round Lake City resident. Since first picking up a fly rod as a kid, Mike has had the opportunity to fish all over the country, including seven years in Alaska and eleven years in Colorado. While he had a blast fishing for trout, salmon and grayling in Alaska, he is excited to be back in the Colorado mountains fishing the trout streams in the Lake City area.
Aside from his passion for fly fishing, Mike enjoys backpacking and hunting, and especially enjoyed the challenge of hunting sheep in the scenic Wrangell Mountains. He and his wife are happy to be raising their six year old daughter in Lake City with all the outdoor experiences the San Juan Mountains have to offer.
Mike loves getting to know people and sharing his passion for fishing with those of all skill levels. He can't imagine a better job! He also enjoys photography and has an eye for capturing those perfect fishing moments.
Tony lives in Lake City, Colorado and actually owns the store. He's been working and living here for 19 years and wouldn't change a thing! He started out as a Marine and then moved into the airlines, obtaining a Finance degree along the way. He worked in the airlines for over 25 years, but has always fished. Obviously an expert at throwing the rod in the Lake City area, he's fly fished all over the Western US and overseas as well. To Tony, there's nothing better than a day spent on the river fly fishing or even a day in the store just teaching people about this wonderful sport. He's loves working with everyone, but gets a big kick getting the children to light up when they catch that first fish on the fly rod and seeing them really get into the sport.