Hyde Pro Staff
Industry Professionals Dedicated To Hyde
Mike Willis, Columbine Fly Fishers
Colorado Springs, CO
Recreation has been a professional part of my life for 30 years. I served in the armed forces as a recreation specialist for ten years with the Air Force then served another ten years as a recreation director for the Civil Service. I served as a Recreation Director for the US Air Force Academy and as Director of Recreation for Air Force Space Command. I’ve been a guide for several guest ranches in Wyoming before opening my own guide service. I then recognized the need for professional training and education in this field of vocation and opened my guide school, approved and regulated by the Colorado Dept. of Higher Education. Our school is also an articulated curriculum towards a degree with a State College. I host a one hour fly fishing radio talk show each week and produce instructional DVD’s along with television productions.
My love for fly fishing started at an early age. While still a youngster, I started experimenting with my limited arsenal of fishing gear. Even though I had no fly fishing equipment, my fly fishing was only limited by my imagination. Even as an ill equipped youngster I have always been able to catch fish, most of the time to the bewilderment of the expert fly fishers on the stream. Over the years however, my skills and equipment have been refined to reflect my passion for the sport. Accumulatively, my fishing experience numbers approximately 45 years. I was very fortunate to be able to draw on the solitude and serenity of this activity during a low point in my life and survived because of it. Since that time I can say that when I fly fish it is always “from the heart”.
As a professional, always showing others the pleasures of recreational activities made it a natural for me to share my talents and experience with others. Deciding to make this favorite pastime a business stems from my desire to share with others how to make a recreational activity a recreational experience. I have earned degrees in Recreation and Education. So this coupled with my experience working on Guest Ranches and managing multi-million dollar recreation programs over the years has given me the necessary skills to operate this kind of business.
Having fished many types of freshwater, I consider myself an expert on creeks and small streams. The intimacy of a small stream is a refreshing experience that can flow through the senses allowing the inner self to reach out and touch the untouchable boundaries of the mind; thus renewing, refreshing and ultimately recreating the spirit and even the soul if possible. So, come with me and we’ll fly fish together from the heart.
“I purchased my Hyde Boat in 2003 and use it extensively. I float primarily on the North Platte in Wyoming. It is always an eye catcher as we enter and exit the water. People comment on the quality of construction and design, especially the built in rod holders. I’m thouroghly impressed with the trailer. The first time I took my Ford 350 to Wyoming, I didn’t realize the power of my truck until passing a line of traffic. I passed and was moving back into my lane when I realized I was traveling much faster than the alotted speed limit. I immediately looked into the rearview and the trailer was glued to my truck, no shimmy, now wiggle and no shake. I was thrilled with the craftsmanship. All I can say is my friends love it, my guests love it, and I love it.”Mike Willis