Guide for relocation to Steamboat Springs, CO

World champion, Olympic silver medalist Johnny Spillane buys Steamboat Flyfisher

World champion, Olympic silver medalist Johnny Spillane buys Steamboat Flyfisher

What would you do if you retired from Nordic combined skiing with a world champion crown and three Olympic silver medals, and loved Steamboat Springs and fly-fishing?

If you’re local legend Johnny Spillane, you buy a fly-fishing shop. In late 2013, Spillane, a longtime fishing guide, purchased Steamboat Flyfisher at 35 Fifth St. in downtown Steamboat, ensuring a life of fishing and raising his family in Steamboat., including daughters Genevieve and Hadley.

“Aside from skiing, fly-fishing was my other big passion,” says Spillane, who grew up going to Steamboat Flyfisher and later guiding for the outfitter. Spillane says there are a lot of parallels between professional athletics and business: both are competitive, with principles that guide success. “I know what it takes to be successful,” he says.

Spillane plans to reach out to destination travelers and expand his outfitting service to include hunting, all while keeping the store’s focus on the guiding and retail side of fly-fishing. Another focus will be on getting more newcomers involved, by hosting clinics, demos and other beginner programs. He also plans to use the company to spread the word about the attributes of Yampa River just a stone’s throw from his store.

“Steamboat’s a great town, and the river is a big part of that,” he says.

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