Tim Heng | Ollie Fields | Kyle Holt | Will Sands | Gifford Maytham | Brandon Soucie | Craig Langlinais | Lincoln Neiley | Matt Ippoliti | Glenn Smith | Woody Boughton | Christian Hill | Jerry Pazar | Shannon Outing | Joe Marinzel | Natalie Markuson | Justin Moore | Beck Brooks | John Henson | Samuel Merrill | Scott Spooner | John High
Tim Heng - or "Curly" as he is affectionately known by his fellow guides, has been a fixture in Colorado fly fishing for the past 38 years. Since founding Roaring Fork Anglers in Glenwood Springs he has enjoyed a well-earned reputation as the valley's premier boat jockey and authority on the lower Roaring Fork and Colorado. Tim became manager of Taylor Creek 29 years ago and his wealth of experience made him a valuable addition to the staff. Tim handed the managerial reins to Will Sands in 1999 and has been “seasonal” since then in the fly shop. Tim retired officially from shop work in 2016, but if you are lucky enough to hire Tim and spend a day floating one of our rivers, you will surely end your day with the realization that you have been going downstream a good portion of the time. When not on one of the local rivers or in the tropics casting at bonefish, Tim can be found rearranging large chunks of sod on local golf courses.
Ollie Fields - claims to have been fly fishing for as long as he can remember. Those of us who know him well believe he's been at it considerably longer than that. He started fishing and hunting in The Roaring Fork Valley with his dad in 1955. After saying farewell to the IBM corporate world he moved here 31 years ago and has been guiding and introducing others others to the sport he loves. Ollie has been a guide at Taylor Creek for over 31 years. During recent sojourns out of the valley he has fished for Atlantic Salmon in Russia, bonefish in Belize, and is of the belief that he may also have been in Alaska for steelhead, the Baja for billfish, Costa Rica and Panama for tarpon, and on Midway Island for a whole bunch of huge things that swim. His specialty is easy-going instruction and he is known for his ready smile and infectious sense of humor. On those days that he remembers to don his waders he is truly a guiding force to be reckoned with.
Will Sands – One of several "East Coasters" on staff, Will Sands was born in N.J. and began fly fishing early in his childhood around the age of 8 years. Initially following mom and dad up and down many a trout stream, fly fishing became an addiction and he was tying flies and building rods by age eleven. Spending his early years on Catskill (NY) rivers and throughout much of New England, as well as pursuing favorites of the Atlantic like stripers, blues and false albies, it never occurred to him that it could and would become a "real job". Blaming the fact that he switched majors three times while attending the University of Maine, Will graduated after five years with a degree in Forest Recreation Management. Others argue it was more attributed to too many days in duck blinds or chasing wild brookies and landlocked salmon throughout northern Maine. After a brief pursuit of college ideals working as a Backcountry Ranger for the U.S. Forest Service, he found his way out west. Had he known there were no closed fishing seasons, he would have made the journey sooner. Funny how he wound up working in a fishing shop in Denver. Quickly realizing he left "Jersey" to escape the fast lanes of cities, Will soon discovered the treasures hidden in the rivers of the Roaring Fork Valley. When he's not hunting the Jewels of the Roaring Fork, Frying Pan and Colorado rivers, you'll find him behind the counter offering up advice on "what are they biting on?" He also instructs Fly Tying classes throughout the winter months and will often be heard telling people "why ski when you can fish year round?” When not in the shop or on the water, the former “longhair" might be looking out over a spread of decoys or standing in a sand trap thinking of beaches and saltwater.
Kyle Holt – Taylor Creek’s head guide, whose favorite saying is "Fish Hard and Die Rich," is one of a few Mid-Westerners on staff. Having been reared in Springfield, Illinois, Kyle became heavily involved in fishing, hunting, and trapping the "flatlands" surrounding his home. As fortune would have it Kyle's family decided to take regular vacations to Rocky Mountain National Park where he hooked his first browns, rainbows, and brookies - subsequently becoming hooked himself. In 1983 Kyle packed up all of his worldly possessions (which he relates were few) and moved from the cornfields to the Rockies in pursuit of any trout that would take a fly. Mr. Holt has been fishing in the Valley for over 29 years, and is now considered a sub-god by many of his clientele because of his skill and knowledge of the area waters. On a less positive note, however, depending on your perspective, Kyle is also a non-recovering addict. Many years back, after taking a trip to the Bahamas with a group of apparently seedy people, Kyle returned to Colorado in a sorry state. He was tired, dehydrated, and constantly complaining of re-occuring flashbacks. Everyone instinctively knew what had happened. The Bahamas, and the hedonistic lifestyle that he maintained while there had forever destroyed him. It had, as stated earlier, caused him to become addicted… to saltwater fly fishing that is. If you can't find Kyle guiding and fishing in the Valley, or at home with his dogs and horses, then the best bet is to look south. He's probably after another fix.
Gifford Maytham - Began his career in the flyfishing industry with "The Big O" (the Orvis company) back in Manchester, Vermont in 1989. It has taken over 29 years but we finally have coaxed most of the easterner out of him. Giff does floats on the Fork and Colorado as well as being one of the shop's resident experts on fishing the high country above Ruedi Reservoir. In a past life he guided for Frying Pan River Ranch and for Elk Creek Lodge up near Meeker. An active father of two teenagers, you will rarely find Gifford lounging around (at least before 5 o’clock.) Gifford also is a snowboard and ski instructor during the “off season” here in the Roaring Fork Valley, and many of his fishing clients also hire him during the winter months as both an on the water and on the hill guide. As is the case with many of the Taylor Creek guides, Giff makes the time each year to head for the salt and fish the spring tarpon runs in the Keys, and is one of those guides who still, miraculously, fishes on his day off.
Brandon Soucie - grew up right here in Basalt, and has been fishing the Fryingpan, Crystal, Roaring Fork and Colorado Rivers since he was a youngster. After getting a job in the fly shop at 14, he couldn't wait to start guiding when he turned 18. Brandon started guiding before he started shaving, and it shows. Guiding is a year-round, full time gig for Brandon, usually well over 200 days per year. Having a keenness for client relationships and teaching clients on his home rivers has been a source of pride since day one. In his spare time he likes to take his wife and daughter fly fishing, tying flies and pursuing as many fresh and salt water species as he can.
Craig Langlinais – Craig, who answers to “Critter,” carries a wealth of guiding expertise with him. Born in Lafayette, Louisiana, Critter grew up fishing for bass, crappie, seatrout and redfish. A graduate of the University of Southern Louisiana, this Ragin' Cajun left the warm southern waters for Rocky Mountain trout streams in 1988. After a couple of years adapting to the altitude, snow, and ways of the valleys' trout, Critter began guiding. With almost thirty years of experience, Critter has become one of most knowledgeable and diverse guides in the Roaring Fork Valley. From our intimate high country streams, middle and upper Roaring Fork, to the technical Fryingpan, Critter brings it all together. If you are able to make out what Critter is saying through that marble-mouthed cajun accent during your day on the water, there is a whole lot to learn. When you can’t find him somewhere on the trout streams here in the valley, you can bet he's warming up down at lake Powell chasing stripers, bass and crappie or back in the Louisiana bayou chasing native redfish and speckled trout.
Lincoln Neiley - Some are just destined to become fishing guides. Lincoln Neiley is no exception. While growing up in a local fishing family, Lincoln has been floating the Roaring Fork and Colorado Rivers since he was a toddler. His father was one of the first guys to own a drift boat in the valley, and his love for float fishing was not lost on Lincoln and his brother Ry (who also guided for Taylor Creek for years). Like many of our guides,Lincoln originally worked in the fly shop as a teenager and then began guiding in 2005 when finally of age. He is one of the few at Taylor Creek to guide from both a drift boat and a raft allowing for a huge range of options for floating. Whether putting in just below Aspen near Woody Creek or floating as far west as Rifle, Lincoln can take you there. When he's not on the water you might find Lincoln skiing, playing hockey, or chasing tarpon in Florida. For over a decade now, Linc's been guiding anglers from the boat, as well as on foot, and enjoying every minute of it.
Matt Ippoliti - began guiding after college and transitioned from Boulder to Basalt in 2000 to work for Taylor Creek. Industry legend Tim Heng and his cast of senior guides created the environment for Matt to combine their knowledge with his abilities. Stewardship, grace and professionalism were (and still are) required to continue the impeccable reputation Taylor Creek was built upon. Matt embodies these values, and he has successfully taken the next step with his guide service in the Eastern US during “off season” here in the Roaring Fork Valley. “Steelhead Jones” has taken off for him, operating his mobile fish camp from Colorado to Pennsylvania, Ohio to Tennessee. Matt has no shortage of local expertise, and guides here in the Valley from a drift boat and on foot during the summer months with his trusty sidekick, Nouret the black lab.
Glenn Smith - Proudly, as a rare Colorado native and a Roaring Fork Valley resident, Glenn Smith has been a long standing 26 year veteran guide exclusively at Taylor Creek Fly Shop. Glenn has been referred to as TC’s “Renaissance Man” and that “tall fly fishing madman comedian artist guy that’s a chef as well.” He is an accomplished high-stick, fast water nymph fisherman as well as a gun of a dry fly fisherman. His instruction surpasses most expectations due to the breadth of information and good conversation skills. Having guided all sorts of clients ranging from world business leaders to bishops, super models to brain surgeons, he has a uncanny ability to relate on all kinds of levels. He states “The fish doesn't really care who you are, so you gotta do everything right.” Glenn prides himself on being respectful of his surroundings, polite most of the time to his clients, and always treats the fish as he would anyone that has done something kind for him. When he’s not guiding for Taylor Creek, he is a sculptor and artist, works with Bezos Scholars Program (BSP) at the Aspen Institute, instructor at The Cooking School of Aspen, standup comedian and all around decent guy with too many interests. His blog can be found at glennandtheartofflyfishing.com.
Christian Hill - is native born, and was fortunately raised fly fishing Colorado’s streams and rivers with his father and twin brother. “Tian” moved to Gunnison after high school and quickly realized that fly fishing was his true life's passion. He began his Taylor Creek career with Tony Derosier at our Aspen location back in 2008. Often found in the Florida Keys, his grandfather and father taught the twins all they needed to know to find tarpon, bonefish and peacock bass. Christian is an ace behind the oars but also enjoys wade fishing with clients outside of “float season.” An avid fly tyer, his homemade patterns fool fish from Colorado to the Bahamas, and everywhere in between. Christian resolutely believes there is nothing better than sharing his addiction to the sport and fostering the joy it can bring to those who heed the call, like he did.
Woodson Boughton- or Woody, was born and raised in the Roaring Fork Valley. Woody grew up with his twin brother Matt, fishing bobbers on the banks of Maroon Bells Lake, and causing a general ruckus around the town of Aspen. It was not until the age of twelve that Woody was introduced to fly-fishing on a school trip, which lit the fuse of a life-changing obsession. Fishing steered him into Taylor Creek Fly Shop where he slung bugs through his high school days, and later Woody attended Western State Colorado University (WSC) to fish the legendary Gunnison Valley. Fast-forward seven years, armed with a PhD in Fly-Fishing from WSC, Woody is stepping into his river-pants for his eighth season wade guiding with Taylor Creek. Be it throwing big bugs on the Valley’s freestone rivers or dialing in techy hatches on the tailwater, Woody is your man. Nothing makes him happier than seeing his clients hook up and land wild trout, and he does everything in his power to do so on a regular basis.
Jerry Pazar - Born and raised in Norwalk, Connecticut, Jerry Pazar began fly fishing on his 10th birthday when he received his first fly rod from his grandfather. Jerry is a 34-year resident of the Roaring Fork Valley and was first introduced to the local fisheries as a teenager. Jerry enjoys sharing his vast fishing knowledge with a smile in a comfortable, patient way. Whether on the Roaring Fork, the Frying Pan or at Bar ZX Ranch, he loves fishing and looks forward to guiding as many days as possible. In his spare time he can be found carving powder turns on Burnt Mountain in winter, hiking to fish high mountain lakes in summer, and doing year-round fishing "research" in the Roaring Fork Gorge, known to locals as “The Canyon.”
Shannon Outing - came to the Roaring Fork Valley via Montana in 2014 to pursue a degree in photography and Colorado trout. Now that she's caught both, Shannon devotes her dual talents to guiding Taylor Creek's clients and documenting the fly-fishing life with her cameras. She will take you to some of the best and most scenic fishing locales in the valley, and she possesses a deep knowledge of the area’s rivers and fish. In addition to being a personable guide, she is fast becoming a known professional photographer in the fishing community. Watch for Shannon's images in the Fly Fishing Journal and elsewhere, and find her work on Instagram (@shannonouting) or her website, shannonoutingphotography.com.
Joe Marinzel - A Pennsylvania native who has been guiding for 26 seasons throughout the west and eastern United States. He divides his time between guiding the Delaware River and surrounding eastern waters in spring and fall for wild trout, steelhead and musky, plus the western trout of Colorado in the summertime. Joe is right at home behind the oars of a drift boat and specializes in floating the Roaring Fork and Colorado as well as wade fishing trips on the Fryingpan and other local streams. As a casting instructor for 12 years on the Delaware, Joe loves teaching fly casting and spey casting to beginners and experienced anglers alike. Joe enjoys creating music, art, and making a big mess of his fly tying desk. Whether floating or wading, Joe will instinctively hone your skills and increase your grasp and knowledge of fly fishing.
Natalie Markuson - (Quasi-retired, now a full time nurse) Natalie Markuson has spent most of her life on the water, fishing rod in hand, angling for trout, salmon, bass, tarpon, bonefish, permit, and anything else that would eat a fly. She grew up in the Roaring Fork Valley and started fly fishing with her twin and older brother at five years of age. Traveling the world in pursuit of her obsession has shaped her life: Mexico, Belize, Costa Rica, Nicaragua, Alaska, Canada, New Zealand, Florida-anywhere there was a body of water to cast into she was there. After guiding full time year round for nine years she relocated to Florida to attend nursing school. On her days off she paced the flats for reds, tarpon and bonefish. With a bachelor of science and a bachelor science in nursing she returned to the Roaring Fork Valley for the love of the surrounding rivers and mountains, to guide, and work as an ICU RN. She continues to travel in seek of standing on a platform, dock, or riverbed to chase her passion.
Justin Moore - Southern born and bred, Justin Moore was raised in Nashville, Tennessee. He’s had a fishing pole in his hand before he could walk. After college the Rocky Mountains were calling, and he came running. He has lived here in the Roaring Fork Valley for over 10 years now, and has transitioned from his Assistant Manager roll to full time guiding. He lives and breathes the sport, from spending hours behind his tying vise, to walking and rowing endless miles for the water less traveled. When he is not on the river, Justin loves pursuing any species that will eat a fly, from hucking giant home ties for pike and musky, to hunting tarpon in the mangroves, Justin’s chase never ends. His mantra is to create memories on water, and always looks forward to showing some of the magic our amazing watershed has to offer.
Beck Brooks- Beck Brooks grew up in the Ozark Mountains of Northern Arkansas. He was raised fishing the meandering smallmouth streams and the famous White River that cut through the oak and maple forests of the Ozarks. As he grew older, he fell into the black hole of fly fishing because of his parents’ tutelage and a local mentor named Bill White. This was appropriate, because most of the time he and Bill haunted the White river and it’s never ending tributaries during their outings. He looked west in search of colleges that would fulfil his need to wet a line and ski champagne powder, and Colorado College in Colorado Springs was the perfect match. The South Platte and Arkansas Rivers were right out the back door and Summit County was just a puddle jump on the weekends. During college summer vacations he spent his time in the Roaring Fork Valley working at the Maroon Creek Club and chasing the green drake hatch. Beck now spends the majority of his time (when he isn’t guiding) in the high alpine or chasing fish all across the United States and the world. Beck loves to get back to Arkansas to spend time with his family and teach his younger brother Merritt the way of fly fishing. Pick his brain the next time you’re on the water with him, you’ll be glad you did.
John Henson- Born and raised in Abilene, John is one of the few West Texans who grew up with a fly rod in his hand casting for bass and blue gill. Growing up, John had the opportunity to fish the Roaring Fork Valley in the summers on several occasions. While attending the University Of Texas he spent lots of time fishing local creeks, rivers and lakes around Austin (when not studying of course) and his obsession began. After graduating, John got a job with Patagonia River Guides in the Patagonia region of Argentina. He was down there for four months working bird dogs and was an assistant fishing guide. After Patagonia, he went to guide school in Idaho and subsequently spent his first summer working for Taylor Creek in the shop and guiding. John spent the fall and winter guiding quail hunts on the King Ranch in South Texas. John returned to be a full time guide with Taylor Creek the following summer and has learned the waters of the Roaring Fork Valley as only one fishing there every day could. Growing up fishing the valley through Taylor Creek it was always a dream for John to someday be a guide there, and the dream has come true. As much as John loves to fish, he gets even more pleasure from getting people “hooked up,” with the goal of leaving the clients with the joy and desire to keep fishing.
Samuel Merrill - Born and raised in the coastal town of Rowayton Connecticut, Samuel Merrill has been on the water most of his life. Sam cut his teeth fishing the salt for stripers and bluefish, however, it did not take long for his focus to turn to trout. He spent his teenage years exploring every inch of Connecticut’s Housatonic and Farmington Rivers. Eventually, his love for trout fishing led Sam to attend school at the University of Denver where he spent his weekends and summers exploring all of the water that Colorado has to offer. After graduating, Sam wasted no time moving to the Roaring Fork Valley where he now dispenses his wisdom in Taylor Creek Fly Shop. With a wide variety of knowledge about both fresh and saltwater fly fishing, come by and pick Sam’s brain --whether you’re headed up the Fryingpan, interested in learning to tie flies, or headed south on your first bonefish trip, Sam is your man!
Scott Spooner - “Spooner” hails from rural Missouri, where he began his so-called career at an early age fishing for perch, catfish, bass and crappie. After he was introduced to the skiing scene in Crested Butte as a youngster, Colorado’s siren song pulled him westward once he was old enough to fly the coop. After working in the restaurant industry for over 26 years, Scott began a new career in the fly fishing industry in 2007 and never looked back. Whispered rumors of rainy summer day Fryingpan hatches drew him to the Roaring Fork Valley, and the myriad year-round fishing opportunities keep him rooted here. Now manager of Taylor Creek Fly Shop, he tends to be mostly an indoor cat versus outdoor at this point, but occasionally still guides when his schedule allows. Spooner produces the annual "Fly on the Wall" newspaper and is a weekly columnist in the Aspen Times and Post Independent with the popular "On the Fly" column. He is the Guide Coordinator for the Western Slope’s Casting for Recovery program and enjoys fishing the Louisiana marsh for redfish, hosting bonefish trips to Christmas Island, genealogy, tying flies, float fishing, and entomology.
John High (passed) – John lost his valiant battle with cancer on May 11th of 2001. He was a fixture at Taylor Creek for over 17 years and guided in the Roaring Fork Valley for over 20 years. His infectious attitude on life and his extreme love of the outdoors was evident to anyone lucky enough to have known him. One of the most common things that John said and truly believed was, " I may not make a lot of money guiding, but just take a look at my office." John's absence will always be felt here in the shop and by those he guided and befriended over the years. If you had the pleasure of knowing and fishing with John, be sure to spend a moment of reflection sitting on his riverside bench behind the shop before you head up the Fryingpan. You’ll be glad you did.