Best of the Boat fishing outfitter: Steamboat Flyfisher |

Best of the Boat fishing outfitter: Steamboat Flyfisher

World champion and three-time Olympic silver medalist Johnny Spillane owns Steamboat Flyfisher, which won this year’s Best Fishing Outfitter. (Photo by John F. Russell)

While Johnny Spillane won three Olympic silver medals in Nordic combined, he has two other pieces of hardware to add to his list: town’s Best Fishing Outfitter and Guide.

“I love sharing the experience of it, and watching people get big grins after figuring everything out and catching a fish,” he said.

Spillane grew up in Steamboat and has been fly-fishing for nearly 40 years. Employing up to 25 guides in peak season, he wets a line whenever possible, when not running the store or enjoying his family.

“The biggest thing is him just being a local who grew up here fishing the river his whole life,” said fellow guide and employee Jesse Rapp, who grew up fishing with him. “He knows the fish, the water and the aquatic life better than anyone. And he has a great sense of humor and is patient with people. His goal is to help people fall in love with fishing just like he did.”

Best Fishing Outfitter

• Winner: Steamboat Flyfisher

• Runners-up: Straightline Sports and Bucking Rainbow Outfitters

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