Thriving at Altitude: Lisa and Jeff Ruff

Lisa and Jeff Ruff
Courtesy photo

Editor’s note: As part of our Longevity Project: Thriving at Altitude series we celebrate local residents who are making the most of living in Steamboat and Routt County.

Give examples of how this couple is thriving at altitude.

Lisa and Jeff Ruff have lived, taught and volunteered in the Yampa Valley for more than 35 years. Jeff implemented and coached the very first high school varsity hockey team. Lisa served as vice president of Integrated Community. Jeff developed a fly-fishing school and fly-tying business for middle school students that garnered him the Colorado State Business Teacher of the Year. Lisa served as vice president of the local Yampa Valley Trout Unlimited and as secretary of the Yampa Valley Stream Improvement Charitable Trust, which contribute more than $30,000 per year to local conservation and preservation efforts. Together, they owned and operated the Steamboat Flyfisher for five years, where their two sons learned the art of telling a good fishing story. 

How do they inspire you?

Jeff and Lisa believe in giving back to the community that has given so much to them. Lisa is currently the secretary of Yampa Valley Pony Club, a club that teaches riding, mounted sports and the care of horses and ponies. While not teaching seventh-grade language arts and social studies, Jeff teaches skiing at Steamboat Resort and guides fly-fishing for Catamount Ranch and Club. Lisa, who retired from the Steamboat Springs School District after 26 years, teaches English at Colorado Mountain College Steamboat Springs.

What life lessons can community members learn from this couple?

Whether on the river, the trail or the slopes, Jeff and Lisa inspire the valley’s youth to develop responsibility, display sound judgment, exhibit leadership and self-confidence and be stewards of the land and waters on which they live.

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