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Trouts Journal

Trouts Guide Spotlight: Lee Molvie

Ivan Orsic / Jun 30, 2015

Trouts: Tell us a little about yourself, how long you’ve been fishing/fly-fishing and how you were introduced to the sport.

LM: I was born and raised in Raleigh, North Carolina where the tea is always served sweet, the BBQ is in a league of it’s own and the nearest trout stream is about 3 hours away. My family spent a lot of time outdoors when I was growing up and some of my fondest memories are of my Dad teaching my brother and I to catch the bluegill, sunfish and bass in the lakes around my hometown. It wasn’t until I was in high school that I picked up fly fishing. We were on a family vacation in the smoky mountains and I landed my first fish on a fly rod...a 6” native brookie on a big orange stimulator. It was more than enough to get me hooked.

While I was in college at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill I managed to skip town and fly fish the rivers and streams of Western NC and Eastern TN every chance I got. Moving to Denver after college just solidified my obsession, and since then I’ve spent the past five years exploring all the fishing that Colorado and the West has to offer!

Trouts: Why do you love to guide fly-fishing?

LM: I love the beautiful places guiding takes me and of course the fish themselves, but the most rewarding part of guiding for me is making a connection with my clients and working to provide an awesome day that exceeds their expectations. Whether I am helping a true beginner catch his or her first trout on a fly or sight-fishing to trophy trout with an experienced angler, I am always excited and challenged with the particulars of the day. The amazing personalities and varied skill levels of my clients, changing weather conditions of Colorado, and the unpredictable nature of fishing makes every day unique. I can’t help but smile every time I see that bumper sticker that says “My Job is Better Than Your Vacation.”

Trouts: What is the best piece of fishing advice you’ve ever been given?

LM: “Sometimes the fish of the day is only one fish away.” I can’t tell you how many situations I have been in where the conditions were tough and the fish weren’t cooperating, but after sticking with it and putting in the extra effort I was surprised by a truly awesome fish. This can be especially true on the pressured, technical public water that fly fishermen and women spend so much time on here in Colorado. Our trout definitely have a graduate degree in picky eating, but covering water, staying positive and fishing with confidence all can help you find that one fish that might just make the headaches worth-while!

And when all else fails, don’t forget... “The difference between a good fly fisherman and a great one is often just one split shot.”

Trouts: Describe your guiding style?

LM: I’d describe myself as hard working and knowledgeable with a very approachable, laid-back demeanor. Of all the extremely talented guides I have met and fished with around the world, my favorites have always fit into this description. Keeping in mind that fly fishing can be an intimidating or even frustrating sport, I think it is very important to instill confidence in your clients while keeping them relaxed and comfortable. Once the stress is out of the equation it’s that much easier to get down to the most important part...having fun!

Trouts: Describe your perfect day on the water both A) guiding and B) fishing for fun.

LM: I’d say a perfect day guiding would be any day paired up with a beginner angler who is excited to learn and patient. I love being able to introduce the sport and seeing the rapid improvements that beginners show in a single day of fishing. When I am fishing for fun I think the perfect days are the ones spent with good friends and when I am challenged or surprised by something. I still try to learn and get better every day I’m on the river, whether that means learning a new stretch of water or working on a new technique.

Trouts: Favorite species to target on the fly?

LM: My favorite species has to be the roosterfish, or “El Gallo.” Nothing that I’ve done can really compare to sighting these awesome fish in the surf and running down the beach to present your fly. There are so many variables that all have to come together to get that fish to eat and it’s a challenge that will keep me coming back there for years to come.

Trouts: Favorite place to fish?

LM: This is a hard question with all the awesome water that we have here in our backyard, but I’d have to say my favorite spot would be the Dream Steam in South Park, CO. This was one of the first places that I fished after moving to Colorado from North Carolina, and the uniqueness of that river immediately found a special place in my heart. The opportunity for trophy fish, crazy weather changes and seasonal transformations that the river goes through makes it like nothing else I’ve fished.

Trouts: Destination to dream about?

LM: Too many dreams to name here...but top of the list would be a multi-day float trip in Alaska and maybe Iceland. I’m more interested in putting together some sort of adventure/expedition trip with a few friends than staying at an all-inclusive resort.

Trouts: Got any fun fishing trips on the books?

LM: Well I’m looking forward to a busy summer guiding for Trouts, but once that winds down I’m looking forward to exploring some of the rivers on Colorado’s Western slope, making a few more trips up to Montana and beginning to plan next year’s trip down to Baja for roosterfish.

Trouts: What do you like to do for fun when not on the water?

LM: If I’m not on the water, you can probably find me hanging around Denver with my friends, cooking and drinking some tasty beverages or maybe playing some bluegrass. I used to play in a few bands back home so music is another big passion of mine that I try to keep up with.

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