I am lucky enough to live in the city of my dreams, Bozeman Montana! With rivers to float and mountains to chase game up, you really can’t find a better place. I started life in Boulder, Colorado where my dad tied flies for all the greats and soon found the restless spirit to move to the untamed north. He and my Mom set up shop in Billings, MT and opened the first fly shop there called, “The Sportsman’s Lure.” This was a great place to grow up with the smell of RIT die mixed with cigarette smoke. Some of my fondest memories as a kid are having my own fly area to sell my flies to all of my dad’s clients. To say the least I got the bug early.
I spent my formative years living in Boulder and spending my summers on the Big Horn River. Mornings were spent trying to talk a guide into taking my brother and me down the river or filling my dad’s fly needs for the next day. I gradually worked my way up, the most obvious job in Fort Smith for a 15 year old, Shop Boy and rental boat runner. Soon with the help from an ever encouraging mother, I had my first drift boat and truck. Guiding for me was my dream job. Spending hundreds of hours on the river you love and passing your knowledge on to others, who for the most part, received it with open arms. Those where great years, learned a lot, and made me who I am on a river now.
Nowadays I tie for many reasons. I am curious of new products that come from the industry as well as what I can find at the local craft store. While on vacation I always, always, always go to the local craft store! I also enjoy filling my friends’ fly boxes as well as hosting tying nights during the winter. I get to keep the leftover beer! Finally I do it because I need to. There is something in me that needs to sit in my cold basement and tie for hours on end. Without it, I would not be me.
Guided Flies for me a culmination of time spent at the vise, on trips of a lifetime, and sitting in drift boats with some of the best people in the world,
All images copyright Zac Collins. All rights reserved.