Originally an Ohio native, I’ve been fishing since around the age of five. Something clicked with me immediately, like it was part of my DNA. Growing up, I fished for almost every species that swam near me. Largemouth bass in local lakes were my favorite target. Occasionally I would make it to Lake Erie for walleye and perch. Next came trout and smallmouth bass in Michigan, followed by a long list of inshore and offshore species in Florida. As my addiction grew, I began recording every fishing show I could find. Magazines were my other source of new information, which I snuck into school regularly… sorry Mom.
After moving to Denver Colorado in 1992, I knew learning to fly fish was important to get the most out of the state’s trout streams and lakes. I sought the expertise of local fly fishing guides to learn skills. Books, magazines, and classes rounded out my growing obsession. Nearby Cheesman Canyon on the South Platte River became my favorite fishery. I started taking friends there and soon realized how satisfying it was to help them experience catching trout on the fly. This led to my pursuit of becoming a professional fly fishing guide! Fourteen years later Galvin Guiding was born. I’m always eager to learn new things. Luckily, fly fishing is an sport that allows for continuous growth and learning.
Fly Fishing Competitions
The desire to keep getting better led me to competitive fly fishing. I was introduced starting with the 2006 National Fly Fishing Championships. The coaches of Fly Fishing Team USA wanted an all-Colorado team to serve as a benchmark to their anglers. To almost everyone’s surprise, our team ended up with the bronze medal. I placed 10th individually! I became addicted and kept searching for new and cutting edge information from the U.S. and abroad. A love affair with competitive fly angling has followed. I’ve competed in four to five fly fishing tournaments a year ever since, including each of the U.S. National Fly Fishing Championships. Most recently I was able to win the 2015 Conejos Superfly and both the 2015 & 2016 South Platte Pro-Am Carp Slam.
Competitive fly angling for trout helps keep me on top of new techniques and flies. Most every competition I’ve attended follow the FIPS Mouche rules of fly angling. Most notably, you can use attached weight or indicators on your line. These restricitons actually open up the angler to an array of new possibilities to catch fish. It was from competitive fly fishing that “European Nymphing” was born (though I prefer to call it “competition nymphing”) I’ve enjoyed competing across the country over the years. Tournaments in Oregon, Idaho, Michigan, Nevada, New Mexico, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, and Colorado have broadened my game and taught me to catch trout in different types of waters.
My Other Addiction – Carp
It is becoming no secret that I
have an obsession with love to fly fish for carp. The angling public is quickly catching on about how fun this species is to pursue with a fly rod! Fishing to carp with a fly is a new frontier for many fly anglers. A guided carp fly fishing trip can help get you started in this niche! Check out their dedicated page right here.
When asked to describe my guiding style, the words “technical” and “patient” come to mind. I feel instruction is an important part of the guided experience. The skills required to catch fish can be broken down into steps that are easy for anyone to learn. I’ve spent thousands of hours guiding fly anglers and fly fishing personally. I want to be able to answer your questions, especially how and why, and think about this endlessly. Novices should not be intimidated by the myth that the sport is difficult to learn. With proper instruction, the learning curve is not too steep. But it is fun!
Mike is a multi-generational native of Colorado and has been fly fishing “since he could walk”. He’s spent the better part of his leisure time pursuing just about every species of fish in our rivers and lakes. Most recently he’s been a fly fishing instructor and guide for the City of Wheatridge Recreation Center. Mike is full of infectious enthusiasm, especially when it comes to his favorite species to fly fish for, carp. “I’ve fished for many species of fish, but fly fishing for carp has more rewards, and challenges… Sight fishing for these fish is a different type of fly fishing. It’s very exciting to see the fish take the fly… the hook set, line ripping, arm fatigue, and the thrill of seeing the fish in the net. It is truly a rush!”
In addition to carp, Mike enjoys fishing for trout in Colorado’s rivers all year long. In the spring and fall, expect to find him searching for the large lake-run fish that show themselves in certain watersheds.
If you want to see Mike get particularly animated, talk to him about big fish. He’s more than a little obsessed with them. But spend a day fishing with him and the “big fish fever” may rub off on you too!
Kirk grew up in Casper Wyoming, and started fly fishing with his father and avid fly fisherman around the age of 10. He and his father fished streams throughout central and southern Wyoming. After moving to Colorado in 2000 Kirk has Fly fished throughout colorado and the front range extensively, concentrating mostly on trout. Kirk enjoys fishing streams and Stillwater alike, he began guiding to pass along knowledge gained from many years of enjoyment on the water. Kirk has been working towards and competing for a place on Fly Fishing Team USA. He competes in regional events throughout the nation, against some of the finest anglers. Currently he is ranked well and we hope his efforts payoff with a spot on Team USA.