Mr. Hartsel came to us like an abominable snowman crashing through dormant willows and three-foot snow drifts in search of yeti love. He works for the Copper Mountain Ski Patrol in the winter, and needed something to do once the snow melted. We’d seen him on the river and in the shop stealing any local knowledge he could get, so we took him under our wing. Turns out once he sheds the ski-fever he can flat out catch fish.
Matt’s clients love his relaxed, yet determined attitude. After years patrolling the ski slopes he has learned to cope with almost any personality and unrealistic goals. He will gladly talk you down from a fearless attitude to run an avalanche shoot on skis or the desire to cast 80-feet to 10 pound trout sipping large dry flies – both of which are just pipe dreams in made-for-TV dramas.
If you’re in Colorado and you want to catch fish, Hartsel will not lead you astray. Even on his days off, you’ll find him wading the Arkansas, Colorado, or Blue. His meticulous inspection of the river and surrounding elements help him be the best prepared for any condition you might encounter during a guide trip. His quirky sense of humor will suit anglers of any ability level, and have them yearning for more bent rods and subtle riffles.
Matt and his wife, Megan, recently welcomed a new member to their family – Finn. Their young boy presents a new adventure for Hartsel, but we are certain Finn will be corking it out in the snow and ripping lip before we know it.
Originally From: Cincinnati, OH
Favorite Local Fishing Spot: The Blue
Favorite Place on Earth: Gate 4 North at Loveland Ski Area on a Blue Bird Powder Day
Most Used Rod, Reel & Line: Sage XP 5-weight, GLoomis Eastfork Reel, Rio Grand WF5F
Movie Quote: “Is there any way you can zone me out so that I think I’ve been fishing all day?” Office Space.
Destinations Fished: Utah, Lake Erie, Delaware Strippers and Blues, Midwest, Georgia