Find your fishing hole

Guide serves dual purpose: Helping anglers, young entreprenuer

Molly Parsons, president of Streamside Publications LLC, has to keep a close watch on her staff -- they don't leave the office to go fishing as often as she would like.

Parsons, 14, recently released "Fishing From the 'Boat," a book billed as a comprehensive guide to fly fishing the public waters in and near Steamboat Springs. Molly even appears on its cover.

The authors -- Molly's staff -- are her father, Peter Parsons, a computer chip design consultant, and Scott L. Ford, guru to budding entrepreneurs at the Small Business Development Center at Colorado Mountain College.

Ford penned a guide to fly fishing local waters more than 10 years ago when he was an employee of the Steamboat Springs Chamber Resort Association. He knew there was a need for a concise guide that answered visiting anglers' questions.

Molly's book follows in those footsteps.

"We want to answer the questions, 'Where do I go?', 'What do I do?' and 'What do I use?'" Molly said.

Peter Parsons said readers who are looking for secret fishing destinations won't find what they seek in the new book. Instead, it's meant to direct readers to easily and legally access locations near Steamboat where chances are good they'll hook a trout. It also discusses fishing strategies for each season of the year.

"We're not divulging any secrets in this book," Peter Parsons said. "Half of it is devoted to the town stretch (of the Yampa River) from the Chuck Lewis State Wildlife Area to the James Brown Bridge."

Ford said the book also was written with the needs of local fly fishing shops in mind. Shop employees answer the same question countless times every summer -- "What's working on the Yampa?" Now, they can pick up the counter copy of "Fishing From the 'Boat" and point their customers to the information they seek.

The book is illustrated with clear maps of the town stretch of the Yampa River and other regional spots such as Rabbit Ears Pass and the three forks of the Elk River. They are augmented by aerial photos that point out landmarks on the river to help orient anglers who are new to the area.

Ford's quirky sense of humor comes through in some sections of the book. An example is his description of the "tube hatch" on the Yampa River. Tube hatch refers to another popular form of recreation -- floating down the Yampa on innertubes.

"During midday to late afternoon, the (river from Fish Creek to Fifth Street) gets its share of individuals floating by in personal watercraft," Ford writes. "Although the tube hatch in this section is a fraction of the prolific hatch that exists downstream, it is best to bypass this section until 30 to 45 minutes after sunset to allow the tube hatch to dissipate."

Ford has devoted his career to counseling new business start-ups in an effort he calls "economic gardening." He takes a particular interest in nourishing the entrepreneurial spirit in adolescents and young adults.

"Fishing From the 'Boat" serves the dual purpose of helping anglers and teaching Molly the basics of running a business.

"Molly runs the business," Ford said. "She is absolutely in charge of marketing, distribution and accounting. Folks Molly's age -- you can run a business if you have sixth-grade math and people skills. I think Molly has all that."

Molly has placed 105 copies of the original press run of 1,000 books at seven locations, including fly shops and two book stores. The retail price of $19.95 includes $5 for the seller and a $2 donation to the upcoming stream improvement project at the Chuck Lewis Wildlife Area.

Sales are by consignment, but Molly said she is working to persuade shops to purchase the books up front. Molly's business plan anticipates sales of 800 books this summer. Stores sold 52 copies the first day the fishing guide was on the shelf.

-- To reach Tom Ross, call 871-4205

or e-mail tross@steamboatpilot.com

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