Young entrepreneur makes a splash

Parsons' company makes fishing map

16-year-old Steamboat entrepreneur Molly Parsons is the majority owner of Streamside Publications, which is producing the public fishing access map.

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The public fishing access map covers sections of the Yampa River in Steamboat as well as the Chuck Lewis State Wildlife Area off Routt County Road 14.

On the 'Net

Fishingfromtheboat.com

— Molly Parsons enjoys bossing her dad around.

The 16-year-old Steamboat Springs entrepreneur handles the business side of Streamside Publications LLC, a company whose bread and butter is fly-fishing on the Yampa River. Her dad, Peter Parsons, and business consultant Scott Ford each hold less than a quarter of the company.

She holds 51 percent and has worked with the company since age 14.

One of the toughest parts is "making sure we actually do meet our deadlines," Molly Parsons said, "because we'll say, 'This is a great idea' and then sit on it."

The company's latest release is a map of public fishing spots on the Yampa downtown and in the Chuck Lewis State Wildlife Area. The guide includes photos of the river and illustrations by local artists. It was set to be available in stores today, for $9.95.

Peter Parsons and Ford are avid fly fishermen. Molly Parsons also fly-fishes.

"Scott, my dad and I created the map off the basis that people will come to Steamboat and want to fish but don't have time to read a whole guidebook," Molly said.

If they do want a whole guidebook, however, Streamside Publications offers one. "Fishing in the 'Boat" has been available for two years for about $20. Ford wrote the text for the guide in the early 1990s. The tear-proof and waterproof map makes the guidebook look amateurish, Ford said.

"Compared to the map, it's goofy," he said.

Ford said Steamboat is a great place for fly-fishing.

"This is such a rare river in that you can catch six species of freshwater fish within minutes of downtown," he said of the Yampa. Visitors frequently ask retailers where they should go, Ford said. The map provides those answers.

Molly Parsons has handled the day-to-day business operations of the company for the past two years, Ford said. She takes care of retailer relationships and finances. Molly will be a junior next year at Steamboat Springs High School.

"This is my first business experience," Molly Parsons said. "I would say much has been learned from it."

The map will be available at Epilogue Book Co., Steamboat Flyfisher, Straightline Outdoor Sports, Bucking Rainbow Outfitters and Ski Haus, Molly Parsons said.

Streamside will donate $1 from the sale of each map to the Yampa Valley Stream Improvement Charitable Trust. Two dollars from each guidebook goes to the trust. They've sold just less than 1,000 books, and Molly Parsons has made enough money to pay to board her horse, Sparrow.

"The goal is to learn business and improve the river as much as it is making money," she said. She's interested in pursuing business but is keeping her options open.

Molly Parsons has made about $2,000 during the past two years, and she estimated she works five or six hours a week for Streamside. She also works at Epilogue.

Ford said the project has been fun for him and Peter Parsons, who runs a computer chip design company, Pinpoint Solutions. Ford does much of the writing for Streamside, and Peter Parsons does some of the graphics work. They are happy to leave the business side and check writing to Molly Parsons.

Ford said he enjoys working with young entrepreneurs and is impressed with Molly Parsons' knack for her job.

"From my perspective, I've seen her maturity grow from 14 to 16," he said. "Her business sense has really grown."

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