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Sep 12, 2023

My guest

Spencer Seim (rhymes with “time”) lives a life devoted to fishing, environmental issues, and serving people. Since he was 8 years old, Spencer has been obsessed with fly fishing. Spencer has been guiding northern New Mexico and southern Colorado for eighteen years. Eight years ago, he founded ZiaFly, a guide service that focuses on a personalized fishing experience with access to some of the best trout fisheries in the Rockies. 

Spencer is also very well-versed in fly tying. He’s tied flies commercially, for art, for competitions and of course, for his guided trips. Spencer’s flies have been featured in The Drake magazine, New York Times, Kirk W. Johnson’s book The Feather Thief, and America’s Favorite Flies.

Spencer has been mentioned in This American Life, Smithsonian Magazine, and Outside Magazine

The Takeaway

Life typically moves along at a fast pace for most of us. By the end of the day, activities we’ve been engaged in are often a murky blur in our rearview mirror. What, then, might be the payoff in slowing down, observing, and reading the environmental water, say, like a fly fisherman? And how do we give ourselves the ability to hold onto and make sense of those moments of pure serendipity?

As you listen

  1. What is it that drew Spencer to the water and fly fishing?

  2. What life lessons can we take away from the fly fisherman’s need to observe and immerse him or herself in the trout’s environment?

  3. How did Spencer get involved in the mystery surrounding the disappearance of almost 300 rare bird skins that could be used to tie salmon flies?

  4. What is the underlying story of The Feather Thief? How does Kirk Johnson’s decision to write the story rest on one of those rare moments of serendipity in life?

  5. How does Spencer distinguish himself as a guide? How does he demonstrate differentiated servant leadership? How does he view guiding as being part of a team?

    Connect with Spencer

    ZiaFly website



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