Josef (Joe) Shafer started his fly fishing experience on the waters of South Boulder Creek up river from Pinecliff, Colorado as a young boy guided by his Grandmother, Betty Shafer. Joe and his grandmother spent time on small streams and still waters, learning the art of dry fly fishing. Countless trips to the water instilled in him a love for the great outdoors, and fly fishing.
Over the last 15 years he has gone from an interest in fly fishing to a passion for fly fishing. Per Josef: “Fly fishing is the art of mixing science, knowledge, and skill to be successful on the water”. Joe started his push into the fly fishing industry with his coworker, Jerry Vigil. As fly fishing partners they honed their skills in waters across the west. Joe started his career as a fly fishing guide after a trip that he took from The Blue Quill Angler. Joe was hired on this trip by his soon to be mentors in the fly fishing industry, Jim Cannon and Pat Dorsey. Joe’s career in guiding has lasted for 9 years. He looks forward to meeting new clients every year as well as guiding his repeat clients. Per Joe : “There is nothing like seeing a client catch their first fish on a fly rod.”
Joe started fly tying 15 years ago after learning the art of fly tying, from books and the internet. If he had questions he would contact professionals in the fly tying industry. This includes conversations with them, at trade shows and visiting shops around the west. From this learning experience Joe has developed his own unique fly tying methods. His flies are designed for use in all waters and for all types of fish including: trout, bass, carp, and pike. Joe’s favorite patterns in the industry are flies that mimic several different hatches in fisheries. All Joe’s fly patterns are designed to mimic various types of species so they have multiple uses. Joe’s personal rule for any new fly design is that it has to be tested for 2 years in all waters before he considers it a go to fly. Joe has demonstrated his fly tying methods at trade shows, clinics, and events at The Blue Quill Angler.
Joe has fly fished waters in the upper midwest while attending college in South Dakota. The Florida Keys provided his salt water experience. Joe continuously searches for new waters to test his flies and his fly fishing techniques.
Joe’s beautiful wife, Cindy, has supported his fly tying and guiding from the beginning. Joe for several years was a fly fishing addict and she told him he needed to make fly fishing a productive activity for the family. This was the motivation to become a part of the fly fishing industry. When he came home from his first guide trip he showed his wife his tip and said: “see I can make fly fishing productive”. Ever since that day Cindy asks for his tip an he hands it over. When he returns from a guided trip his daughters: Delaney (10) and Ella (6) always ask to smell his hands as they love the smell of fish. Cindy cringes at this and says: ”That is gross”. Joe states: “That is the smell of success”. Both girls have been fly fishing since the age of 3. Joe has instilled in the girls the love of fly fishing that was instilled in him by his Grandmother. Joe spends a lot of time with his girls fly fishing on his days off. This is quality time that both the girls and Joe cherish.