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Action County

DEVON O'NEIL

It’s hard to say how many people across the world would like to be living Randy Veeneman’s life. You can bet it’s in the millions, though. Veeneman, as tenured a Summit County resident as exists, is a fly-fishing guide for Mountain Anglers in Breckenridge. Thus, he gets paid to catch fish and provide memories for others. “Right now I’m cooking fillets and drinking beer with my clients,” he said recently when he answered his phone for an interview. “We’ve been catching trout all morning.”As much as fishing is in his blood, so is skiing. Not that it’s a surprise, when you consider his background. After moving to Breckenridge when he was 4, Veeneman started at Breckenridge Elementary and eventually graduated from Summit High School. He took a brief Summit hiatus while getting his degree from Montana State University in Bozeman, but returned to live his dream. He’s been here ever since.

What true fish story of yours is the toughest to believe?”I was fishing two flies at one time on the upper Colorado. All of the sudden I came tight on one. When I got him in, I saw what had happened – I hadn’t caught the fish, I’d snagged a fly that was already hooked on him. Completely coincidental. It was a whopper, rainbow. I should’ve gone out and bought a lottery ticket right then.”Float trip or powder day?

(groans) “Float trip, I guess. Well, that’s tough. That’s really tough. That’s my two passions.”Is being a fly-fishing guide the best job in the world?”Yes, definitely. Just because I’m doing what I love to do and getting paid pretty well to do it.”- Compiled by Devon O’Neil

Biggest fish you’ve ever seen caught in the High Country?”A 20-pound rainbow on the Fryingpan, near Aspen.”Who’s smarter, you or the fish?”I’ve been doing it for a long time, but the fish always win, it seems like.”


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