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Fishing and tying flies

Chris Nielsen fishing with his son, Ben, on the Eagle River. Nielsen runs Discount Flies out of his basement.

Chris Nielsen’s basement is full of flies. The fly fishing type. A husband, father and business owner of Discount Flies, Nielsen is passionate about his family and his products – fishing flies that are hand tied, boxed and shipped from his home on Esperanza Place in the City of Castle Pines.

“I’ve tied flies and fly fished since I was 12,” said Nielsen. “We are grateful to run a business that aligns with our passions.”

Nielsen hails from a military family. His father and grandfathers were in the Army or Army Air Corps, and his dad was reassigned to Colorado Springs in 1981 where Nielsen found a hobby and an unknowingly future career. In high school, he and his friends began fishing on the South Platte River in Cheesman Canyon. Nielsen also met his future wife, Jamie, and after graduation, she went to college in California and Nielsen attended the Air Force Academy. The couple married after college and moved to Boston and then Washington, D.C., but they longed to move back to Colorado and did so in 2005.

Nielsen taught at the Air Force Academy and then worked at an investment firm in Denver, but the family was looking for a small business opportunity. Discount Flies was started in 1999 by a retired chemistry professor and his wife who sold the business to the Nielsens in 2021.

Nielsen has several local employees and the company can offer discounts because there is no middleman. They use high quality tackle and say they have something for every angler. “Depending on the season, we pack between 20 and 80 orders per day,” added Nielsen. Discount Flies sells to lodges and more than 200 brick and mortar fly shops.

The Nielsens from left to right: Chris, Ben, Jamie and Cal.

The Nielsens have two sons, Ben (10) and Cal (12) who attend DCS Montessori and play hockey and lacrosse. Cash and Willie are the family dogs. “Reluctantly, they have not figured out how to pack flies,” joked Nielsen.

The family does not have time for much else. “We fish and tie flies,” he concluded. To learn more, visit

By Hollen Wheeler; photos courtesy of Chris Nielsen



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