Local Hero: Sarah Barclay

This realtor is dedicated to improving lives through fly fishing.

After studying marine biology at the College of the Atlantic on the Maine shore, Sarah Barclay, a Massachusetts coastal native, moved far inland, but she never let go of her love of the water. Today, her focus is on Rocky Mountain streams and the restorative value of fly-fishing. A full-time realtor in Breckenridge, Barclay, 58, served for five years as the president of the Gore Range chapter of Trout Unlimited, and is currently an Orvis-endorsed guide who delights in donating her time to various nonprofits in Colorado’s Summit County.

Fishing four seasons a year, she has volunteered for the Swan River Restoration Project, on whose behalf she helped raise $135,000; volunteered for the SOS Outreach Society; and has taken at-risk children out on local rivers for a day of fishing.

“I use fly-fishing to ‘pay it forward,’” she says. “I’ve seen 12-year-old screen addicts totally transform their lives as the result of a day on the river.”

To that end, Barclay helped the local TU chapter start a Trout in the Classroom program with beloved Summit High School science teacher Christopher “Jamie” Lambrecht, winner of the EPA’s annual Presidential Innovation Award for Environmental Educators. His students collect bugs, test river water, and raise fish eggs in class to release them in the wild.

Barclay also takes pleasure in teaching women how to fish, an estimated 250 to date. “Women feel more comfortable with a female guide. Besides which, it’s like a sorority out there. We have a lot of fun.”

—Jeff Blumenfeld

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