How to do it right…



 The letter to past guests had to be brief, to the point, hopeful of a great future and full of promise.  It couldn’t be maudlin, sappy, or read as if Lees Ferry Anglers was looking for sympathy or begging.

On April 28, it was decided that all services would reopen on May 1.

But after the month-long closure forced by the CLOVID-19 pandemic, with a calendar decimated by cancelations, Lees Ferry Anglers needed a home run in the bottom of the ninth.  It had to be fast and it had to be a sure winner.

Terry Gunn drafted the Constant Contact e-mail letter and then longtime friend Bennett Mintz edited things and added a touch or two including using the old cliché about “the fat lady getting ready to sing” that lightened it up.

The Lees Ferry Anglers mailing list numbered about 7,500.  The first guide date or lodge reservation came within 30 seconds of the e-mail going out.  They never stopped.  Here’s a sample of the approximately 100 clients who took time to respond:

This is a beautiful email that I was so happy to receive!  My wife and I will definitely be back this summer on our way up to the North Rim.  We wish you the very best and appreciate you “holding down the fort” so that we may enjoy this special place again soon!

Best wishes,

Jordan, MD

Look forward to seeing you soon.  Heck, I just tied a whole dang box of midges, larva to adult, and a bunch of scuds too.  Can’t wait to get up there.  Go Heat, Kill Virus!!

Best Regards,



Martha, Jasper (my dog) and I are in Pagosa Springs. We’d like to detour on our trip back to Tucson to Cliff Dwellers on Wednesday 5/6 and fish 5/7 & 5/8. I totally understand your need to get your guides on the water so we are happy to fish with whomever you recommend.  I will need a room I can keep the dog in while we are on the water. Can we make this work?


Hi Terry

I want to book three nights and have a guide for two days during the middle of a week but I’d like to do this if and when the cicadas hatch out – please give me your advice.



Wanted to thank you for keeping past customers in mind and keeping us up to date on your current situation during this time.

Carl and Dee


Thank you for your kind email.  We were going to book again this year, but unfortunately we were advised the borders would be closing so we found it necessary to head back to Canada early so we had health plans.  We will be booking again next year for sure.  Stay well and be safe.


Gina here…..  I have a reservation in June and I have every intention of keeping it. It was good to hear from you and I will keep in touch as we head closer to June!

Best, Gina

I spoke with Cind this morning about coming over to Lees Ferry for a couple of days fishing, three nights lodging. We’re game! I’m not sure whether you are guiding at all; we’d love to fish with you again. (Our schedule for May is wide open, though later in the month looks appealing.) If you are not guiding, who might you recommend? I know that you have confidence in all of your guides, of course.

To refresh your memory, attached is a photo from March 2018, when we last visited. It rained!



There is no way Lees Ferry Anglers can recover the lost month.  It’s gone forever.  But it’s proof that good communications with past guests and a solid message can and does work for the fly-fishing and tourism industries.   That and the fact people are simply dying to wet a line.


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