FARMINGTON — Fisheads can reel in out-of-town clients like fish, which is why the Navajo Dam business will receive an Economic Development, Growth and Excellence from Four Corners Economic Development.
The business is a fly-fishing guide service, shop and lodge on the San Juan River in Navajo Dam that opened in 2009 and has grown steadily since its beginning.
Christa Rommé, the marketing coordinator for 4CED, said the business was nominated this year because it is in the tourism industry, which is a target of the economic development group. And, she said, most of its clients are from outside of the area.
"If we can get money from outside of our area, it makes us richer," Rommé said.
Fisheads owner Chris Taylor is the lead fly-fishing guide for the business.
In 2012, he guided clients on the river for 282 days, and he's on pace to pass that mark this year. He can't say for certain, but Taylor said he may be the most active fly-fishing guide on the planet.
"My goal is to be the most well-known destination on the best river in the country," he said. "When people say they are going to fly-fish on the San Juan, that'll mean they're going to Fisheads."
Fisheads currently has nearly 20 rooms and six full-time fly-fishing guides. They contract with 10 other guides as the demand grows.
Taylor said he envisions his lodge growing to about 30 or 40 rooms. But that will be it. He says he wants to maintain a "Cheers-like" atmosphere, meaning he knows the names of everyone who uses his guide service, stays in his rooms or eats in his restaurant.
In addition to growing a business, Fisheads has become a leader of the Navajo Dam community.
Taylor and General Manager Thaddeus Cano helped reverse a New Mexico Gas Company decision to turn off natural gas services to many homes and businesses in the Navajo Dam area.
The business also recently submitted a petition to force San Juan County to hold a special election so voters can decide whether to allow beer and wine licenses to unincorporated parts of the county. That was after county commissioners opted not to hold an election. The licenses would allow the service of beer or wine with food at restaurants in unincorporated San Juan County.
"I'm proud of it," Taylor said of his role in the community. "I like standing up for what is right and fighting and winning is always good."
Ryan Boetel covers crime for The Daily Times. He can be reached at 505-564-4644 and firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter @rboetel on Twitter.