Profile: Leitner Designs Ambassador Austin Campbell
Leitner Designs invited Austin Campbell to become a brand ambassador in 2022/ Since then, Campbell has grown both his personal brand as well Leitner’s through his work as a fly-fishing guide with Trouts Fly Fishing and his non-profit Community Fly Fishing.
Since it’d been a while since we’d caught up with Campbell, we gave him a call to give us an update on his life, fishing, non-profit, and his Leiter-outfitted Raptor.
Campbell grew up in Kansas and Colorado. It was in these states he solidified his love for fly fishing. However, that passion was taken to another level when he attended Penn State where he ran track while earning a degree in finance.
As luck would have it, Campbell discovered some of his fellow teammates were also avid fly fishermen. What’s more, the campus was 45 minutes away from a handful of incredible rivers. Though he hadn’t planned for fly fishing to be a major part of his academic career, Campbell would spend as much time as he could on the rivers of Pennsylvania.
Pennsylvania offered access to more than incredible rivers, Campbell was also able to take classes from George Daniel, who’d learned from Pennsylvania fly-fishing legend Joe Humphreys.
Returning home to Colorado after graduation, Campbell and his brother founded the non-profit Community Fly Fishing. Its mission is to expose Denver’s underserved and communities of color to Colorado’s natural spaces.
“There's so many folks in Denver that have never been to the mountains,” Campbell said. “Denver is only a 15-20 minute drive from the mountains — from complete solitude. So, giving these folks that access, giving them that opportunity, is really important to us. We want to pique the interest of people and get them outdoors as well.”
Initially the Campbells capped their classes at nine individuals. Due to demand, that cap expanded to 20 then 35, forcing the brothers to add more volunteer instructors and collecting more donated gear. The events grew so fast that the Campbells had to bring in food trucks from the Denver area to keep everyone fed.
If guiding for Trouts Fly Fishing and exposing Denverites to the outdoors with Community Fly Fishing didn’t keep Campbell busy enough, his wife and he also founded an executive search and placement firm, Diverse Talent, that strives to facilitate the hiring, and furthering the careers, of diverse people.
As Diverse Talent grows and the firm is able to bring on more people to help, Campbell hopes to spend more time guiding. And he does that from his Leitner Designs-outfitted 2011 Ford F-150 Raptor SVT.
“I call it the apartment,” Campbell laughs when we ask about his Leitner setup. “I've got everything I need. I've got all my fly fishing, tackle, and waiters and boots right there. It's been a great organization tool, honestly, and especially for my kind of lifestyle. Always being on the go, it's been really nice to really utilize it. In Denver right now, they're breaking into cars like crazy. But I've been locking everything in my Leitner Design GearPODs. And they haven't gotten into those. So, that’s been a life-saver.”
No doubt, we are proud to be associated with all of our Brand Ambassadors. Young guys like Austin Campbell are the ones who we are most appreciative of, though. Being able to work with an expert fly-fisherman willing to rep the Leitner brand is one thing. However, aligning with a guy like Campbell who gives back and does so much good both inside the fly-fishing community and out is a real honor.
If you’d like to learn more about Austin Campbell or book him as your fly-fishing guide, you can find him on instagram @campbellflyfishing