Leslie up fly-fishing on her local waters in Pennsylvania. As an adult, she has built a career around the places she loves to fish. She is a travel nurse, spending each summer working in Yellowstone National Park, so she can spend her free time fly-fishing–which has been her passion for as long as she can remember.
Fly fishing is still relatively new for Caylin, but really plays a large role in her life now. Her fiancé, Kyle, took her fly fishing for the very first time in the summer of 2015. When she first started fly fishing, Kyle showed a lot of patience with me, and he still loved Caylin even after she lost all of his flies in the trees!
It wasn’t until summer 2019 that Caylin had her breakthrough with fly fishing. Prior, fly fishing was a hobby that she participated in casually. Now, it has turned into an enthusiasm where she finds herself going out almost everyday in the summer. While Kyle has been Caylin’s support and guide (literally!) all this time, she feels that she has finally gained more confidence in herself and my her casting skills to fly-fish more independently. As her confidence has grown in the sport, so has her passion.
Caylin says, “I see and love all the female anglers that are a part of this sport who are advocating to get more women into it. It is my hope that my story of overcoming my initial lack of confidence is something that can inspire other ladies who are new to the sport. We all have to start somewhere!”
Erica is a self-taught fly fisher who started the summer of 2016 when she moved to Lander, Wyoming, to become a NOLS whitewater instructor. Having moved to a new state, she started looking for new hobbies. One day, she borrowed a fly rod and watched some YouTube videos. After many tangles and lost flies, she started her Instagram account @AwkwardAngler to branch out and meet people who were willing to teach and answer questions, and eventually found a mentor. Erica is now an ambassador for @BrownFolksFishing, an Instagram community that cultivates the visibility, representation, and inclusion of people of color in fishing and its industry. Erica has observed that, for those who didn’t grow up fly fishing or having access to mentors, there are many barriers to becoming involved in fly fishing. From understanding land boundaries–where you can and cannot fish, indigenous water rights, or lack thereof–to what is a tippet, how to tie on flies, what is up with rod weights and varying line types. Learning a new language doesn’t come easy for all, and she uses her account to increase awareness and education around these topics, infused with humor.
Fly fishing came into Cory’s life full-force about five years ago, when she lived in Colorado and worked at a dude ranch. She quickly became infatuated with the sport and hasn’t stopped since. Cory has been lucky enough to catch some amazing fish in some amazing places and has managed to think up quite a bucket list of fish and places to go next. In her real life, she trains, shows, and sells horses for a living. This job takes her all over the U.S. and to other countries, as well. When Cory is not riding or is done with her day, you will find her either fishing in the rivers nearby (if there are some) or looking up the stats on the rivers around me to find the ideal fishing spots. I’m very lucky to live this life where I get to be outdoors all the time with my two passions easily fitting in my day-to-day routine.
Faith Briggs moved to Portland, Oregon, from Brooklyn, New York and immediately fell in love with fly-fishing upon getting involved with Soul River Inc., a non-profit organization that brings veterans and inner-city youth together into the outdoors through fly fishing and conservation education. A runner and cyclist, she found fishing a very different kind of recreation, but an amazing reminder to slow down and reconnect with the life cycles around her. The opportunity to travel to Kamchatka, Russia, with Columbia Sportswear definitely spoiled her for the rest of her life, but she recently caught her first Oregon trout and that was just as special. Faith is a Brown Folks Fishing ambassador and very proud to be reclaiming space and representing a legacy of diverse folks spending time immersed in our nation’s beautiful rivers. Both her grandparents were avid anglers and it’s been exciting for her to reconnect with that family tradition.
Unofficially hooked on fishing as a kid chasing bluegills in Virginia lakes, Jennifer’s military-brat upbringing had her putting line in waters from Florida to Maine much of her life. Now officially hooked on fly fishing after an early summer trip on the Gunnison River in 2018, she jumps at all opportunities to target fish in the nearby Pacific, San Diego area bays and lakes, streams of the Sierras, and any southwestern waters she reaches in her travels. Still developing her network of fly-fishing pals, Jennifer launched the SoCal Women on the Fly Facebook group in Fall 2018 and, with the support of its membership, tries to schedule quarterly get-togethers for women in the region. In addition to her multi-adventure-sport background, fly fishing keeps Jennifer even more connected to a variety of amazing, natural places.
While they were living in Santa Fe in the ‘90s, Wendy’s husband, Tom, introduced her to fly fishing, which quickly became a true passion. Along with being an avid angler, she is also a silversmith, now living in the Berkshires in western Massachusetts and working out of a studio that is located in the hay loft of an old, renovated barn. Wendy feels very lucky to have been able to combine her two favorite passions. She handcrafts sterling-silver belt buckles, key chains, bracelets, cuff links and charms with fish, fly-fishing, and island themes. She loves both cold stream trout fishing and the thrill of saltwater angling. Over the years, Wendy has become involved in several inspirational organizations that deeply care about our environment and angling culture, including Casting for Recovery, United Women on the Fly, Stripers Forever, and the American Museum of Fly Fishing.
Samantha grew up barefoot in the woods and fishing Lake Erie with the greatest man on Earth, her dad. It’s because of him that she grew so passionate about nature and has continued her love for this sport over the years. It wasn’t until Samantha moved to Florida, however, that she discovered the thrill (and challenge) of saltwater fly fishing. She finds something therapeutic about simply casting a fly rod – but something even more rewarding about watching a snook carefully examine her fly before crushing it on the surface. Throughout her relatively new fly-fishing journey, every rejection, fumbled cast, and hook-up has taught her patience, perseverance, and a genuine respect for the ecosystems she’s fishing in. Whether she’s fishing the docks for laid up snook, cruising the beaches for rolling tarpon, or scanning the flats for tailing redfish, there’s always something to look forward to – and someone special to share the moment with. When the fishing’s not great, you can find Samantha and her other half waist-deep in Big Cypress alongside her favorite animals on Earth, alligators and snakes.
McKenzie Ensminger is from Peabody, Kansas, and she graduated from the University of Kansas with a Sport Management degree. McKenzie has been adventuring outdoors as long as she can remember, and her dad recently got her into fly fishing. She is still learning, but she enjoys being out outdoors as much as possible!
When Sara was a young girl, she was introduced to fishing by her grandmothers, around the age of 6 or so. It was a special activity that she shared with both of them–one lived in Montana and one in Alabama–so she got a taste for different types and environments for fishing at a young age. Then when visits to see grandma started to give way to college and jobs, Sara found herself fishing less and less. After her grandmothers passed away, she reminisced about all the fishing they had done together and decided it was time to create more fishing memories on her own. So she picked up fly fishing at the ripe old age of 31 and hasn’t stopped practicing casting yet.