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.