Lise is the owner and founder of Maven Fly, an outdoor apparel company for women. She is also the Marketing Director at Casting for Recovery, a nonprofit organization focused on providing fly-fishing experiences for women with breast cancer. In addition, Lise is currently serving on the American Fly Fishing Trade Association Board and her local Trout Unlimited Chapter Board. It’s a big, busy life, and every day is a new adventure!
Jess McGlothlin sees her mission as a simple one: tell stories. Working as a freelance photographer and writer in the fly-fishing and outdoor industries, she was once the Orvis Outdoor Copywriter and now works with a variety of brands and publications. It’s never boring— while on assignment in the past few years she’s learned how to throw spears at coconuts in French Polynesia, dodge saltwater crocodiles in Cuba, stand-up-paddleboard down Peruvian Amazon tributaries, eat all manner of unidentifiable food, and fish for some truly incredible species. See more of her work at Jess McGlothin Media.
Fly-fishing has exposed Chrissy Atkins to a beautiful network of folks across the country and around the world who love nothing more than sharing their passion with others and protecting the resources they enjoy.
When she first moved to Vermont, a co-worker convinced her to attend a meeting of the local Trout Unlimited chapter, where she eventually served as President and Treasurer and was able to bring friends like Jackie Kutzer into the fold.
Chrissy and Jackie have been teaching classes together for years, and Chrissy loves working with her to inspire and celebrate women in fly-fishing as co-leaders of the 50/50 on the Water initiative. Along with their co-workers and friends, Amanda Gibson and Abbie Mahurin, they’ve formed a women’s fly-fishing group in the Northeast (a chapter of Braided), to help bring female anglers together both on and off the water. Abbie and Chrissy are also working to start a program in Vermont for the Mayfly Project to help mentor foster children through fly-fishing. (They’re looking for more mentors if you’re interested!).
All of these women are at the point in their journeys where they get just as much joy out of teaching others and watching them fall in love with the sport as they do when they’re the ones holding the rod.
I’ve been fishing for as long as I can remember and wanted to be a professional bass fisherman when I was a kid. That career didn’t pan out, but now I get to teach hundreds of people how to fly-fish each year. Having worked in several fly shops around the country, I’ve been able to experience many types of water and fisheries. I’m happy to live in a state that has world class fishing everywhere!
Heather is the founder of United Women on the Fly. She is an expert at making anglers (especially women) feel comfortable and becoming a part of the fly-fishing community. Sometimes referred to as the “Middle Woman,” Heather volunteers her energy and time to connect women, help start a Women’s Program, or enable anglers to become more confident on the water. Heather currently holds the position of Western US Women’s/Diversity Ambassador for Trout Unlimited. Her passion for conservation and for getting women involved in fly fishing are infectious.
Marina Gibson was lucky enough to spend a lot of her childhood chasing salmon, trout, and sea trout. Lots of people ask her, “Did your Dad get you into fishing?” but it was her mother who instilled in her a passion for time on the water with a rod in hand. Marina is a proud ambassador for Orvis UK, Atlantic Salmon Trust, and Fishing For Schools. She’s also a certified Fly Fishers International (CI) Instructor and 1st4sport Level 2 coach, and in August 2018, she competed in her first Fy-Casting World Championships. Marina currently holds the UK record for the Ladies 15′.1″ Spey distance.
Although fishing is her job now, she still sees it as one of the most mindful sports you can do – the art of fly fishing requires complete concentration, total absorption, and is both exhilarating and relaxing. It is how she finds calm. Marina’s biggest love at the moment is teaching children: “I come back after a session feeling on top of the world. Whoever said never work with children or animals was so wrong about that!”
I have been fly-fishing for more than 30 years, and still look forward to any chance I get to step into a river or flat to fish. I started fly-fishing when I was 20 because I fell for a guy who loved to fly-fish. If I wanted to spend any time with him, I needed to figure out how to do it. (He wasn’t a great instructor, by the way. I certainly didn’t fall in love with the sport immediately because of the frustration caused by casting, the insane knots (not the kind you tie, but the kind you untangle), line control, fly selection, tippet size. . . I could go on and on. I still understand why folks are so intimidated by this sport: there’s a lot going on in fly fishing. But I know now that’s it’s so worth all those hassles and frustrations.
I overcame most of the hurdles in fly fishing and came to love it. I moved to Missoula, Montana, shortly after graduate school and knew I would never leave. Missoula is a fly-fishing Mecca, with over 400 river miles to fish within an hour’s drive of town. What’s not to love?
I now own Blackfoot River Outfitters in Missoula with John Herzer (the guy who stayed with me through all stages of my fly-fishing story). We take lots of folks on our rivers who have never fly-fished and want to experience this incredible sport. My “job” provides fulfillment and happiness in knowing that the people we introduce to fly fishing will experience something unlike anything they’ve ever experienced before, and I’m not even talking about the trout they may or may not catch. Fly fishing is so much more than that.
I’m lucky and grateful in so many ways, but sometimes I think I’m mostly grateful that I became an angler. The ability to grab my rod and run out to the river for even an hour of fly fishing is something I cherish.