Natalie Cullum

Fly Fishing came into my life a short two years ago. A friend of mine convinced me that fishing was something I needed to try. He took the time to show me the basics of casting, explained the evolution of flies, and by the end of the day I had caught a fish–sealing the deal that fishing is something I want to keep doing…all the time. My dad eventually passed down his rod and reel, and set me up with a pair of waders and boots, giving me access to water that I hadn’t had before.

Two years ago, when my love for fishing started, I was in the thick of my college career. Studying Outdoor Product Design and Development, I had the opportunity to explore the sport of fly fishing further, but on the product-design and -development side of things. My senior year, I ended up designing and making a pair of women-specific waders, which got me noticed by one of the designers at the Orvis Company. A couple of months later, I landed my dream job: becoming a product designer for Fish and Hunt for Orvis.

For me, fly fishing is a way to escape the hustle of life, enjoy nature, and connect with people on a deeper level. Fly fishing has changed the course of my adult life, and I truly appreciate all of the people and experiences it has brought me.

Meris McHaney

I was lucky enough to have a dad who wanted to share the extraordinary sport of fly fishing with his kids. Every weekend in high school, we would drive three hours down to the Texas Coast to chase redfish. It wasn’t until I started college that I saw the impact fly fishing had had on me. I had a stronger connection with my dad, had more self-confidence and patience, and truly understood what it meant to work hard at something and see it pay off. Fly fishing is a passion of mine, but I’d like to think it is so much more than that. It has brought me my best friends, taken me to new places on this earth, given me a few tan lines here and there, and has shown me how incredible this planet we call home truly is.

During my time in college, I have done as much as I can to give back to the sport that has given so much to me. I’m the President of my university’s Trout Unlimited chapter. I’m proud to be a part of the Fish for Change program. I make short films about the impact fly fishing can have on you to try and further the participation in the sport. If more people fly-fished, more people would care about and fight to save our environment.

Sutton Barrus

I first got into fly fishing when my husband and I started dating. Fly fishing is his biggest passion. Initially, I just wanted to show some interest in what he liked, so I asked him to teach me. It has grown into a love of mine, as well. Now it is something that we get to do together and challenge each other in the sport!

Patricia Birchfield

I learned how to fly-fish just few years ago. Coming from a big city–Caracas, Venezuela–I was never exposed to fly fishing until I moved to Colorado and met my husband. He taught me and instilled that passion for fly fishing, on rivers in Colorado and Wyoming. Now we enjoy fishing together–not only locally, but also abroad in fun places like Mexico, Alaska, and Scotland.

Jack Buccola

Jack is 12 years old and loves to fish for steelhead on the swing. Steelheading is a passion for both Jack and his dad. Jack was introduced to fishing at a young age and has loved fishing ever since.

Leslie Giesey

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.

Caylin Delaroy

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 Nelson

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.

Cuyler Vesely

Cuyler works in emergency medicine as an EMT, and she found that she needed an outlet–a way to clear her mind, calm her down, and get her outside more often. Fly fishing has allowed her to grow as a person in ways that she couldn’t imagine. Cuyler lives for the fresh air, for the beautiful colors of the fish, and for the amazing community that involves fly fishing and conservation. She’s been fly fishing her whole life, but really fell in love with it about a year ago. It’s strengthened relationships, and she’s able to share so many aspects of fly fishing with the people she loves in my life.

Cory Mclaughlin

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.