From the time I was five years old, I grew up fishing every day after school in my backyard in Alabama with my dad. Fishing was in my blood. My dad is an avid fly fisherman, and has been fly fishing since the 80’s, so he is an excellent instructor. My husband and I have been married about six years, and he also grew up fishing. Since we have been married, we have been fortunate to take many fishing trips with my dad. From Montana to Northern California to the Blue Ridge Mountains in Georgia, each place carries its own beauty and shared memories among the three of us. We love to catch fish, but it’s mostly about being out in the beauty and quiet of nature with special people while making memories that will last forever.
Born and raised in central New Jersey, I have always been an outdoorsy kind of person–enjoying everything from hiking, to running 5ks, to taking photographs, to fly fishing. Two years ago, I moved to the beautiful Catskills of New York, and now get to fish every single day. Half my day I wear scrubs, and the other half I wear waders.
I fly fish with my dad and any girl my age who wants to learn. I love fly fishing with my grandma in the Adirondacks. I think you could say fly fishing is my passion. I started when I was four. I like to tie flies and share what I have learned with other girls my age.
Until recently, I did not know how to cast a fly rod, mend a line, or set a hook. After losing several fish and receiving some very important coaching, I landed a brown trout that hooked me on a new hobby. It was a challenging fight, but I eventually landed a 24.5-inch brown on a nymph on the White River of Arkansas. As my time on the river continued, I was able to improve my fishing ability and even developed a passion for this peaceful and challenging sport. This first trip was only the beginning of my fly-fishing story, and I will never forget landing that river monster.
The Winters are long here in Alberta, and when we finally get a few decent months of warm weather, my husband and I try to spend as much of it as possible on the water fly-fishing. We both work full time and spend a lot of time coordinating our calendars to maximize our days off together so we can get out fishing. Although we’re fairly new to the sport, it has quickly become my favorite summer hobby, and we now even try to plan our winter escapes to destinations where we can try to fish new species.
My perfect day of fishing here at home starts when we wake up to the early morning sun, enjoy a cup of coffee around the fire, and then head out for a day of hiking through forests and canyons, wading through river beds and over waterfalls to get to our favorite pools. The scenery here is second only to watching the fish rise, and feeling that familiar tug on the fly line. These days out on the water with my husband are something out of a fairy tale, and I feel so blessed to be able to enjoy this sport and call these waters home.
Fly fishing grabbed my attention through the competitive nature of the sport; when I miss a hit, I’m laser-focused on making the connection the next time. But, I got hooked on fly fishing because of the beautiful places I’ve experience and the incredible people I have met in the angling community. As cliche as it sounds, being on the water is my happy place. It allows for decompression from daily life and helps me feel more connected to my environment. I fish every day I can, sometimes racing out to the water after work trying to beat the setting sun. Even if I can only get a few casts in, fly-fishing instantly makes me happier.
Fly fishing is more than just catching fish. It’s a way for me to connect with and feel empowered by other women. It’s a stress-relief outlet, where the focus required makes it easy to forget about the day-to-day stressors. On the other hand, it’s frustrating and an endless journey of learning, failing, and sometimes succeeding.
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.
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.
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!