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.
Elizabeth’s passion for fly fishing began when she was a small girl playing in the rocks and pools while her father fished for trout and steelhead. Growing up in the Pacific Northwest, it was easy to fish local rivers and lakes for trout and Puget Sound for salmon, and as she grew older Elizabeth was able to get out on her own.
She wanted to spend her free time in nature, and fishing was her conduit to experience the magic of the outdoors. It was the experience that filled her soul and that she loves to share with friends, family, and fellow fishers.
Her passion for fishing inspired a move from being a communications professional in Seattle to wanting to teach more women to fish in Sun Valley, Idaho. A single mom, Elizabeth moved her two children from Seattle to Sun Valley and has been sharing the joys and experiences of exploring our local waters and catching a variety of trout species ever since. It gave her special memories with her kids and loved ones, and it introduced her to new friends. She’s seen how fishing brought out the love of a mother and daughter that were struggling before they found common ground casting to fish together, and she’s shared the delight and captured the smiles of women, men, and kids who hooked into their first fish. One of her favorite guiding trips was teaching a 90-year-old woman and her 16-year-old great granddaughter to fish at the same time—both caught fish with the entire family watching on the riverbank.
Fly fishing has taken Elizabeth to parts of the world–the Everglades and Key West in Florida, Alaska, the Bahamas, the Yucatan, Montana, Wyoming, and many others–that she might have never visited. It has opened her life in ways that continue to ripple outward. She loves when her kids come home for a few days of fishing. Someday there will be grandkids in tow, and Elizabeth is waiting to share with them this amazing way to connect with others and with nature.
Moe Newman is the owner of Journey South Outfitters in Venice, Louisiana, where she also guides. She grew up fishing primarily with conventional gear and catching some amazing species doing so, but she needed to find another way to challenge herself. In 2011, she picked up her first fly rod, starting small, with a 12-weight. LOL. Once she figured out the basics, within a few casts she hooked up to a nice 25-pound blackfin tuna for her first fish on fly. Since then, fly fishing has rejuvenated her love for fishing. She now guides more and more fly trips each season, and on her days off, she tries to chase some fish with the fly rod. It has now become the love for the chase and not so much the catch.
Fly fishing has sculpted and continues to sculpt Rachel’s life. She was fortunate enough to be born into the fishiest of fly-fishing families: to say that her grandfather was fly-fishing-obsessed is a bit of an understatement, and her father was a fly-fishing guide. Casting lessons started at age 12 in a vacant lot near Rachel’s grandfather’s, fly tying started before that, she started working in the local fly shop in exchange for gear at a very young age. Fly fishing is forever woven into her personal and professional life; to say that fly fishing is a passion feels to minimize the impact that it has had on who she has become, the life she leads, and how she plans for the future. Fly fishing is one of the constants in her life that lifts her up, pushes her forward, and shakes the world down into perspective and focus. Life on the water is her best life.
A worshiper of sandy toes and mountain air, Sascha has spent most of her life seeking water in one form or another. Her obsession led her to a career centered around the natural world. As a fisheries scientist, Sascha has focused most of her work on recreational angling, specifically the science of catch-and-release. It is the intersection between her work as a scientist and her passion as an angler that led Sascha to Keepemwet Fishing, where she is Co-Executive Director. With a belief that recreational anglers have something to learn from fisheries scientists and that scientists need to make their work accessible to a wider audience, Sascha endeavors to develop a space in which everyone can communicate more directly and in a language that can be understood by all. To learn more about her work and Keepemwet Fishing, visit keepemwet.org or you can listen to her interview with Tom Rosenbauer on the Orvis Fly Fishing Guide Podcast.
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!
Karen’s passion for the outdoors led her to fly fishing 25 years ago, fuelled by her husband, Peter.
Years of fun followed, fishing the small streams that flow from the high country of southeastern Australia before exploring farther afield to many and varied international destinations.
A 2010 fly-fishing “trout bum” holiday through South and North America led to several aspirations: to inspire more women to become involved in fly fishing in Australia, to set up a guiding and accommodation business in Tasmania, and to attain her Certified Casting Certificate with Fly Fishers International. Driftwater Lodge in Tasmania was born from that idea, and others have followed. Karen now finds herself guiding and teaching both women and men on the pristine rivers and lakes of northern Tasmania—and inspiring other females to enjoy fly fishing.
In 2016, Karen was introduced to competition fly fishing in Australia, and has since competed regularly in state and national competitions. She was selected to represent Australia at the World Masters Fly Fishing Championships in South Africa in February 2019, the first female to represent Australia for more than 30 years.
Lisa has travelled to many place–such as New Zealand, Norway, USA, Poland, and the Czech Republic, to name a few—to fly-fish. She loves tying her own flies and travelling the world, discovering new fly-fishing destinations and catching different species. One of the things she loves most about fly-fishing is that there is always something to learn. Lisa works full-time for the family business, which sells aftermarket parts for Harley Davidson’s & Custom Motorcycles.
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.
Malorie grew up in the woods, and was already equipped with a big love of hiking, camping, and nature, in general. A good friend introduced her to fly fishing about six years ago, and it just naturally wriggled into her already outdoorsy lifestyle. That natural integration turned into the healthiest obsession. She has learned so much, and continues to learn–whether it be about fishing or about herself–every time she steps into a river. She’s so lucky to live in Nova Scotia, which is a fly angler’s paradise and a playground for the outdoor enthusiast!