Kaitlin Barnhart

Fly fishing is an integral part of my life–it’s my passion, hobby, and career path. I’ve always treasured the therapeutic qualities found in rivers, and when I started fly fishing, it all connected for me. I take my kids fishing often, and I co-founded The Mayfly Project, a nonprofit that supports children in foster care via the sport of fly fishing, because I believe so strongly in the benefits of river-time for youth specifically. Many kids call me “The Fish Lady,” and I’m honored to have that title in my community.

Joanne Linehan

I began fly fishing when I met my husband Tim in New Hampshire in the mid 1980s. Our passion for fishing and hunting brought us to Montana, where we decided to make our passion our business. We started Linehan Outfitting Company in northwestern Montana and have been providing fly fishing, wingshooting, and big game hunting adventures to guests since 1992.

Jenny West

I was lucky enough to grow up in Montana’s beautiful Bitterroot Valley. As a young girl, I learned to fly fish from my father, and fly fishing has now become one of my life’s passions. I have been guiding on the Bitterroot River since 2002, and I am into my third season as an outfitter for my company, Go West Outfitters LLC. I work more than 100 days a season on the river, and I enjoy guiding people of all skill and experience levels. I teach them casting techniques, river-reading strategies, and how to match the hatch, in addition to sharing plenty of local Bitterroot River knowledge.

Jen Lofgren

Jen is the Western Regional Program Manager for Casting for Recovery, a nonprofit that provides free fly-fishing retreats for women with breast cancer. Jen grew up in Colorado and has been lucky enough to fish and explore throughout the mountain West. Prior to joining the Casting for Recovery National Staff, she worked for The Orvis Company, managing their retail store in Denver, Colorado. She is a former fly-fishing guide and instructor, and loves sharing her passion for fly fishing and the outdoors with others.

Evelyn King

Evelyn says that she loves everything about the sport of fly fishing – the bugs, tying flies, casting, reading the water, traveling to remote places to fish, catching new species of fish for my lifetime list and empowering other women to learn to fly fish.  She became a registered Maine Guide and a Certified Casting Instructor in order to have more tools to offer to both Casting for Recovery and to Maine women who want to learn to fish. Evelyn started the Maine Women Fly Fishers group in order to promote fishing in Maine and to empower other women to learn the sport.  “My goal is to give back to the sport that has given me so much pleasure,” she says, “and to teach others to appreciate the outdoors and their time spent on clean rivers and lakes.”

Diana Abbott

I started spin-cast fishing with my dad when I was about four years old at Lake Berryessa in Northern California. I converted to fly fishing when I was 15 years old at Lake Almanor, California. I’m in my fifth season of guiding in southwestern Montana for Sweetwater Travel Company. I am captivated by fly fishing because you never stop learning. I guide people who have fly fished for longer than I’ve been alive. But being able to provide that once-in-a-lifetime fly-fishing experience, having knowledge about where and what to fish in our local waters closes that gap a little.

Charity Rutter

In 2014, Charity Rutter was recognized by Field & Stream magazine as one of the top female fly-fishing guides in the nation. She and her husband, Ian, are the owners and guides at R & R Fly Fishing. Charity has spent countless hours as a volunteer with The Great Smoky Mountains National Park Fisheries, Trout Unlimited, Casting for Recovery and Trout in the Classroom.

A native Oklahoman, she moved to Townsend, Tennessee in 1998. She met her husband, Ian, and took up fly fishing a short time after. Captivated by the sport, Charity fished essentially non-stop for the first few years, and then started guiding in 2002. Charity and Ian have two children, Willow and Boone, who share in their fly-fishing adventures. In addition to guiding, Charity hosts backcountry fishing camps, as well as western fishing trips in Idaho and Yellowstone country. She’s also addicted to saltwater flats fishing, especially tarpon.

“I love to guide fly fishing in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park to help introduce people to fishing in wild places for wild trout,” she says. “If I can help someone have a positive experience in the wilderness, my hope is that they too, will want to protect and preserve these places that hold such beautiful rivers and trout.”

Beverly Smith

Beverly is Vice President for Volunteer Operations at Trout Unlimited, where she has been working for over a decade. Before her TU days, Beverly worked for a local conservation organization and for a short time at the Orvis Jackson Hole store, where she met her husband and many of her best friends. Marrying her two passions, conservation and fishing, she’s working her dream job helping TU volunteers across the country implement the TU mission locally. When not behind her desk or on the road for work, Beverly can be found exploring the wild country of Wyoming and Idaho with her husband, Shawn; two daughters, Virginia and Harriet; and Springer Spaniel, Pants.

Fishing, for Beverly, is much more than a sport. It’s connecting. There’s no better way to get to know someone than to spend a day on a drift boat with them. For so many of us, our best friends are our fishing friends, and Beverly is no exception. She explains that fishing connects her to nature as an active participant, something she feels results in a deeper connection than just observing it. Plus, fishing connects communities. It’s that feeling of being “at home” when you walk into a fly shop, whether that’s in West Yellowstone or in Heber Springs, Arkansas. It’s the casual conversations with folks carrying fly rods through the airport. And, it’s those early Saturday mornings picking up trash with your TU chapter on your local stream. Fishing connects us.

Ava Befus

Ava Befus has been involved in fly fishing since she was a young girl. Her family has always enjoyed the serenity of slipping away from the daily tasks and responsibilities of life to the peace of enjoying each other’s company while fishing. Today, fly fishing is still one of Ava’s favorite hobbies, alongside teaching friends and youth about the sport–so they, too, are able to enjoy an activity that can take them on many adventures, to many places, and into creation. She also enjoys being a part of her local Trout Unlimited chapter where she is able to learn about the importance of protecting the resource so that the sport of fly fishing can travel through many generations to come. One of Ava’s favorite things about fly fishing is being able to spend time in the outdoors, while creating special moments with family and friends and chasing after different species of fish which always present a new challenge, allowing her to continually learn about the sport.