Fly fishing fits into Kaitlin Boyer’s life like a piece of a puzzle that she didn’t know was missing. It’s a religion, a temple, a passion, a therapist, a friend, a way to connect with her significant other, a career, a profession, and a creative outlet. To reset, she spends her free time on the river bank. She captures her fishing journeys with her camera, and writes about them in hopes of getting published. In the summer, she gets up before dawn to take people fly fishing and teach them how to catch fish, and in turn gets money to provide for her family. The friends and the memories she’s made have come with many casts, bad net jobs, and fish that made the day. All in all, fly fishing isn’t a hobby, or just a job, it’s the air Kaitlin breathes.
Elsa Espino is a fly fisherwoman and an outdoor photographer based in New York City. She loves to break the barriers of male-dominated cultures and empower women to do the same! Elsa is an avid traveler (although I’ve been in NYC for some time) and is hoping to someday travel around the world.
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.
Born and raised in Montana, KynsLee’s life has been shaped by the outdoors. In 2008, she moved to Missoula to attend the University of Montana, where her guiding career took off. Since 2010, she has been with Blackfoot River Outfitters, where she developed their Women’s and Instructional Programs. Her guiding seasons are shared between trout in Montana and steelhead in Washington State. Her passion is her career, and she can be found guiding, making wine, and playing across the Pacific North West with her better half.
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!”
Fly fishing isn’t just a hobby for Emily Mauri and her husband, Capt. Michael Mauri; it’s their family business. Laying down permanent roots in Florida just under three years ago, they have worked hard to build an affordable, diverse service that attracts fly-fishermen and women from around the globe. While Emily leaves the guiding to her husband, she is well versed on the business side and enjoys finding creative ways to make their trips unique. On days off of work, you will find the Mauri clan, including 13-year-old daughter Emma, on the water fly-fishing.
Growing up fly fishing throughout South Florida, Heather has always had a love for education and conservation. After spending this past summer helping to lead student programs at Fly Fish Guanajain Honduras, she landed her dream job: Director of Programs and Fundraising for Fish for Change, a startup International nonprofit she is helping to create. The organization’s mission is to develop sustainable student cultural-immersion programs at fly fishing lodges around the world. During the summer, high school and college kids have the opportunity to fly-fish in remote places while giving back to the environment and surrounding communities. Each program is based on unique local projects and fisheries,but they always follow the four Fish for Change pillars–Connection, Education, Conservation, and Exploration. In 2019, summer Programs will be taking place in Honduras, The Bahamas, Mexico, and Colorado. If you, or someone you know, may benefit from one of the programs and are interested in getting involved, visit fishforchange.org.
Kelly E. Buchta is a relentless and enthusiastic volunteer who dedicates her time and passion to organizing, leading, and fostering diversity in the fly-fishing world. She is the New Jersey representative to the Trout Unlimited National Leadership Council, as well as the Northeast Regional VP and Women’s Initiative Coordinator for the TU NJ State Council. She also serves as the Diversity Initiative Workgroup chair. In addition, Kelly is the Board President of the Catskill Fly Fishing Center and Museum and a partner in Dette Flies, located in Livingston Manor, New York. When she’s not teaching literature, she is either tying classic wet flies or smiling in a stream somewhere in the Northeast, particularly the Catskills.