Donna Smith

Westby, Wisconsin
How long have you been fly fishing?
25 years.
Favorite fly-fishing partner
PJ Smith , my personal guide and best friend. And the Shenanigans crew (you know who you are).
Favorite water to fish
The streams of the Driftless Area in Wisconsin.
Favorite species to fish for
Smallmouth bass. I love the fight!
Bucket List
Alaska for Grayling.
Top Three Fly Patterns
Elk-Hair Caddis, Pink Squirrel, and Rubber Leg Stimulator.

Donna Smith

Profession, passion, hobby, and stress reliever. Fly fishing is all of that and an Arnold Palmer. I’ve been involved in fly fishing for about 25 years, having grown up camping, canoeing, and spending time outdoors. I became interested in the sport when my husband and I took a friend fishing. When I saw him making those beautiful casts, I wanted to do that, too.

Soon after I began teaching others how to cast. I have had some great mentors help me in this learning/teaching process. I am the first woman in Illinois to become a Certified Casting Instructor through Fly Fishers International (FFI).

In 2009, I joined the crew of the Wisconsin Women’s Fly Fishing Clinics to teach women to fly fish. My friends will tell you that teaching people to cast and fish is my passion, it’s what I do. I get to do it now in my job as well. I am the Fishing Manager for the Orvis Company store in Madison, Wisconsin. I’m one of a small handful of women in this role at Orvis. Through the Fly Fishing 101 program, I get to introduce more and more people to fly fishing . I’m passionate about supporting the 50/50 on the Water program and helping women to feel more comfortable to get out and enjoy the sport that we love.