In honor of International Women’s Day, we want to highlight the incredible women who have contributed to Flylords and are out there on the water pursuing their passion. Here are our favorite pieces from female Flylords Contributors:
Women on the Water Series
First Woman in 44 Years to Obtain State and USFS Guide Tags on Pere Marquette River
Meet Ashley, a Michigan-based angler, artist, podcaster, friend, teacher, and the first woman guide to obtain both State and USFS guide tags on the Pere Marquette River in over 40 years. After leaving her corporate job to pursue her passion for fly fishing two years ago, Ashley has already paved the way for women in the industry to step into their power and embrace the journey with a contagiously positive attitude and refreshingly fun perspective on what it means to be an angler and guide.
Changing Currents: How College Students are Changing Fly Fishing
Camping and fishing in the middle of a rainstorm wouldn’t usually be my idea of fun. But the Montana State Fly Fishing Club doesn’t let anyone rain on their parade. At the beginning of October, the Bozo Trout Bums held their semi-annual Women’s Fly Fishing trip on the Missouri River. This trip was designed to teach beginner anglers the skills they need to be independent and successful on the water. The student’s enthusiasm and love for fly fishing, mentorship, and community were contagious and inspiring. There were dance parties on the river bank, high-fives shared from boat to boat, hoots, and hollers of excitement, and the occasional “What fly are you using?” shouted across the river with an honest answer to follow…
Women on the Water: Keani Taketa
Keani Taketa is a fly fishing guide out of Missoula, Montana. She believes guiding is a lifelong learning journey and is always looking for opportunities to improve her fishing and guiding skills. She isn’t afraid to ask questions or ask for help; this quality alone has allowed her to progress immensely in her fly fishing career. Flylords had the opportunity to chat with her recently.
10-Year-Old Piper Lands Grand Slam in the Florida Keys
Last summer 10-year-old Piper and her father PJ seemingly pulled off the impossible, Piper caught a Florida Keys Grand Slam at 10 years of age! Piper and her Father won a casting lesson with Nathan Linville from the Mill House Podcast and decided to get a day on the water with Simon Becker after the lesson. From there Piper went on to catch a permit, bonefish, and tarpon in one day, in the Florida Keys! This is not at all an easy task for anyone who has fished down in the Keys, the fish are smart, selective, and stubborn at times. We caught up with Piper to learn more about her day on the water and what went into the success, check out the full interview below.
Costa Behind the Guides: Paula Shearer
In this installment of our “Costa Behind the Guides” feature, we’ll be headed Northward to the pinnacle of the Rocky Mountain Range: Calgary, Alberta. There, we’ll be sitting down with our friend, and distinguished fly-fishing guide, Paula Shearer, to talk about all goings-on that has to do with managing one’s own outfitting company, as well as what it takes to control the fishing fate of eager anglers on snowy Canadian mornings.
Boots on the Ground: Tracy Brown
Women on the Water: Mia Sheppard
Mia owns and operates an outfitter with her husband Marty, is the mother to a 14-year-old, and is a passionate advocate for her local rivers. We were able to get out on the water with Mia and her 14-year-old daughter Tegan for a memorable day on the Deschutes River. Check out the interview below to learn more about Mia including her experience owning and operating an outfitter, getting her daughter on the water, and some of the advocacy work she does.
Faces of Fly Fishing: Kayla Lockhart
Boots on the Ground: Jessica Strickland
For this Boots on The Ground series, we head to Truckee, California to meet with Jessica Strickland and get involved with a gravel restoration project. Jessica is Trout Unlimited’s California Inland Trout Program Director. Follow along to learn more about Jessica and some of the projects she’s working on.
Women on the Water: Audrey Wilson
Artist Spotlight: Abby Wynia
We sat down with artist Abby Wynia, an artist and fish ecologist from Ontario, Canada. Alongside her important scientific work in Canada’s fisheries, Abby creates incredible wood burnings and paintings of the fish species she interacts with. Read below to learn more about Abby’s background in the outdoors, their passion for fish and conservation, and her amazing artwork.
Artist Spotlight: Ashley Weber
Behind the Lens: Phoenix
Phoenix isn’t about some far-off destination or some exotic species. It’s a story that hits a little closer to home. It’s about Katie Fielder Anderson and her love for her daughter Phoenix, her passion for fly fishing, and her willingness to take a leap of faith in order to pursue her passion and inspire her daughter to one day do the same. A mom named Katie Fiedler, a mom of a daughter named Phoenix, a mom whose passion is fly fishing, a mom whose story tells a leap of faith in order to inspire her 4-year-old with a shared passion: Fly Fishing.
When I was learning to fly fish, I mistakenly believed I needed a boyfriend to teach me. I met a boy who owned a raft, knew the very best fishing holes, and was cute enough. He’d do the trick. But just as I was learning to cast and way past falling hopelessly in love, I broke him off so to speak.
I was left with a 6 wt rod, a handful of dry flies, and a burning desire to fish. Heartbreak aside, I would learn to fly fish gosh-darn-it. I am no damsel in distress! Soon after the breakup, I went to the river only to find I had no idea how to rig up a rod, select a fly or read water– he had always done that for me.
Fishing BC: Meadow Lake Tranquility with Paula Shearer
Fishing BC made yet another beautiful video featuring Paula Shearer lake fishing in Caribou Country. Paula stayed at the Meadow Lake Lodge and fished for rainbow trout in this pristine part of British Columbia. Caribou Country is located in the middle of BC and offers lake and river fishing amidst amazing scenery. To learn more about Paula’s trip and her unique loon encounter, check out our interview with her below.
Palometa or permit have always been high on my fish bucket list and this was my first saltwater fly fishing experience to try to bring that dream to fruition. To say the least I was nervous would be a major understatement. I was terrified.
I not only wanted to prove to myself that I could do this, but I also wanted to do this for all my fellow female anglers, to remind ourselves that ‘we can’.
“We were driving down the beach on our way to go “surfing” when I screamed to my friend to slam on the brakes. A school of twenty or more permit had their backs out of the water in the surf feeding in the incoming tide…”
“Catch up with Patagonia Ambassador, Kate Crump. Kate is a fly-fishing guide, mentor to fly women, and an all-around great individual. She is also pioneering some incredible things in the Northwest Region of the U.S…”
“Chasing winter steelhead has presented an entirely different set of challenges than any other fishing I have yet to experience. Once you get used to casting with what feels like a dumbbell on the end of your line, the fishing part itself is easy; cast, mend, repeat…”
It wasn’t until a cold morning on an Olympic Peninsula river with my friend and guide, Andy Simon, that it really hit me. I had just hooked and lost another steelhead when he turned to me and said, “Natalie, when you feel that tug you have to stop trout setting and you have to set it like you mean it or they will spit the hook every time…”
“Before fly fishing came to me I had heard of the fish Steelhead trout but knew nothing about it except for old fishing tales my dad talked of. Being born and raised in Seattle my favorite fishing used to be the endless species inhabiting Elliot Bay. When I cast my first fly rod that all changed…”
So here’s to all of the incredible women out there chasing fish and sharing their love of the sport of fly fishing with the world. Tight lines!