Linda Leary is an Alaskan fly-fisherwoman who owns the fun and fashionable women’s clothing and accessories brand, Fishe Wear. We caught up with Linda to discuss the origins of her brand, her thoughts on encouraging women on the water, and upcoming collaborations!
Tell me more about yourself!
I moved to Alaska right after college and began working in the trucking industry. I was an owner in Carlile trucking of Alaska for over twenty years and was apart of the trucking industry for more than thirty years. Throughout the years we would bring Carlile clients to remote fishing lodges and I always found myself wearing baggy men’s clothing while fishing. In 2015, I founded Fishe Wear after years of fishing and seeing a need for women’s fishing wear that would be fun and useful.
When did you start fly-fishing?
When I was a kid in Maine, my family and I lived on a lake during the summer and my Dad fly fished every night after work. I would go out with him sometimes and fly cast from our boat. Once I came to Alaska, I was lucky to have many fishing opportunities surrounding me!
Do you have a favorite fish species?
Arctic Char are definitely my favorite fish, they are absolutely beautiful! I have been lucky enough to catch a few in remote parts of Alaska.
What is the best/worst part about having your own business?
The freedom to do what I want with my business is one of the best parts of being a business owner. I can let my creativity run free and create unique designs without anyone telling me what to do. The hardest part of being a business owner is the fact that you can’t do it all. As a creative person I am always thinking up fun ideas but I have to remember I can only do so much.
Any exciting business plans for the future?
I always am coming up with new ideas for Fishe Wear, and right now we’re continuing to grow our footprint throughout the United States and the globe. We also want to create more amazing collaborations similar to ours with Xtratuf and Orvis.
How do you share your love of fly fishing with other women?
A few years ago I purchased Women’s Fly Fishing, which used to be Pudge Kleinkaufs company. Through Women’s Fly Fishing we offer classes and trips for women to get more involved in the sport. We try to get women excited about fly fishing by offering trips around the world to Argentina, Mexico, and of course Alaska. I want to get women out on the water and introduce more women how to have a good time outdoors.
What is your favorite Fishe Wear pattern?
I love all of the Fishe Wear designs, but the Groovy Grayling and Troutrageous Rainbow designs are my favorite. I am also super excited about our new Dolly Vee design that just came out!
Do you have any messages for women interested in fly fishing?
Just go out and try it. Remember to have fun and you’ll learn as you go along!
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