December 2012

Fly Fishing Characters: Online to Offline

by Rebecca on December 12, 2012

in Fly Fishing

The end of the year is quickly winding down and my visits to the river have all but ceased.

Every year in December, I soothe my lack of water time with reflections of a year spent living my life as I’ve designed. The experiences I’ve had really come into focus and I start collecting on all my roll over memories until Spring comes.

I’ve stock piled a ton of fly fishing adventures this year that haven’t been documented here on this old blog of mine, but rather than talk fish, what I really feel compelled to write about is the people I had the privilege of Fly Fishing with this year. All of them.

While I wander the online world of blogs, people and fly fishing community, I’m always curious about the person behind the computer screen. I think we can get a general ‘impression’ of what a person is like through their written words and photos, but one never knows how well preconceived notions will match up face to face.

Since I’ve had the opportunity to jump from computer screen to in person with so many amazing people lately, I’m inclined to write about them on a personal level. That’s the thing about hanging out with Fly Fishing Bloggers, Everything is fair game…

For all the people I’ve fished with this year, yes, this means I’m going to write about you.
I’m a firm believer in Just Do It and Ask for Forgiveness Later…

Today, I’m putting just one person on the spot.

Chris Hunt: 

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAI think there’s a general rule out there when it comes to fishing with someone. You get one shot and if you don’t jive together, chances are you’ll never fish with them again.

Chris and I musta passed the mutual test…(despite showing him my bad side the first time)…because we fished again this summer during the Trout Unlimited Yellowstone Blogger Tour for a solid week.

Chris is the National Director of Communications for Trout Unlimited, and he writes the Fly Fishing blog Eat More Brook Trout. He authored the book Shin Deep: A Fly Fisher’s Love For Moving Water.

Chris also travels the world promoting Conservation, he goes to Washington D.C. to advocate for causes and he seems to know just about everyone and more in the Fly Fishing Industry.

The good news, for me, is I didn’t know or realize all that the first time I fished with him. A conversation I had with someone shortly after that first time:

Someone: Were you nervous or intimidated fishing with Chris considering all the influence he holds in the Fly Fishing world?
Me: Umm… I guess not, he just seemed like a regular guy to me.
Someone: You do realize a ton of guys would give up their best fly rod to spend a whole day on the river with him, right?
Me: Well…again, I guess not…
Someone: *Laughs*

Chris netting a Monster Lake Trout with a big old grin of Accomplishment

Chris netting a Monster Lake Trout with a big old grin of Accomplishment

I suppose the reason I didn’t realize the influence Chris had in Fly Fishing is because you’d never know it from talking with  him or hanging out with him. Maybe he is the Peter Parker/Spiderman of the Fly Fishing world and he just knows how to handle the ‘with great power comes great responsibility‘ with grace.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAWhen I fished with Chris this summer, my first impression of him remained. He’s just a regular guy who is passionate about fly fishing, conservation and connecting with like minded individuals.

No ego, no airs, nothing to raise an eyebrow at…if anything, the only thing larger than life about Chris is his size and personality. At around 6’5″ with a dose of fantastic charisma to match, he can charm a room full of guys and gals.

I say a room full of gals because I witnessed that ability a few months ago at a Women’s Fly Fishing club…

He has a great sense of humor and a belly laugh that is contagious. If you ever get a chance to fish with Chris, be sure to bring your A-game in jokes because he loves a solid punch line.

For all Chris’s worldly fishing experiences, connections and alike, what people might not know about him is that he enjoys fishing alone, exploring tiny off the beaten track streams and creeks.

His close proximity to Yellowstone gives him plenty of water to explore and this summer while we were driving around, I don’t think we passed a piece of water…3 feet wide to 30 feet wide…that Chris didn’t point out and tell us how it fished.

Photo By Steve Zakur

Photo By Steve Zakur

I’ve really enjoyed getting to know Chris over the last 2 years. I’ve fished in tight quarters with him where we’ve chatted it up between casts and I’ve spent an entire afternoon with him working our way up a stream hardly speaking at all.

If you get the chance, I highly recommend spending the day on the water with Chris.

Get on his good side and call him Sasquatch, he likes that…a lot

Thank you Chris, for everything.


Fly Fishing Ventures

by Rebecca on December 10, 2012

in Fly Fishing

I’ve been blogging for a little over 3 years now.

During that time I’ve read countless posts discussing the topic/issue/debate/opinions regarding Women in Fly Fishing. Most of the posts out there are positive, a couple are negative and for the most part they seem focused on the female significance/influence in fly fishing.

To be honest, when people are discussing “female significance” in Fly Fishing, I find myself sorta embarrassed it’s even a topic and have never really commented on the whole notion.

I get it though. The curiosity. The interest. However, none of it is in my control or even a concern because at the end of the day, as always, I just fly fish.

With that being said, what I have found over the years is a certain lack of information in the fly fishing world from the female perspective and experience.

So why would I want a specific resource for the ladies? It’s not that I don’t adore all the information I gleam from the male fly fishing bloggers and sites out there. Good stuff indeed! But it would have been helpful, especially in my earlier days of fly fishing, if I had had an information source that was a bit more geared to women.

Fly Fishing is indeed male dominated, and that’s never held me back any, but when you are a lady and you’re looking for gender specific information that could help answer questions you might have, that water is pretty skinny out there.

Questions like: Can I use and wear all the gear made for men? Back when I first started fly fishing I had no idea, I just fumbled along and figured things out along the way. My answer to that question now — Yep. Been there, done that for 15 years and it worked for me.

But these days, if there’s an alternative made for women specifically, I’d like to know about it, read other ladies opinions and possibly try them.

::Side Note: When I read recently someone bemoaning the fact women in fly fishing want ‘special clothes’ I admit it,  I was mildly irritated. To that I say, Sir…until you have curves, a shapely ass, hips and boobs, your opinion on whether or not I deserve to wear clothes made for my body type is a wee bit invalid.

At the end of the day, if it’s more comfortable to wear waders made specifically for a women’s body, I don’t see how that degrades my fly fishing nor do I see how that makes me a super special snowflake that needs the industry to cater to my needs. …and if I finish my thoughts I’ll have to pay a penance and I’m saving up good points for Santa right now. End Side Note::

Anyway, I’ll repress further personal commentary on that subject (see how good I am Santa!) and get on track here. A need for information that is useful and helpful.

Information for and about Women in fly fishing. I believe it’s a positive.

I had the opportunity to meet and fly fish with a couple of fantastic fisherman this summer, Rachel Morgan and Aileen Ellis.

With Rachel’s extensive knowledge of fly fishing gear she gained over the last 12 years working at a fly shop and Aileen’s extensive knowledge of fly tying and entomology, we’ve created a place for Women in Fly Fishing to connect, ask questions and learn from one another.

I’m proud to now be involved in such an online resource.
Fly Fishing Ventures