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.


{ 31 comments… read them below or add one }

Kirk WernerNo Gravatar December 12, 2012 at 1:39 pm

I’m hoping to get a chance to finally meet, in person, and fish with, this Chris Hunt character of whom you speak. He looks tall.


RebeccaNo Gravatar December 12, 2012 at 1:47 pm

He is indeed tall Kirk.
Based on your current Facebook profile picture…ya…it’ll be like that for you =)


Travis at Ultimate Kayak GuideNo Gravatar December 8, 2013 at 9:52 pm

Chris seems awesome. I prefer to fish alone but when I do bring someone along on my adventures, I make sure we get along first otherwise it can be a nightmare.


SteveNo Gravatar December 12, 2012 at 1:56 pm

I’ve seen Chris’s name around the interwebs and I’ve got his blog on my reader. Seems like a great guy and I hope to run into him one of these days in person. Thank you Rebecca for sharing your insights about the man behind the scenes.


RebeccaNo Gravatar December 13, 2012 at 7:13 am

You’re welcome and I hope you get the chance someday.


Steve ZNo Gravatar December 12, 2012 at 4:18 pm

A good man. And he has a fantastic memory. Never let’s you forget stuff. Especially things you utter at breakfast after four days without a sip of scotch.


RebeccaNo Gravatar December 13, 2012 at 7:26 am

Isn’t that another sign of a good friend? Someone who remembers the finer details and reminds you of such moments?

I doubt Chris ever forgets good verbal ammo…


Tom SadlerNo Gravatar December 12, 2012 at 4:35 pm

Time spent with Chris Hunt is time well remembered. You did a great job of capturing his fine qualities. If you can’t fish with him then a dram of Irish whiskey is not a bad plan B your readers are well advised to not pass up any opportunity to enjoy his company.


RebeccaNo Gravatar December 13, 2012 at 7:31 am

Thanks Tom. I could have gone a few more paragraphs about his finer and funny qualities…and I agree, don’t pass up the opportunity if you get it to hang out. Plan A or Plan B!


MarkNo Gravatar December 12, 2012 at 7:13 pm

Oh crap – now we will never be able to live with him. Rebecca, what were you thinking? LOL
BTW Chris, we have a bevvy of Longhorn ladies with lots and lots of spandex lined up to meet you next time you come down to Texas for a redfish foray….


RebeccaNo Gravatar December 13, 2012 at 7:34 am

Sorry Mark! It must be the Christmas season, I’m feeling all soft and sweet. Maybe Chris won’t even notice this post and he’ll never know about this rave review.

Longhorn Ladies. Spandex. Redfish.
That has Chris written all over it…


Howard LevettNo Gravatar December 12, 2012 at 8:10 pm

Well Rebecca, Chris seem like a fine older gentleman…spry for his age. But I was really hoping you’d spotlight Kurt Weiner. Now that guy’s funny.


RebeccaNo Gravatar December 13, 2012 at 7:44 am

True that Howard. My first impression of Chris…via avatar online…had him coming in between 65 –80 years old. But after meeting him in person I gotta say, he carries it all well and wades a river like a mid 40′s kinda guy!

That Kurt Weiner is indeed a funny guy. But you want to know whats not so funny about him? His inability to find time to go fishing with me…
But maybe I can still find a way to write about him =)


Kirk WernerNo Gravatar December 13, 2012 at 11:42 am

Kurt Weiner is not a real person, therefore one cannot actually fish with him. In this day and age of virtual realities, he is little more than a cardboard cutout. And let’s stay on track and keep this about the guest of the week, Chris Hunt.


RebeccaNo Gravatar December 13, 2012 at 11:57 am

If we can’t properly harass you on a river — the way things things are supposed to be done — you leave us no choice but to give you grief online


Howard LevettNo Gravatar December 13, 2012 at 1:51 pm

I guess I forgot to say that although I have never met Chris, I have the utmost respect for the job he does keeping all of us posted and updated on so many important issues and bringing people together to discuss them. I actually date a brookie this year on behalf of Chris.


Ken GNo Gravatar December 13, 2012 at 7:16 am

In Illinois, I’ve been a TU member for over a dozen years and there are no trout in Illinois and I don’t go looking to fish for them. We have smallies and I live two blocks from a river. Why travel?

I have tried to apply the TU ethic conservation to the rivers and streams around here, but it’s bass. Ever try to get bass anglers to quit talking about hawgs and get involved? Doesn’t go very well and it doesn’t make you a lot of friends.

I hope you don’t mind Chris if I keep borrowing the TU model for smallies. It’s got to work some day, right? Maybe I just live in the wrong state…


RebeccaNo Gravatar December 13, 2012 at 7:50 am

Keep at it Ken!

2 blocks from a stream would get me into trouble.
I’d never be home.


ChrisNo Gravatar December 13, 2012 at 10:05 am

I am truly flattered and … speechless. And for me, that’s rare. Thank you, Rebecca, for the kind words… I’m grateful.


RebeccaNo Gravatar December 13, 2012 at 12:01 pm

You’re welcome Chris and I’m glad we crossed paths in this small world. It’s been a true pleasure my friend and I look forward to future fishing trips.


Brian KOZNo Gravatar December 13, 2012 at 10:34 am

From my early introduction to Chris, I couldn’t figure out why someone, especially a TU Guy, would be such an advocate for eating more brook trout. And even today, after a few phone conferences later, the soft spoken conservationist on the other end of the call doesn’t quite match up with the 6’5″ yeti you draw an image of. Thanks for filling in the voids and clarifying the picture for. I hope to one day share a stretch of water with him as well. Tight Lines! Koz


RebeccaNo Gravatar December 13, 2012 at 12:03 pm

I was a bit confused myself about the whole, Save the West, Eat a Brookie thing at first, but once I had Chris explain it to me and learned more about conservation I understood.

Chris? Care to explain again??

He is indeed a Yeti, a rare breed of coolness =)


Graham MoranNo Gravatar December 13, 2012 at 10:47 am

Being a blogger myself I agree with what you have said about Chris even though I have not gotten a chance to fish with him yet. Hopefully soon though. Keep up the amazing work girl.


RebeccaNo Gravatar December 13, 2012 at 12:05 pm

I hope you get that chance soon Graham, he’ll leave a lasting impression.

And I’ll keep at it! Thanks ~


Dietmar GrimmNo Gravatar December 13, 2012 at 10:54 am

As a colleague of Chris’, I think this is just a complete load of crap!

Working and fishing with him is well…. well… OK it is really awesome. Chris is a super talented guy and we at TU are lucky to have him and the world and our favorite trout streams are all the better for his efforts.

@ Rebecca — thanks to you too for all your excellent posts and contributions to making the trout fishing world a better place all around. We need more of you!


RebeccaNo Gravatar December 13, 2012 at 12:15 pm

I’m not above writing a bunch of crap…I am a fly fishing blogger after all =)

But I’m glad you fessed up in your comment about Chris’s finer points and you’re right…we are all better off because of Chris’s efforts out there. I should have mentioned in my post how much I’ve learned from Chris over the last couple of years when it comes to Conservation. For that I’m REALLY grateful.

And thank you for your kind words, now I’m feeling all bashful =)


ChrisNo Gravatar December 13, 2012 at 12:58 pm

Was waiting for that one… ;-)


Kev2380No Gravatar December 13, 2012 at 3:02 pm

I think many of us have said “Mother Chucker” a time or two on the water. You should hear me after I go to set the hook and the fish spits it then my line goes into a tree branch above me. You’d think I was preparing for Def Comedy Jam.


Saltwater FishingNo Gravatar April 18, 2013 at 8:30 am

I agree on your mention of a fishing buddy… if you don’t enjoy the company of your fishing buddy it’s not likely you will want to go back with them again. Fishing is suppose to be relaxing and fun at the same time and if you have the wrong person with you it can lead to frustration. Glad to see this wasn’t the case for you!


AlexNo Gravatar April 29, 2013 at 4:12 am

I personally enjoy fishing by myself, although no doubt would learn a lot fishing with someone like Chris.
The experience you would gain is priceless but then again all to their own.
Nice post Rebecca. Maybe one day I will fish with Chris.


CanoeistNo Gravatar July 5, 2013 at 4:04 am

What an cool guy! You really can’t beat fishing with someone really talented, It’s like a bit of their awesome rubs off onto you if you take tips and learn from them!


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