You've seen her on various blog rolls, and websites. You've seen her photos and read her articles and seen her on Facebook and Twitter and The Drake Film Tour... My next guest, please welcome....the Fly Fish Chick! (Cue Late Night Music and Applause)
BBC: Did you have any experience fly fishing before you waltzed into that fly shop in the mid 90's?
FFC: Actually I had one prior flyfishing experience. I was about fourteen years old and my family was on vacation in Aspen in June. My dad decided to take me fly-fishing for the day so we found a guide and rented gear. I just remember some stoned kid handing me neoprene waders through this little window in a door on the side of the shop. He was so out of it, he'd probably been handing out ski boots all winter, he didn’t know which way was up.
Of course looking back I realize it was probably runoff and there were no fishable rivers. So the guide took us to some teeny pond -- today I could easily cast to the other side of that pond and I'm not at all being braggadocios when I say that. And it was miserable dreary weather. We stood in the cold pounding rain for hours casting in one spot over and over while the guide sat in his truck and drank coffee. We caught zero fish.
BBC: Since you take an occasional foray into saltwater and I've never fly fished a stream, what would you say is the biggest difference in the two besides the gear?
FFC: It’s Kalik versus Fat Tire; Muscle versus Finesse. Throwing big crab patterns and spoon flies all day long on 8, 10 or 12 weight rods in the wind just takes more muscle literally and figuratively. Not to take away from trout fishing. There is a certain finesse required on a trout stream that can actually be more taxing. Even though I am more exhausted physically after a day of saltwater fishing I feel less pressure, it really feels like vacation.
BBC: Any particular reason that you don't tie flies?
FFC: Time. I simply haven’t taken the time to learn. I am stretched so thin these days but it’s on the horizon. I would love to catch a Missouri River trout on a pattern I tie.
BBC: Do you carry an Ipod in your waders when out on a stream? What would you be playing if you did?
FFC: No ipod while wading. But I am wholly unafraid to take the ipod speakers on my boat on the Missouri in Montana under the right circumstances. Have had some great evening floats catching fish to Willie Nelson, BB King, Marc Broussard, even a little disco dancing in the boat to Michael Jackson when the fish weren’t eating despite a huge caddis hatch.
BBC: Can you tell me about Team Paddlefish and how you're training for the race?
FFC: I really appreciate you asking! I am training for a 262-mile canoe race called The Texas Water Safari in order to raise funds and awareness for a rare disease called Rett Syndrome. My paddling partner and I call ourselves Team Paddlefish. I am also working on a book about the whole year-long endeavor with Departure Publishing. It’s really exciting and a ton of work. Writing, editing, fundraising, paddling – Team Paddlefish has become a fulltime job and I love it.
Right now we are paddling 7-10 mile runs one–to-two times weekly. I am doing Pilates to strengthen my back and core. Weights for my arms. And walking/running for cardio. I loathe running, I can barely run one pitiful mile. But I am trying as hard as I can. I am also working with a nutritionist eating a lean organic diet (most of the time, ahem.) Trying to stay gluten-free, sugar-free, mostly vegan. I seem to be week-on, week-off in terms of my nutrition, but I am determined to lose weight and get strong.
We need all the cheerleaders we can get!! I humbly but enthusiastically encourage anyone & everyone to check out our website Teampaddlefish.org and/or follow our journey on Facebook at:
BBC: What sort of gear do you use? Any companies you'd like to give a shout out to?
FFC: For sure! I am having a mad love affair with my Scott G2 trout rods, I have a 5 and a 6 weight. For nostalgia I still adore my old Winston Joan Wulff 5 weight. And I feel pretty sassy with my sexy new Hatch 8-wt reel.
BBC: Is there a Fly Fish Dog?
FFC: There used to be, well sort of. I had a basset hound named Gus for ten years, but he passed away last year. He never went fishing with me, but he was my first baby and a real charmer.
BBC: A lot of women "marry in", if you will, to fly fishing and only do it because their significant other is into it. (I can only think of 4 women offhand who really dig it) Why are you different?
FFC: Technically, I’m not. My parents were really into flyfishing. And my ex-husband was also into flyfishing. So all of our family vacations were fishing vacations. I loved it. But after my divorce I really put the hammer down and got into fishing big time on my own. I’ve learned so much in the past five years.
BBC: There is a big difference in women's backpacking gear because women are built different of course. Have you tried any of the fly gear made for women and is there a difference?
FFC: They are finally starting to get it right. It used to be a “woman’s” flyfishing shirt was nothing more than a man’s shirt with a pink hibiscus pattern. Awful. Or they created really outdated “womens” outdoor clothing that was reminiscent of something Karen Blixen wore in Out Of Africa. Finally, now they are producing womens fishing/outdoor clothing that more closely resembles current fashion trends and active lifestyles. Some hip colors, stretchy modern fabrics and realistic feminine shapes. Thank heavens!! I am a real Cloudveil bunny. Love their stuff.
BBC: What is your favorite fly fishing blog to read every day?
FFC: Oh, please don’t throw me in that briar patch! There are too many good ones, would hate to leave anyone out. A Bad Backcast, Trout Underground, Buster Wants To Fish, Fishing Jones, Missouri River Fishing Blog, Michael Gracie, Deneki, Moldy Chum. Blanco Honky is consistently funny. And Chi Wulff is consistently solid with excellent river reports.
BBC: Any way we can entice you and The Professor down to the Keys for a few days of camping and bonefishing in the spring?
FFC: Uh…hmm…let me see…YES! Sounds like a gas. Send details.
BBC: Thanks for your time!
FFC: Thank you! This was fun, thanks for the good questions and don’t be a stranger. Cheers!
There you have it folks....The Fly Fish Chick!