Fd: What are your roots in fly fishing? Where did you start?
I have always loved to fish. My parents are Canadian, and I grew up spending my summers sitting on a dock, casting endlessly for little bass. I learned to fly fish in my early teens and prefer it because I find it most challenging. That being said, I really do love all forms of fishing.
Fd: Do you have any influences or inspirational characters in fly fishing from the past or present?
I have a lot. I am lucky to be surrounded by amazing friends that love to fish. There is no better way, in my opinion to spend time with someone then to go fishing with them. My boyfriend and best friend, Nick has inspired me for the last 10 years in the sport. He has taught me so much of what I know and we have many exciting places still to fish together.
Legends in fly fishing? I had the opportunity to fish with Oliver White last spring. I have never seen anyone fish like him, he is an incredible angler with unmatched skill.
Fd: Tell us about how you started guiding, where you guide and why you enjoy it?
I spent my summers working on a dude ranch. When I found out that there was an opening for a new head guide, I jumped on it. I was ready to leave my desk job in Santa Fe and nothing sounded better then returning home to Colorado and spending everyday on the water. It was also appealing because I knew that water very well, having spent summers fishing it.
I guide at the C Lazy U, a dude ranch in Granby, Colorado. We have about two miles of Willow Creek as well as a mile and a half on the Upper Colorado River. The Colorado is amazing and a very special river. This section of the Upper is primarily browns.
Fd: Can you give us some tips on the place you guide? Flies, lines, approach etc.
Fishing the Colorado, I find more natural patterns to be most productive. In highwater and runoff, San Juans work too well... In the summer, we have a lot of Caddis, BWO and PMD hatches. I nymph an RS2 a lot. End of summer, Chubbies kill in the early evenings. Nymphs: Caddis, flashback PT, Rainbow Warriors, stones, flashback HE, Pats all work great on my stretch. Streamers in the fall!
That being said, this section of the Colorado is a difficult fishery and it does change all the time. The fish are smart and there were very few "easy" days guiding on this river, but that meant all the more rewarding to catch some amazing fish.
Fd: For you, which is the best place you have fished and why was that so special?
The Colorado feels like home to me but the most amazing place I have ever fished was Anaa Atoll in French Polynesia. Everything was perfect there... the flats were white and flawless. The fishery was hard and untouched... You would fish for a couple hours then find a vacant beach and enjoy some fresh coconuts. It was the trip of a lifetime.
Fd: What is your favourite species to catch and why?
In freshwater, I love catching browns. They are more challenging to catch and I have never seen anything more beautiful than a brown trout in the fall. I love when i'm streamer fishing and I see a bright yellow flash... I know it's a brown.
I also love the thrill of bones. Saltwater and freshwater are two entirely different sports. When I'm fishing for trout, its relaxing and there's time to think and collect, and room for a couple casts. In Saltwater, you see that light green movement on the flats and there is this crazy adrenaline that runs through you... there's no time and you better make that cast.
Fd: Is there a trip you want to do or a species you want to catch?
There are so many on my list... I would really like to catch a Giant Trevally and Lake Trout on the Fly. I would love to go to the Seychelles.
Fd: It is great to see more women guides in fly fishing. What can you tell other women out there who what to get into fly fishing?
I think it's a wonderful sport that genuinely connects you with the outdoors. Unfortunately I think it comes across as an intimidating and expensive sport to many beginners, but the reality is it's an investment on the rest of your life. I love to guide beginners because the more people we have out on the water, the more stewards we have to care and protect our rivers and our fish.
As a guide, you have this amazing and rare opportunity. You have a full day to share a river and it's fish with a person that may never have connected with the outdoors in this way. You have a full day to teach them to respect and love our rivers.
Fd: Have you got any upcoming trips planned?
On December 23rd 2015, I head out for three months, fishing in Northern Patagonia, New Zealand and Australia. I'll be back home in Colorado come March and look forward to guiding again.
Fd: Are you working on any new or up and coming projects?
I am working on some hosted trips starting in the spring. My goal is to host small groups of anglers in different fisheries, with a focus on relative conservation efforts in that area. More info on these to come.
Fd: Do you have any good fishing stories to tell us? Funny stories? Crazy situations?
These are best shared over a beer, on a river... but the best fish I saw a client catch all summer was a total fluke. It was her first time fishing, she was not fishing at the moment but just dragging a sunken dry and talking to the rest of the crew. She lifted up her rod to keep walking and felt tension. She thought she was on a stick and brought in a 24-inch brown, by accident. She went fishing again with me the next day.
Fd: What would you tell people who are looking to get into fly fishing?
While I think it's important to go with guides at times, I also think it's important to go on your own. I learn the most when I fish alone and it forces you to make decisions and take your own risks.
Fd: What makes fly fishing so special for you?
I think fly fishing is something I have always loved but as I got older, I devoted myself and my life to it. In return, I feel I am constantly stimulated and learning... It makes me very happy.