Here, six of our favorite fly-fishing guides, hobbyists and even the beginners who serve up serious inspiration to get out on the river and toss a few lines.
Maddie Brenneman @maddiebrenneman
In her words: “Fly fishing guide. Clean rivers and healthy fish.”
In ours: Angler Madeline Brenneman is no stranger to domestic rivers from New Mexico to Colorado, where she spent the summer guiding at a guest ranch. Just don’t expect her to stay in one place for too long; she told GrindTV it’s her dream to “explore the world with fly rod.”
Kate Taylor @kalamityk8
In her words: “Traveling towards the next fishing or hunting adventure. Patagonia Ambassador, Loop Fly fisherman, Fishpond advocate, and Rising Tools user.”
In ours: One of Patagonia’s small family of fly-fishing ambassadors, Taylor spends each season in a new place—Baja in the spring, Bristol Bay in the summer, winters in the Pacific Northwest—but calls Rockaway Beach in Oregon her home.
On her impressive résumé? Founder and co-owner of Frigate Adventure Travel, head guide at Alaska Sportsman’s Bear Trail Lodge and founder of Rogue Angels, a blog dedicated to the women of fly-fishing.
Meg Haywood-Sullivan @meg_haywoodsullivan
In her words: “Photographer. Environmentalist. SF Powered by the sun.”
In ours: When you follow Haywood-Sullivan, you follow her for the adventure as much as the fishing. (Exhibit A: her recent trip to Alaska with famed photographer Chris Burkard.) You’ll have to do a little digging to see evidence of her fly-fishing hobby, but that just offers the opportunity to see shots from her breathtaking portfolio. Win-win.
Kelly Watters @kellywatters1
A photo posted by Kelly Watters (@kellywatters1) on
In her words: “Kelly Watters.”
In ours: Kelly Watters is a woman of few words, many fish and big ambitions. She’s the cofounder of Western Rise, a line of fly-fishing and outdoor apparel perfect for long days on the river thanks to quick-dry fabric and waterproof designs. Her feed is a dreamy collection of river adventures, hammock hangs and a behind-the-scenes look at what it takes to build a brand from scratch.
Millie Paini @milliepaini
In her words: “Patagonia Fly Fishing Ambassador. Scientific Anglers Ambassador. Hatch Reels and Winston Rods Pro Staffs. Works at TroutHunt on the Fork.”
In ours: Ever wonder what it might be like to toss a few lines with Patagonia founder Yvon Chouinard? Just check out Paini’s Instagram feed. She’s living proof it’s never too late to start — and completely excel at —a new sport: She didn’t discover fly-fishing until her mid-20s.
Jillian Lukiwski @thenoisyplume
Last night on the Methow after a steelheader pressured me out of my spot — why do some of you guys have to BE like that??? It was still a beautiful time. I brought in two cutthroat and lost a third fatty to tippet I knew I should have replaced. The salmon were breaching like humpback whales. The light was pure gold. I was glad as a feather. #methowriver #methowvalley #taternation #washington #gsp #germanshorthairedpointer
A photo posted by Jillian Lukiwski (@thenoisyplume) on
In her words: “Canadian in the USA. Independent metalsmith, freelance photographer and writer in the interior West.”
In ours: Lukiwski’s photos are as poetic as, well, her poems. Her dreamy, sunlit perspective on simple, quiet moments from the West — making coffee at camp, a fawn in a meadow, saddling up her horse, catching fish for dinner — will make you want to drop everything and book a ticket somewhere new.
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