Mar 16, 2013

They called her C

It took just a bit of prying, but I eventually convinced Christine, to share a few thoughts on her life as an angler.  I should also mention that this particular woman amazes me every single day, both on and off the water and will continue to do so for about as close to ever as we shall get.   

I don't know that as a woman, fly fishing means anything different for me than it does for a man. I enjoy being outside, I love the adrenaline rush when I get a tug, and in between the times when I might make that connection, I love the calm. Getting my waders down to pee is more of a challenge I guess, but other than that I don't feel I approach the sport any differently than a guy.

I haven't always fly fished. I grew up fishing with my dad. Early mornings, tackle boxes and gear rods. A thermos with hot coffee, Swiss Miss, and PB & J's and we were gone. We kept what we caught. We either ate it or cut it up for bait.

I was lucky in the fishing sense. Born and raised in Washington, we'd fill our freezer with Salmon, halibut, ling cod and whatever other bottom fish we could get. Once I even hooked into a dogfish shark. It was just me and my dad. I must have been 11 or 12 and it was and still is the most aggressive take and fight I've ever had. Looking back I wish we had just cut him loose when we realized what it was, because once I landed him, he was impossible to release. That shark was just as mean and nearly as agile on land as he was in the ocean. I'll say this, there is a vivid and permanent scene of my dad and that fish's final moments that instantly fills my nostrils with salty air and the dying seaweed on that jetty. That shark didn't go to waste either.

A good chunk of my youth was spent on long visits with my dad’s family in Florida. A whole different world of fishing opened up. I have memories of dad teaching me how to throw a cast net, fishing at night, and listening to fish stories from him and my uncles as we cleaned mullet for the smoker.

Nowadays I fly fish and practice catch and release. Fly fishing has taken me to beautiful places, brought some really great people into my life and created memories that money just can't buy . For me, fly fishing involves all of my senses. I soak in the moments I've had and bring them home with me long after we've left the water. And during those moments when a real trip to the river isn't feasible, I can conjure up that deep green pool, the flash of silver, line peeling off my reel, and the battle that I eventually lost… and I can't help but smile.

Christine is a horse trainer who lives in Livingston, Montana.  A whisperer.  But after seeing her step through a Pacific Northwest steelhead river or a Montana trout stream, it becomes blazingly clear that horses are not the only species with whom she speaks.

"Fly Fish the World with Us"

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