We met Karlie at an amazing Ladies Night she planned at Fins & Feathers, a local fly fishing shop here in Bozeman. Her bright smile, friendly demeanor, adorable dog Griz, and passion for fly fishing made us fast friends.
Unfortunate for us but lucky for Emerald Water Anglers fly shop in Seattle, Karlie will be leaving MT to be their new Women's Program Director. There she gets to fish, guide, educate and encourage women to get out on the water. Karlie, you will be missed but we are so excited for you (and for another excuse to go to the coast to fish!).
Residence: Bozeman, MT (Soon to be Seattle, WA)
Home Waters: Yikes. So many places I consider "home'. Green River, Grey's River, Henry's Fork, Methow, & now all of Montana... Basically all of Idaho, Montana, Utah, Wyoming & Washington
Bio: I worked at Fins & Feathers fly shop in Bozeman, Montana where I am lucky enough to fish as much as I work (which is a lot, I promise!). I was raised in Utah where I fished, hiked, climbed, and skied like every other Rockies kid. I moved to Seattle and got a degree in Conservation Biology and Communications. I ended up doing a lot of National Park seasonal work in Washington. I got a dog and couldn’t work in the parks anymore, so I focused on another one of my passions, baking! I started a pie stand at three farmers markets in Seattle and ended up growing my business way faster than I could keep up with.
I wanted to stay in the sciences so I moved on to run a conservation media campaign for the Seattle Aquarium/baked 10 pies a day. Last Fall, the endless Seattle concrete burned my feet enough, so I took the jump and quit my ‘grown up’ job to move to Patagonia, Argentina. There, I did seasonal field work studying lizards. In Puerto Madryn, Argentina I worked for a lab down there. We were focusing on the evolutionary phenomena and genomic mechanisms driving lineage divergence in South American Iguanian Liolaemus Fitzingerii group. When I wasn’t extracting DNA or getting beat up by the sharpest bushes ever trying to catch lizards, I was in Esquel fishing. One Patagonia summer later, I undoubtedly landed in Montana, and I think the only answer for that is trout.
I don’t know when I first started fishing, but I have memories of waking up before the sun and dad being frustrated wrangling 4 kids to go fishing. I always tried to catch the first one, and if I did; I got to drive the jet boat! I remember my sister eating power bait and me telling on her. In return she put the sparkle bait in my hair & told the folks I was a mermaid. I cried. Dad was horrified; he’s a bit of a fly fishing purist. Mix all those memories and add a few extra of my brothers threatening to throw a worm at me and telling me I couldn’t catch a fish if I didn’t eat like a fish. Thank god, we all got to a worthy age of learning how to fly fish and the folks made us all drop the lures and join them fly fishing. When I learned how to fly fish, it was on the Henry’s Fork in Idaho. A special river where generations of my family have passed on how to fly fish at the rightful age of 8. There I got to stand where my grandfather stood with his father, and where generations later my dad stood with me.
Fishing is nothing short of special to me and I’m not sure where I would be without it. Every summer my family still makes our same trips together to the Green River, Lamar Valley & Grey’s River. In my mind there is no greater bond to a parent, partner, dog or child that can be formed than by fishing. I plan to find my husband on a river, name my children after rivers and raise them on rivers. Wish me luck!
Best Day Fishing:
I don't think it's happened yet, they just seem to get better! Any fishing trip with my dad and brothers, or my girlfriends. Alaska is on the books, could be the best day of fishing...
What do you love most about fly fishing:
I'm just straight up in love with fly fishing. You know how love is supposed to give you butterflies, make you sick, excited, and make every bad day better? That's fishing. You're always learning, always giving a little and taking a little. No bad days.
Favorite Type of Fishing:
Fishing with my girlfriends and exploring new water. I also really love the solo trips with my dad.
"Go-To" Fly Pattern (to tie or fish):
Oh boy. I really like the Fox Wiggle right now. Or anything with fox hair. I'm on a binge of tying mangy flies
Must have beauty product for a day of fishing?
Sunscreen and lotion! Lots of it. I'm a wuss and can't row with dry hands.
Favorite piece of equipment ( that one piece you just don't leave
My sunglasses. I actaully leave home without them a lot on accident. And it's miserable to fish without glasses!
Currently, The Upper Missouri Water Keeper -- They do A LOT for Montana's Upper Missouri River Basin. They use a combination of strong science, community action, and legal expertise to defend the Upper Missouri River, its tributaries, and communities against threats to clean water and healthy rivers. http://www.uppermissouriwaterkeeper.org/
Dream fish and location:
Tarpon & Permit. I'll go anywhere.
Karlie + her Dad
Best advice received:
MEND. LEAVE IT. SET! SET! But really. On top of that, I've had a lot of encouragement to follow my passions, to work hard and smile. They're so many grand adventures I have had, and a lot I haven't had yet. Being optimistic & realistic at the same time is key.
Find out what makes you want to fly fish, feed it and let it take over. You'll forever have happiness.
Words of Encouragement:
Stay positive and look at maps. There is so much water to explore in our big ol' world. Let's all take better care of our watersheds and the species that inhabit them. Change a few ways on how we live our life to better to our planet and fish the hell out it. In a non-harmful way of course.