Like many, I have fond memories of digging up worms and reluctantly baiting my hook. The excitement of potentially catching a fish outweighing my deep dislike of stabbing a slimy worm. I bait fished my way through childhood until my first boyfriend, a fly fishing fanatic, bought me my first rod (a 4wt TFO that I still have and use on occasion). There is something about your first. He taught me the bare bones of fly fishing without killing me, bless his heart. Like many fish since, I cut this one loose and moved on to my next fishing hunk. He showed me how to cast a little farther, tie on tippet, and routinely catch fish. Meanwhile, my older sister/future business partner was doing the same thing while also dreaming up ways to look cuter on the river. This is when the Damsel Fly Fishing namesake was hatched. Although the future would remain murky, the bare-bones were laid for a women’s fly fishing business and Kara started paying for the domain name at once.
Kara eventually landed a job with The Fly Shop in Redding, CA which catapulted her fishing skills and knowledge to the next level. I was able to attend one of the women’s fly fishing camps that they offer and spent 3 days learning how to fly fish from some of the best in the biz. I’m so thankful that I had patient ex-boyfriends to get me started, but I can’t tell you the fishing confidence you gain when you learn exactly what and what not to do from those teachers in the know. When I returned home I started going on my own fly fishing adventures, leaving the boys behind.
The peaceI feel when I can sneak away for an hour to my favorite nearby fishing hole and lose myself in the rhythm of casting, picking flies, and tying knots are what keeps me going. For me, fishing is not about the most technical cast or the most fish caught. Although big or small, rest assured there's a smile on my face when I land one. It is about the being able to escape your never ending to-do list and pressures and just “be.” When you fish, you are no longer mom/wife/girlfriend/sister/friend/employee/daughter… you are just a girl gone fishing.
Circa 2008. First boyfriend. TFO rod. Micro fish. Big smile.
2016. First Steelhead trip. Switch rod. Giant stick. Huge smile.