How did you first get into outdoor recreation? Into fishing?
"I grew up fishing as a kid with my family. It was the typical bobber fishing with a worm on the end of the hook that most kids start off with. As I got older, I lost touch of fishing and wanted to be more “girly”. It wasn’t til my move to Virginia as an adult did I get back in touch with the outdoors. Even more so than my younger years. I started fishing again, hiking, and at one point played on 3 different flag football teams per week. This was where I learned you can be girly AND tough too. I picked up a fly rod after I moved to Colorado and have been hooked ever since. It has been one of the best things I could have ever done for myself and my mental health."
Recreating outside brings me… "mental clarity. I have a condition called Graves Disease which is stress induced. I am currently in remission, but I can relapse at any time. Fly fishing and recreating outside has helped me improve my mental health. Since picking up a fly rod, I have only relapsed once. Prior to this, I’ve had 4 relapses. Being in nature really cures my soul and allows me to decompress from the stressors of everyday life. As a healthcare worker, it’s important for me to rejuvenate and re-energize, so I can give my patient’s the attention they need and deserve."
What is your favorite recipe to make with foods you have harvested/foraged yourself?
"My favorite recipe with the mushroom I forage for is definitely mushroom risotto. I make it with bolete rubiceps I forage for, and spruce it up with fresh basil at the end. The basil gives it a nice fresh touch."
Tell us about your experience working with Uncharted Outdoorswomen.
"It’s been AMAZING! Uncharted Outdoorsowmen is an outfitter run by women for women. We are trying to build a community of women in the outdoors and build confidence in a predominantly male dominated space. How much more women empowerment can that get?! We guide fly fishing, ice fishing, hunting, and nature walks with medicinal/edible plant identification in mind. We also have educational classes too. I guide ice fishing trips and host ice fishing clinics for Uncharted. You’ll occasionally see me at the fly fishing events as well. The girl guides at Uncharted have empowered me in so many ways, and I’m lucky to have them by my side."
What about the greater fishing and hunting community do you hope stays the same and what do you hope changes?
"I have met many genuine and very giving people through the fishing and hunting community, and I hope that stays the same. What I hope changes is the lack of diversity and inclusion. I want to see more women represented in the sport. Moreso, women of color. We are here, fly fishing like everyone else, but we aren’t really “seen” in this caucasian male dominated sport. The larger fly fishing companies can help change this by having more women of color represented in their brand, and having a thoughtful diversity and inclusion plan."
What advice would you give to your 10-year-younger self.
"Don’t worry about the materialistic things in your life. The outdoors is where you belong and that is priceless. Give yourself some grace and others around you. We all are trying to navigate through this intricate world. "
Rose, bud, thorn of your recent Alaska trip…
"Rose being able to disconnect from society & fish my heart out,thorn no dollys were hooked into due to the amount of rain the river received & off color waterbud getting back out to Alaska and going after some color up Dolly Varden!"