Angie Allsup, Ang, but my offspring and their friends call me C-Ta.
Where are you in the world?
I was born in Arvada Colorado but I now make my home in Oakhurst, California, just a few miles from the southern entrance to Yosemite National Park. I’m in a beautiful place and I have easy access to the Merced River, perfectly blue high mountain lakes, and beautiful streams, all teaming with wild trout .
Where will you be fishing this year?
Actually, I just returned today from trip to Colorado where I was able to try out some fisheries during my free time. My husband and I fished the Gunnison and a few other streams near Telluride. My spontaneous adventures will likely take me to the East side of the Sierras this year. The Owens River and Hot Creek are some of my favorite spots to fish. We also love stopping off at the Owyhee in Oregon to fish for feisty Browns on our way through to Idaho.
How long have you been guiding / fly fishing what got you into fly fishing? When did you start?
I feel I am a bit too inexperienced to guide professionally, but I do guide for friends and family. I still have much to learn myself so I wouldn’t feel right about getting paid to guide professionally. I consider myself more of an instructor and motivator than a guide. I absolutely love taking out my novice friends to learn this sport I’m so passionate about. There are very few women anglers where I live who actually fly fish but the lady anglers I’ve met are so many hungry to learn and that really motivates me. I have been invited to teach an introductory fly fishing class for the women in my community, it’s something I’m very excited about. They have to start somewhere, and I am more than happy to introduce and teach them all I know about the art of this challenging and rewarding sport. As a woman myself I feel I’m well suited to instruct in a way that isn’t going to be intimidating to them.
Why do I fly fish? This is an easy question to answer.
It has so much more to do with where fly fishing takes me than actually having a fish at the end of my line. When I fly fish I am in my element. The sounds of the river, the smell of pine as the wind blows through the trees are a only fraction of the reasons I feel joy when I fly fish. Fly fishing takes me away from the world and into places I feel truly blessed to be able to enjoy. It teaches us patience. Matching the hatch, changing a fly as many times as required until you find out exactly what works, the treacherous workout we often endure to get to that perfect spot, all of these things are good and serve to strengthen our bond with the natural world so many others have lost their connection with. Most of all it’s the exhilarating feeling you get when you have a fish on the end of your line. It doesn’t matter much, the size you catch, it’s simply the fact that you managed to outsmart a fish and you did it using a fly that the fish believed was a natural looking food source, one that you chose. To feel that tug is the drug and having a “fish on” is a natural high… it’s pure JOY! To be able get that feeling with the catch and then to release that beautiful fish back into the water to give the next angler the opportunity to feel the same blessing is also an important part of the experience and a part fly fishing etiquette I believe in.
*On a side note to your questions about the focus being too much on a women . I would LOVE to respond to that. I hope it’s not too lengthy, but I’m finding this to be a big issue these days with not being taken seriously in the sport…hence my logo “Less skin more fin”
Back in 2014, I was trolling through some fly fishing Instagrams and noticed that there were not any strictly fly fishing women Instagrams. Of course there were the few that focused on exploiting women with half clad models wearing string bikinis and nothing more and I thought to myself: This is ridiculous and appalling. There are so many women and hard core female fly anglers that take this sport seriously and are rocking the fly fishing world. So I decided to start my own Instagram and get the word out. I started my @flyfishing_flygirls where I ask women all over the world to hashtag my Instagram handle on their pictures of the catches they were so proud to share. It took off quickly! I was blown away by all the amazing lady Fly anglers out there of all ages, nationalities and experience levels that would tag their photos. I only wish I could post each and every one of them. Based on the success and popularity of @flyfishing_flygirls I had some shirts made up to promote Flyfishing Flygirls just for fun. I had hoped to sell enough to break even. In the end I made no profit and lost quite a bit of money on the venture. It was more of a hobby to me anyway and a way of getting the sport more exposed to women anglers, that part was a huge success. I wound up giving away most of the shirts as gifts, but it’s all good and the satisfaction I felt was a reward all its own. I have since come up with a new motto which is “Less Skin More Fin” I love seeing so many women using this hashtag. It too became so popular so quickly that I decided I should have a new logo designed, that’s coming soon. Recently my Instagram account was tagged by someone who posted a picture of a half clothed model that poorly portrayed her to be a fly fishing girl. The photo was very provocative. And the question was directed as “Where are the flyfishing flygirls now?” And to that I responded….
“We get that some girls post sexy fishing pics because it attracts attention to them and it does appeal to some men, and that’s fine, but please don’t tag us in your provocative and exploitive photographs. We are not fishing barbies. We’ve spent hours and years learning to perfect our cast, learned to tie the sturdiest knot and thread the tiniest hole in the frigid cold through determination, even though we couldn’t feel our fingers. Hopped and slipped on thousands of moss covered rocks in fast moving water, thinking it would be the death of us. We’ve slid down many ravines to get to the perfect honey hole, watched patiently for rising mouths, and grabbed at flying insects to match the hatch. We’ve released so many trout out of respect, so that the next fly angler could catch em when they become “Hawgs” So you ask “where are the #flyfishing_flygirls when you need them?” (@ name withheld) Taking the art seriously, enjoying and absorbing the elements that surround us, feeling blessed for the opportunity to be surrounded by the gifts our creator has given us….out there is where you will find us, secure in ourselves wearing our baggy wacky waders because we don’t give a crap about our appearance, we only care about tight lines and the joy that comes from feeling the fish at the end of our tippet. Now that’s sexy!”
The response was overwhelming and gained a lot of positive feedback and respect from both sexes. I now have over 22,000 followers on my Instagram, the majority being male. I have found 99% of the male followers to be extremely supportive and admire the fact that more women have taken to the challenging and rewarding sport of fly fishing. Having a women’s flyfishing instagram and other social media pages has been very beneficial to the fly fishing world. It allows female anglers to share both their talent and amazing catches. Whether it be a “Hawg” of a fish, a first time fish on a rod, or even a male asking me to share a proud catch of his wife, daughter, girlfriend or fishing buddy. The exposure is rewarding to me, knowing that the word is getting out and more women are taking an interest when they see the beautiful smiles of women enjoying themselves in a male dominated sport.
You can find my flyfishing flygirls attire at www.flyfishingflygirls.com (more products coming soon)
My Instagram is @flyfishing_flygirls
Facebook page Flyfishing Flygirls
Email is firstname.lastname@example.org