Where are you at in the world? Where will you be fishing this year?

I live in Northern California in a little town called Nevada City. Once the most important gold mining towns in the state is located 60 miles northeast of Sacramento. I think it’s ultimately a great location for an angler. It takes about a 20 min drive from my house to fish rainbows or 3 hrs to fish steelhead and bass, striper, browns, salmon and everything in between. Its a pretty exquisite location with lots of variety of fishing and hiking locale. This year I’ll be fishing more on local rivers and lakes in California and Nevada areas. 

How long have you been guiding/fly fishing?

 This will be my third year Fly Fishing. 

Chelsea holds up a brown trout

What got you into fly fishing? When did you start? 

I fished my entire childhood and grew up as a tom boy playing around in the woods and dirt. It wasn’t until a few years ago I resolved to looking for a healthy diversion, an active escape from the daily grind, and started fly fishing. I vividly recall watching a few guys fly fishing while I was on a trip to Idaho one day. I thought to myself “what a piece of art!” I booked a session with my local Fly Shop when I got home and commenced to YouTubing (yes, YouTube LOL) how to fly fish. I’ve since been privileged to meet great fly fishing guides and friends who have helped me along the way.

Why do you fly fish?  What does it “do” for you? 

Let me start by saying I’m a little over the top when I want something, it is all or nothing. When I first became educated about the sport of fly fishing, I was told “it’s very difficult” ,“costly” or “what? Fly Fishing?”. After jumping through some hoops and getting all of my gear together, I decided I’d put in the work to make *mastering the art of fly fishing happen, regardless. For an entire year I put all of my free time into it, months of serious knots and learning curves. It has now become my church, I honestly get lost in it. It’s the only time in my day when the whole world seems to stop and all my worries and thoughts wash away. I get to dress up for work and then change into my gear after work. Its the best of both worlds I think. Side note:* I learned you never really master Fly Fishing, jokes on me.

Chelsea holds up a rainbow trout

If you own and use a Rod Vault, what do you like about you Rod Vault?

I’m patiently waiting for my Denver Outfitters Rod Vault 🙂

As a woman guide/angler, you’re definitely in the minority.  What made you decide to be a guide/angler?  

I honestly had no idea I was a minority until I started Fly Fishing. I grew up surrounded by wildlife, fishing, guns, and I loved getting dirty so I just saw it as normal. Once I turned 13 I started modeling and traveling, I craved to get away from the simple life. I started getting my degree in fashion design and traveled all over Europe. Now, years later, I’ve circled back around and now crave the simple life once again.

Has the fact you’re a female ever been an issue with a client or other angler (such as them hitting on you or maybe talking down to you?)  If so how did you manage it/them? 

I’m really particular with who I surround myself with for safety reasons of course and for mental/emotional purposes also. I personally don’t give attention to any negativity and focus on the good in people. I’ve met some amazing people from the Fly Fishing community. 

Chelsea holds up a rainbow trout

What is a piece of advice you want to give to other anglers or a tip/trick that has helped you grow as an angler? 

My advice would be practice, practice and practice! Finding a mentor or group to fish and learn with was very helpful to me. Reading books, articles and being prepared to be very frustrated at first is good preparation. 

What’s your favorite new piece of gear? 

For the cold days I’m really in love with my Ninja suit base layer.

Best catch of all time? 

I’d have to say steelhead fishing has been the most heart pumping catch for me. Although every catch has me on my toes and holding my breath.

Chelsea holds a trout right above the water

What’s your “Dream Trip”? 

Tarpon fishing is definitely on the top of my list.

What are some of the best places you’ve been fishing? 

I have a blast everywhere I go and just really enjoy the adventure and being outdoors.

How do people follow you on social media or reach you? 

Cherokeeflygirl on IG or www.chelseabaum.kw.com

Chelsea stands streamside and fishes

© Perfect Loop Productions

Cover Photo: © Perfect Loop Productions

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