Your name or any nicknames you have?
My very best friends in the world call me Kurt… funny I know. Most of the time when people say they fished with Kurt, they automatically think I am dude… haha! But eventually they meet me and their reactions are pretty priceless.
Where are you at in the world? Where will you be fishing this year?
I have been splitting my time the past two years living in Baja, California and Bozeman, Montana or Jackson Hole, Wy.
I am currently in Bozeman, MT trout fishing and learning some more technical, light presentation techniques which has been mind bending at times but really rewarding to watch a well placed fly get smacked.
In the fall/Winter I live in Baja, California. Baja has INSANE fishing. Saltwater is still really new for me and it definitely kicks your butt. The highs are pretty high though and the speed and ferocity with which these fish hit and fight is just unreal!
I caught my first roosterfish, Toro, Bonito this year and am headed back in Sept to chase some Dorado and Tuna. So we shall see. Lots more saltwater fishing on the horizon.
I can’t seem to plan a trip without trying to get a little fishing in. There are so many places to go and so many fish to stalk all over the world.
What river(s) and lake(s) do you guide/fish?
I am currently taking a break from guiding because I am focused on traveling and fishing. But I am part owner of Trout Country Fishing Guides in Whistler, British Colombia and ran and guided for the business off and on the past 4 years. I return every year to train guides and am still running the business from a far, but I get to be selfish and fish all on my own these days.
How long have you been guiding/fly fishing?
I have been fly fishing since 2010 and guiding the past 4-5 yrs. in Whistler.
What got you into fly fishing? When did you start?
My mom loved to fish when I was little, but she did it more to get away from all of us crazy kiddos. She would bring home huge salmon and halibut from Alaska. She is a Rockstar and one of the fishiest chicks on the planet. She just constantly has a fish on the line, it’s hilarious.
I really got into fishing when I moved to British Colombia and started dating a fishing guide.
Why do you fly fish? What does it “do” for you?
Fishing totally saved my life. I had a really bad back injury when I was 21 yrs old and couldn’t snowboard, run, hike, etc. Basically my whole life changed and it was very difficult. But I started slowly getting down to the river and fishing and it was the only thing that would clear my mind, the hiking was good to rebuild strength and I took tons of naps on the river banks but I could go out and be in a beautiful location, with not many people around and just reconnect with nature and find peace. Kind of reset from all the pain and struggle and just focus on that fly and search for fish. Fishing has to be the coolest activity I have ever experienced, there are so many places in the world to go, and so many types of fish and different techniques, you can’t get bored. Plus some of the coolest people I meet are fishermen and women.
As a woman guide/angler, you're definitely in the minority. What made you decide to be a guide/angler?
To be honest, I loved the idea of engaging the tourists in Whistler and teaching them the importance of wild salmon runs and a healthy watershed. It is fun being able to paint a picture of how everything is interconnected and hopefully they walk away with a new perspective. Plus, I get to preach to everyone about how horrible farmed salmon is. So don’t eat it, buy it or support it!
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?
Oh man, oh man! Every single time I go and pick up guests the guys in the group look at me and say… “wait, are you guiding us?” and then immediately after, “how long have you been fishing?” I just laugh and respond but it is like clockwork.
I have had men do and say some pretty rude things to me over the years but I know how to handle it and just ignore them.
But the majority of people are stoked to go out with me, I get repeat clientele and a lot of families and women ask to go out with me.
Do you think being a woman gives you a different perspective as an angler/guide? If so, how?
Well, I definitely know, women catch more fish! Haha I have couples come out all the time and the wife doesn’t even care to be there but she is just hooking fish left and right and the husband is just cursing under his breath. I think women might have a better feel for the techniques, they are less forceful when casting and place flies better. They listen better, so maybe that is it in the end.
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?
Just keep fishing, just get out there and don’t be intimidated to explore new water and spend time out there making mistakes. You don’t need to have the perfect flies all the time. You learn by doing so just put in your dues and listen to the old timers. Also, I think of fishing as a great day anyway you slice it and catching a fish is the cherry on top. It isn’t all about numbers, just enjoy the places you are in and the people you meet.
What’s your favorite new piece of gear?
Oh man, I just got a new saltwater rod Echo, EPR 1090-4 #10 line and I couldn’t be more excited to get back down to Baja and fish with it.
What is your favorite fly? (To tie, or catch fish on?)
My favourite fly is the California Blonde, of course!
Best catch of all time?
50 lb Roosterfish was for sure the most epic fish I have ever caught.
What's your "Dream Trip"?
I want to go to the Bahamas and chase down Tarpon, Bonefish and Permit or go to Slovenia for some marble trout or Iceland for some Sea-Run Brown Trout or Argentina… my list is starting to grow a little too fast!
What are some of the best places you’ve been fishing?
Northern BC for Steelhead and Montana / Wyoming for Brown, Cutthroat, Rainbow Trout.
How do people follow you on social media or reach you?
Instagram: @cortneybrown is the best place to engage with me on social.