Your name or any nicknames you have?
J. Michelle Swope, FISHMONKEY, JMS, J.
Where are you at in the world? Where will you be fishing this year?
I’m located in Olympia, Washington, I’ll be fishing all over the state…on the olympic peninsula, the coastal rivers and some eastern WA rivers…all in the glorious pursuit of salmonoids. I currently host a monthly fly tying get together in Olympia at a local watering hole, volunteer for Project Healing Waters and Soul River Runs Wild, and am working creating a conservation/ fly fishing outing group for women!
What river(s) and lake(s) do you guide/fish?
I just fished the Ivashack in the Arctic Circle…will be on Hoh, Queets, and other rivers for steelhead this winter, and over on the Yakima river, on the eastern side for rainbows and cutties, but really, any fishable water in the great PNW will find me on it.
How long have you been guiding/fly fishing?
I’ve fly fished since I was 8, and tied flies for that long as well. I don’t guide officially, but I take folks out all the time so they can experience what an awesome sport this is! I got in trouble as a kid for both raiding my mom’s sewing materials(pretty colored thread) and cutting little patches of hair off various farm animals (very humanely of course!) I love taking people out either walk and wade or in my awesome Stream tech raft!!
What got you into fly fishing? When did you start?
I saw some guys fly fishing and asked my dad what they were doing. He bought me a fly rod the next day, along with a fly tying kit. Best present I ever received!
As a woman guide/fly angler, you’re definitely in the minority. What made you decide to be a guide/angler?
I’ve always been passionate about fishing…the better question is how could I NOT fish! It’s in my dna….if you are in Washington state…get a hold of me and let’s fish!
How can the fly fishing industry and community encourage more women to get involved?
By opening up and advertising more events and workshops geared towards women by women….and a few awesome dudes.
What’s your favorite new piece of gear?
My Rod Vault, of course! And my thermal lined Simms pants.
Best catch of all time?
Every Steelhead I’ve ever caught, and a 54 of yellow tail on a 10wt. fly rod.
What’s your “Dream Trip”?
Water, me, fly fishing and biting fish.
How do people get ahold of you for guiding / sponsorship?
by email at: firstname.lastname@example.org