Your name or any nicknames you have?
Hal/The Canadian/Hockey Temper
Where are you at in the world? Where will you be fishing this year?
I am grateful to live in Casper, Wyoming; fishing pretty much anywhere I get the chance to. I’ve made trips to Idaho, Oregon, Washington, Colorado and Montana this last year in feverish pursuit of different species of fish; however I am blessed to have one of the Nation’s best fisheries right here in my back yard.
What river(s) and lake(s) do you guide/fish?
Primarily the North Platte and Bighorn Rivers; but on occasion I wander off to the banks of the Alcova and Pathfinder Reservoirs to get my Stillwater fix.
How long have you been guiding/fly fishing?
Only for about a year and a half now. I’ve spinner fished with my Dad pretty often as I was growing up, but I’m still pretty green in the world of Fly Fishing.
What got you into fly fishing? When did you start?
My boyfriend, Shane, has been an avid angler for years and has had the dream of starting his own Guide Business. He would tell me stories with such passion of the places he’s been and the wonderful people he’s met along the way; how could you not want to be a part of that?
Before I knew it, I strutted into The Ugly Bug Fly Shop, asked them to set me up with everything I would need to get started, and immediately drove over to a park to be tutored on this foreign method of fishing and to begin my lessons in casting.
Not to brag or anything but I caught a leaf, and my pant leg, on the first try.
Why do you fly fish? What does it “do” for you?
Oh man, where do I begin.
I am a Cancer survivor; (and thankfully have made a full recovery). Since my remission, however, I found I was left with a sense of emptiness, I guess akin to depression. You would think just making it would be enough, right? Not in my case. I felt I needed to do something, anything, to make me feel ALIVE, and not just living. I couldn’t see anything beyond the tip of my own nose as far as the world was concerned. I guess you could say I was amidst a rager of a pity-party.
I decided I didn’t just need a hobby to get me out of the house, I needed a discipline. I needed something to get my spark back. I needed something to let me know I was here.
Fly Fishing has given me the opportunity to see parts of the world I otherwise would have no idea where even there, and give me a reason to get up in the morning that was something other than just burying myself in my job, and then promptly my couch soon after.
When I’m on the water, or untangling my line from trees behind me, or lamenting my sunburn, all of these are reminders that there is so much more out there than yourself, or your problems, or your point of view. Out there, you’re connected to everything. When you get the chance to step outside of yourself and just appreciate those days is where the magic happens; wholeness in anonymity lost in nature.
If you own and use a Rod Vault, what do you like about you Rod Vault?
CONVENIENCE! Which works out amazingly well when you’re feeling sporadic and decide to take a quick detour because you happened to catch a fish rising when you’re otherwise just driving along where a body of water happens to be.
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 found there is a bit of an interesting dynamic being a woman in this particular community.
Thankfully, most everybody I’ve crossed paths with pertaining to this lifestyle has been welcoming, knowledgeable, and accommodating. The ladies I’ve met through Fly Fishing have been unbelievably kick ass and overwhelmingly kind.
I suppose I’ve been fortunate enough to live in a place where the Fly Fishing community is very tight knit, but would it kill people to make Women’s Wading Pants?
Do you think being a woman gives you a different perspective as an angler/guide? If so, how?
Nah. I think most folks, at least around these parts that are a part of this community, are pretty Live And Let Live. On occasion you cross paths with an elitist, in which case what can you do but shrug? I’m just a “I’m just happy to be here” kind of person.
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?
LISTEN! Absorb everything. If somebody has been doing this for longer than you and they tell you to mend, damn it, you mend. Slow down your cast.
Never, ever, take a day on the water for granted.
What’s your favorite new piece of gear?
I might have a slight Hat problem.
I also just purchased my first Winston Rod and HO-LEE-COW, night and day difference from what I was using previously.
What is your favorite fly? (To tie, or catch fish on?)
My favorite fly is Charlie Craven’s JuJu Baetis! It was the fly I caught my very first fish on, and to commemorate the occasion I had it tattooed on my arm, along with the words “Good Juju”.
Best catch of all time?
Do Carp count?
To date I think my largest has been a 22” Rainbow Trout that left my arm shaking for about a half hour after I landed him.
What’s Your “Dream Trip”?
I would LOVE to go to Hawaii to try my hand at some Bonefish! Really anything involving Flats Fishing would get my attention.
What are some of the best places you’ve been fishing?
The West is the Best! I’ll always be biased in favor my home waters.
How do people follow you on social media or reach you?
@Halley_Bury on Instagram.