Your name or any nicknames
My name is Hannah Myers. Although I have several nicknames from different groups of friends, the name Hansambo just kind of stuck one day. A little back story behind the name…for as long as any of my friends and family can probably remember, if they couldn’t find or contact me, they knew exactly where to find me on the river. One day my friends Katie & Megan found me chest deep in the river fishing and started narrating in some weird accent. The name Hansambo was suddenly born. It fit and it stuck.
Where are you in the world? Where will you be fishing this year?
I was lucky enough to be born and raised in Brevard, North Carolina. Home of the Blue Ridge Mountains, gin clear waters, the famous white squirrel, trout galore, and laid-back mountain folk. This year I will be covering as much of Western North Carolina as my schedule will allow. We have already hit some saltwater this Spring which is always tons of fun! Montana or Colorado may be on the list for this Fall, fingers crossed!
What rivers/lakes do you guide on?
The outfitter I work for, Headwaters Outfitters, is located at mile 0 of The French Broad River. This puts us super close to all the Forks that flow into the main river. The rivers I guide on most often are East Fork of the French Broad, West Fork of the French Broad, North Fork of the French Broad, Davidson River, West Fork of The Pigeon, The Little River, The Horsepasture River and a bunch of other tiny creeks within a 45 min radius of the shop.
How long have you been flyfishing?
I started fly fishing in high school but didn’t really have a mentor to show me the ropes, I had no idea what I was doing. I picked it back up when I started working at Headwaters Outfitters in 2015. My boyfriend, along with the other guides here were gracious enough to help me understand the dynamics of the sport. I spent countless days/afternoons on the water figuring stuff out on my own, too. The best way to learn is by doing. That doesn’t always mean it’s an easy journey, but this one was well worth it.
What got you in to flyfishing? Why do you fish? What does it do for you?
I have fished for as long as I can remember. Our family photo album has no shortage of fish pictures! While everyone in my family fishes, no one fly fishes. Honestly, I think it was just fate that I took an interest to it. I truly believe God is working on plans way before we ever realize what is in store ahead. I have always enjoyed the closeness with nature that you get being alone in the outdoors, I learned that early on when my dad would take me deer hunting when I was just a little kid. Even at that young age, I knew that everything you experience while outdoors is something that nothing else on this earth can offer.
Fly fishing has literally changed my life. At first, it was just something new for me to have fun with and figure out. While that side of things hasn’t really changed all that much, it’s still fun and you never really fully figure things out, I now have a different perspective on several things. Taking your hobby and making a career out of it is an interesting shift, and one that I am so incredibly blessed to have experienced thus far. As a guide, I get to meet so many different people. No client is the same as yesterday’s or tomorrow’s client. I have met some of the greatest people on this planet through guiding. People that I otherwise would’ve never had the chance to connect with. I also work closely with Casting for Recovery. If you haven’t heard of this organization, I would highly recommend looking into it. In short, it’s a full weekend fly fishing getaway for ladies that have either overcome or are currently battling breast cancer. It’s such a rewarding thing to experience. Once again, something I never would get to be a part of without being in this community.
I’ve said it before, and I’ll probably never stop saying it—Fly fishing has little to do with the fish itself. Connections and memories made is what it’s all about.
If you own and use a Rod Vault, what do you like about it?
I drive a 2 door Jeep, which is perfect for adventuring through the woods and crawling over these rough mountain roads. What it’s not good for is hauling around 9’ fly rods. I got a Rod Vault last Winter and it made my life so much easier, especially since I always have multiple rods with me. When they are in the vault, I can easily move from fishing spots without breaking the rods down, I know they won’t get broken in there, and they’re locked away safely when I’m not in the Jeep.
As a women guide/angler, what made you decide to guide?
I’ve always wanted a career in the outdoors, so this was an easy fit for me. I had worked at Headwaters for a few years before I started helping on guided trips. Working with clients on the water was something that made me genuinely happy, so I went for it and haven’t looked back since then!
Has being a female ever been an issue while guiding/fishing? How did you manage the problem?
Thankfully I haven’t had too many problems with this. When I’m not guiding, I work in our fly shop. It’s always funny to me when guys come in and hunt down another guy in the shop to ask fishing questions to and then they redirect them over to me. I also have a pretty care-free attitude so maybe that’s why that kind of stuff doesn’t bother me.
Do you think being a female gives you a different perspective? If so, how?
Totally! I really enjoy working with kids and other women. I guide plenty of guys too, but there is something that makes teaching another woman more relatable.
What is some advice to give other anglers to grow?
Whatever you do, don’t compare yourself to others. Remember that people post the best versions of their lives on social media. People with 50k followers on Instagram still get skunked, lines get tangled and every fish isn’t 20”+. It’s a work in progress to better your skills and the only way to do that is by getting out on the water. If you’re lucky enough to have a mentor, soak up every single bit of knowledge they throw your way.
Favorite piece of gear?
My Fishpond Sling Pack has worked great for me. Its perfectly compartmentalized, making things easy to find when I’m guiding or fishing by myself. Free Fly Apparel is also a life saver! Their clothing is made out of a bamboo blend which makes everything buttery soft, quick-drying and it has built in sun protection!
That’s a tough one, but I’m a big fan of Kelly Galloup’s Circus Peanut for streamer fishing.
What’s your dream trip?
For the last 2 years I have dreamed of spending some time at Oliver White’s Abaco Lodge.
How do people follow you on social media/contact you?
If you’re ever in Western North Carolina, swing by Headwaters Outfitters and say hello! Plus, we have beer at our taproom!