A few months ago, here at Denver Outfitters, we started using the hashtag #FlyGalFridays to feature some of the amazing women who are a part of the fly fishing community! Since then we’ve met a ton of radical fly gals who are making an impact in the fly fishing world. Each #FlyGalFriday (on this blog) we feature and get to know a new woman making her mark on the world of fly fishing! Today we’re so stoked and honored to bring you our Fly Gal Friday Featured Angler Jorden Greiner.
We sent Jorden some #FlyGalFriday questions about herself such as where she lived, where she fished, and the story behind her love for fly fishing. Below is her response…Get into it!
- Jorden Greiner
- Nickname: Jor
Where are you at in the world? Where will you be fishing this year?
- Currently I live in Anchorage, Alaska.
- This year I hope to explore as much new water as possible around the Kenai Peninsula and the Anchorage area. Hopefully I can make one trip out to Western Alaska in the next year for Kings.
What river(s) and lake(s) do you guide/fish?
Thankfully, there are so many rivers and small streams fairly close to Anchorage. I tend to fish the Upper Kenai River a lot, because it is fairly close to Anchorage and is more accessible for hiking in and wading.
How long have you been guiding/fly fishing?
I have been fishing my entire life. My dad’s side of the family is Yupik Inuit, and subsistence fished for their family of 9. Then my dad became a charter captain for halibut, salmon, & rockfish trips out of Homer, Alaska in 1973 leading me and my brother to deckhanding on charter boats. It wasn’t until a few years ago when I was living in Georgia that I really go into fly fishing. I was so homesick for Alaska’s wilderness and fishing that I found myself exploring the small streams of Helen, GA.
What got you into fly fishing? When did you start?
It’s funny. Growing up in Alaska, you’d think I would have taken advantage of fly fishing all of these incredible rivers. But my family along with the community I grew up in fished commercially, worked in the tourism industry through sport fishing, and participated in subsistence use fishing. Every year I would see tourists flood the rivers with their tall fly fishing rods and boxes full of flies. They would take their time setting up their rods, and fighting wild rainbows, dolly varden, steelhead, and salmon. After that long fight, they would put the fish back into the river and start all over again. Meanwhile I was out working on charter boats taking people deep sea fishing to fill their freezers with halibut, salmon, and rockfish. I didn’t quite understand the beauty of catch and release fishing.
As a woman guide/fly angler, you’re definitely in the minority. What made you decide to be a guide/angler?
Actually, I was motivated by mostly women in my life to start fly fishing. In college I was always so proud of my salt water fishing and subsistence background. Some of my best friends in college grew up in Colorado and had a love for fly fishing. Both Maddie Brenneman and Rachel Ivancie would go out on the weekends to fly fish. After a while, they rubbed off on me. I kept thinking of all the rivers back home that were sought out by fly fishermen around the world. I took a trip home for the summer and found myself spending straight 6 weeks fly fishing every day. That was almost 2 years ago.
Has the fact you’re a woman ever been an issue with a client (such as them hitting on you or maybe talking down to you? If so how did you deal with it/them?
Definitely. As a female deckhand or guide you will get hit on, talked down to, yelled at, and babied. It’s already exhausting work, but having those clients that aren’t comfortable or appropriate with a female in the fishing industry almost motivates you to be better, work harder, and out fish them. In the end, I think I got the benefit in that I could laugh it off, focus on my job, and better myself in what they would call their environment. It has made me more resilient, while motivating me to demonstrate that women can participate in this industry at the same level and earn respect from my peers through hard work.
Do you think being a woman gives you a different perspective as a guide? If so, how?
I think anytime you are working with other guides you see that everyone brings different perspectives to the table. A lot of guides in Alaska didn’t grow up in Alaska. So the guides from the lower-48 (yes that’s what Alaskan’s call it) bring a completely different perspective to guiding up here. Whether a male or female in this industry, everyone brings a different perspective.
What’s your favorite new piece of gear?
Definitely my Sage One 7116-4. I have a long way to go with spey & switch knowledge, but it’s a fun, new challenge. I also love my rod vault!!! It has helped a ton while fishing through the winter. I was able to stay mobile and not spend time freezing while breaking down and setting up gear.
Definitely landing my first wild steelhead on my first fly rod.
What’s your “Dream Trip”?
Man, that’s really tough. I have a few… Seychelles, Bolivia, Iceland, Kamchatka, and Patagonia.
What are some of the best places you’ve been fishing?
Alaska, British Columbia, Washington, and Puerto Rico.