Your name or any nicknames you have?
Where are you at in the world? Where will you be fishing this year?
Based out of a little town called Logan, Utah
I have already made some trips up to the Madison Valley in Montana, and plan on doing a lot more fishing up there, but I’ve been to Florida, Michigan, Montana, and Idaho. Everywhere is different and I can’t wait to see more!
What river(s) and lake(s) do you guide/fish?
I mainly fish the Logan River and the Blacksmith River. That’s the nice thing about where I live, I’m literally 10 – 15 minutes from the rivers
How long have you been guiding/fly fishing?
I’ve only been Fly Fishing since February 2016, and I’ve been hooked ever since!
What got you into fly fishing? When did you start?
I had an awesome guy ask me out on a date and he wanted to take me fly fishing, and naturally I love to fish, but I’ve never experienced fly fishing. I caught my first brown trout that date and I’ve been addicted to the excitement of fly fishing ever since! I began ironically on Valentine’s Day of 2016. That guy is one of my best friends and fishing buddy!
Why do you fly fish? What does it “do” for you?
Fly fishing gives a sense of purpose and calmness for me in life. I know everyone likes to say it’s an escape for them, and I can see why! It brings a sense of intimacy between you and nature, and a drive to keep going even if you’re doing poorly.
I fly fish because I’m a very purpose driven individual. I love getting my gear all together, driving up to my fishing spot, and stepping into that river with a main purpose of catching fish. Fly fishing is much more than just sitting and waiting for the fish to strike. You are going directly to where they are to try and catch them! I love the chase, I love the puzzle, and I love how I forget about everything except for the river and myself.
If you own and use a Rod Vault, what do you like about you Rod Vault?
I wish I had a rod vault! Every time I see one on someone’s car or advertised… I admit, I am envious. I am a poor college student who also is a manager at Pet Smart, and I store everything in my trunk! Maybe for my birthday I should treat myself!
As a woman guide/angler, you’re definitely in the minority. What made you decide to be a guide/angler?
I guess I’ve never realized that not many girls fish in my small town, but after getting on Instagram I feel like there are TONS of woman out there who fish, and who I can be envious about haha jk
Where I’m from it’s a smaller town for sure, so when you’re a girl who fishes, people tend to remember you…especially if you’re like me and spend a lot of time BS-ing in the shops with the experts
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?
Luckily I haven’t had to encounter this! I mainly get people who are so willing to share secret fishing spots and fishing tricks with me all in one conversation that I feel like I’m the luckiest person on the planet! Especially when they tell you they don’t give away their spots / tricks to just anyone.
I’m sure there are some people who’ve had to deal with others talking down to them because they feel threatened or indifferent by a female presence. If you approach these people with a sense of respect and an open mind to learn, you can’t go wrong. I approach every situation with a sense of humility and calmness to learn, because I am still learning so much. Be willing to listen to anyone give advice, but if they talk down to you that’s an insecurity on that person, not you.
Do you think being a woman gives you a different perspective as an angler/guide? If so, how?
I feel like woman and men always approach things so differently, so yes, I believe being a woman gives a different perspective as an angler. Normally I’d say having so much experience is a good thing because if one thing isn’t working for me, I’d switch to another thing to try and make that work out.
I was streamer fishing once with some buddies and normally when we are getting some fish just “playing” with our streamers we switch up because we want them to take the streamer out. They switched up and I told them I was determined to make that fish take my streamer–and sure enough I landed a good sized Brown Trout after many attempts! I’m not saying every woman is like that or every man for that matter, but it shows me that even though I’m not highly skilled like some I have a different- stubborn way of fishing that we could take and make our own.
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?
Learn to be comfortable with fishing. Whether you’re taking classes, surfing the internet, or even just fishing with people or alone. It’s a good thing to get out by yourself and learn to love fishing the hard way. Especially if you mess up a ton, no better way to learn than by getting yourself out of the mess! Of course don’t fish anything that can be life threatening l, but also remember you can go anytime you want!
What’s your favorite new piece of gear?
I really am digging having a net. I can’t believe I went so long without having a net.
What is your favorite fly? (To tie, or catch fish on?)
I love anything of Kelly Galloup’s… hands down the funniest guy, but also most talented man with streamer fishing. I love his “Zoo Cougars” “Sex Dungeon” and “Peanut Envy ” Always my go to’s while streamer fishing
Best catch of all time?
I’d have to say while I was up in Madison Valley, Montana. It had been a weekend fishing trip, fishing the beautiful Madison River, and I was getting skunked by those big fish! Finally hooked into one after my friend told me to try to fish the hole one more time, and Boom! Landed a beautiful Rainbow!
What’s your “Dream Trip”?
New Zealand! I want to explore the crazy beautiful land and fish it all at once! I’ve seen some amazing pictures from out there, and it’s definitely on my list
What are some of the best places you’ve been fishing?
I love the Madison River in Montana…such a great place to fish! I also really love fishing in Marquette, Michigan! There are so many lakes you can cast into!
How do people follow you on social media or reach you?
Mainly people contact me through both Instagram or Facebook! Everyone is so nice to offer advice or feature me on their pages. My instagram is: @tiajeppesen