A Change of Tides

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Uneven edges of volcanic rock push their jagged prongs through my thin khakis.
Uncomfortable, I shift my weight to alleviate the numbing tingle of pooled blood in my lower extremities – a fitting discomfort while sitting atop a rock-face spotted with dips and dimples home to equally as stagnant flow.

The air smells of salt.  What my nose can’t decipher, my tongue can.
It runs itself over my dry lower lip, tasting the ocean’s seasoning.
I pick at the flaked skin until my fingernails pinch pain through the raw gummy flesh beneath its peel.  The sting interrupts my mindlessness…
I lower my hand to my side, again staring vacantly into the cobalt blue sea.

There’s a pack of cobia working their way through the headland I patiently perch on.
I am sure that proper terminology for these creatures is a ‘school’, but to refer to them as such would be misleading; a ‘school’ of fish might be deemed as a behaved and conformed assembly – innocent children on a chaperoned outing. These fish were anything but that.

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Annual Hosted trip – New Zealand, December 2014

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We are going back to New Zealand for the third time this year and thought we’d invite some of you to come along on our hosted trip!

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Chilly in North America… Sunny in Chile

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It’s not much of a secret that I am in love with South America; its liberation, fishing, scenery, food… what is there not to love?

I had heard of Marc Whittaker from Rod and Gun Fly Shop in Santiago, Chile through the guys at IF4. When we discussed teaming up to do a potential showing in his neighbourhood, the ideas began to fly. Before long, I was on a flight south-bound where I was scheduled to see my way around the country where I would work with Marc and the Chilean government to try and educate the youth (and their parents) on their importance of catch & release and the impacts of the dreaded didymo/rock snot (a horrible algae that covers the river banks and affects insect life/fish… a single drop of water can devastate an entire fishery if introduced.)

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The Family Grows… With Wooldridge Boats

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It’s a little known fact that my first guiding gig was as a sturgeon guide on the Fraser River.

As an employee for another guide company (this was in the pre-FlyGal days), I was routinely tossed from boat to boat, spending time in different jet boats from multiple manufacturers.

To be fair, most of the boats were comfortable and relatively reliable but there was only one boat that could force me to raise my eyes from the doghouse while I rigged up stink bait and bait balls during my eight hour shift; the gorgeous and welded aluminum Wooldridge…

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From Then to Now: Australia in September…

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As we headed to Australia, a smile dressed my face… this was the first “non-work” vacation I had taken in quite some time.

The Sydney beaches were gorgeous. Surfers and tourists played in the sun and I couldn’t help but look beyond them for signs of decent fishing. Spotting the shark net in the distance, I quickly remembered that these beaches were much different than those on the west-coast of BC and the thought of a run in with a man-eating bull or great white shark rose my heart rate and lessened my desire to go swimming.

Arriving in Australia always loses me two days… as they are one day ahead of us, the 30 hour commute inevitably steals another day and I needed a day of rest for my body to catch up.

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From Then to Now: The Arrival of September’s Bustle & Hustle

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Colby and I had two days to get back to the mainland, catch up with family, pack for another month of “off-roading” and make sure that business was running smoothly.

I had originally scheduled September to be my month of stability… my new property sat blossomed by summer, waiting for me to groom its field, cut its deadwood, revive its old boat launch and become familiar with its sprawling riverfront and the steelhead who lay within it.

I’d counted down the days where I could wake up on my own schedule, pour a gourd of yerba mate and look out at the riverfront that I had worked so hard over the years to obtain…

…But in true “workaholic” fashion, I had somehow managed to schedule September to be hectic and as quick as the steam of my hot tea evaporated into thin air, so did my aspirations of having any free time.

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From Then to Now: July & August Broke My Heart of Steel

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I have spent the entirety of my last four summers living in a small tin-roof cabin nestled comfortably in the grasps of overhanging cedars and burrowing mice… our camp is simple; we run it with love, integrity and appreciation.
For a full three months out of each of these years, I have awakened every day to the lapping of saltwater atop the uninhabited beach that sprawls tirelessly through the narrows of the Dean Channel (near Bella Coola).

Bears and wolves quietly roam the sandy shores and splashing salmon boil the bay into a churning frenzy as they defy natures’ normalcies and spawn within the saltwater.
The freshwater of the Dean River pours into this lively bay only a few minutes from my cabin and I marvel at the routine and beauty of it all.

But this year was different…

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From Then to Now: June & the Romance of Atlantic Salmon

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I had the Atlantic salmon bug before I had ever stepped foot in an Atlantic salmon river.

The gorgeous flies, turquoise water, floating canoes, angling history and of course chrome bright Salmon over 50 pounds… I was studying the ways of Atlantic salmon & their fishermen before I had even begun to think about fishing for the steelhead that graced my own backyard.

It had been a dream of mine to make it to Norway to one day fish their landscaped country and famed rivers. Life always has a way of working itself out and this June I found myself headed to the Gaula River with the Norwegian Fly Fishers Club.

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From Then to Now: Of Life and Love… May

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I believe that we exist to love.

Corny, cliche, hopeful or desperate as it might sound… I believe that without love we are lost.

My little sister Dana is one of the most beautiful people I know. Smart, funny, kind, generous, thoughtful, selfless… her physical beauty is second to that of her inner perfection. She exudes a positive glow and simply lights up most any room that she enters…

As little girls we would giggle about where our future husbands were, what they were doing and how they would cherish us, as we would them.

We were hopeless romantics and each of us hoped to find true love in our best friend… much in the way that our parents had.

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From Then to Now: April is Always a Little Boring

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This year the routine was a little more hectic than I had planned for… a busy lodge kept me on my toes and with guiding each day, office work each night, a trailer renovation and the cleaning of rooms between guests, I was lucky to get four hours of shuteye before waking up to do it all over again.

I had been looking for a trailer for my property up North that I could live in during the summer steelhead season. When a friend’s dad asked if I knew anyone who was interested in his 1999 twenty-five foot Nash trailer for a fair price, I of course jumped at the gun and an hour later ponied up the cash, hit Home Depot for some reno materials, rolled up my sleeves and started destruction.

Hearing the news, my parents looked at me like I was crazy… “you don’t have time to breathe, how in the hell are you going to have time to fix up a trailer?” I cocked an eyebrow… “less sleep?”

They shook their heads and smiled… not surprisingly, I am a woman who “gets it done” when I make up my mind about something…

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