Reel Women of Fishing NW

Steelhead Girls is proud to announce a 2 awesome women as guest bloggers. Kristin and Sara come from a long background of fishing and have made their mark known in the fishing world with the creation of their Facebook page and group: Reel Women of Fishing NW. They share the same values and mission as Steelhead Girls and we’re proud to have them be a part of the movement to encourage and support women!

 

How we met:

I have worked at the hospital in Mac for the last 11 years. I am the CT supervisor and do MRI and X-rays. I first met Sara a few years ago when she was an X-ray student. She worked graves prior to that up in the lab, but I never knew her. One day we started talking about fishing and realized we just may have met someone who likes to fish as much as the other.  Her 30th birthday was right around the corner and she talked about wanting to book a guide for an epic day of steelhead fishing. What better way to spend a birthday right? A local guide was offering a discounted trip so she signed us up. The day prior to the trip while she was over in Bend celebrating with some other friends when she got a call from the guide bailing on us. He claims the river would be blown out and not fishable. Having our fishing background and doing our own research we knew that wasn’t true. She was pretty bummed the trip got canceled so I went to work to try to find another one. I looked up reviews and recommendations and started messaging any guide I could find. Call it fate, but David Johnson just happened to turn his computer back on about 5 minutes prior to me sending a message. As you know he has been a well known guide for over 20 years but what were the chances he was available. He said he typically doesn’t fish on the weekends, but would be willing to take us! We hit the river the next morning with rain pouring down in the freezing cold but had an outstanding day on the water. That day began our fishing adventures together and forged a tight friendship with one of our best friends – David. Since both Sara and I were unattached we had no one to answer to or make time for so its off to the river we always went. When the steelhead start running sometimes it is everyday that we aren’t at work and even sometimes before shift. She works graveyard now doing CT and XRAY and I work really long shifts so I only have to work 3 days a week ( 2 16′s and an 8), so we spend the rest of our time on the water.

The inspiration behind Reel Women of Fishing NW:


One day we were driving back from the river and post a few pictures online (go figure). We started talking about how we should make a page to share our fishing adventures on so all of our friends weren’t constantly blown up by the same pictures shared by both of us. Then if friends wanted to follow our fishing adventures they could rather than seeing it on our own personal page. We thought we could create a site where we could share our pictures, give some tips and hopefully help others fall in love with something we held so dear. Before we lost service we tried to come up with a name that was first off available, but kinda spoke about who we are.  We are “reel.”  We fish because we love it and have done so our entire lives. We are “reel” in the fact we are not size 2 models in bikinis holding fish posing for calendars. Although media sets those people as the beauty standard we have no problem eating our breakfast burritos or powdered donuts floating downstream. We want to encourage women, and men, to just get out there and fish. You don’t have to go with a boyfriend or husband, it’s ok if you don’t know what you’re doing (that’s what we’re here for), and it doesn’t have to be all serious and hardcore (hence our costumes). Fishing is fun whether you’re catching fish or not!

We have been extremely fortunate through fishing to meet some amazing people and build lasting friendships. We’ve fished all over Oregon, Washington, Montana and next year will add Idaho and Canada to the list. Who knows where we will end up with Sara’s new shiny boat:

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 SarahDodd:


Sara was born in Central Point with the Rogue River as her playground. Grew up fishing with her family mostly in their 16′ sled or crabbing, clamming and ocean fishing in their 18′ north river. Quite often she’d hook up the boat and take off on her own. It wasn’t until she moved to this area that she really fell in love with drift boats. She spent 6 months in Talkeetna at an Alaskan fishing lodge which was by far one of her best memories. When not fishing her other passion is hunting. In fact she just got back from the hunt of a lifetime with her dad in Colorado at a friend of ours. Last year took her to Montana and again who knows where next year will be. And yes she still manages to work a fulltime job. Now sleep, well that’s the tough one to fit in.

Kristin Bishop:


Kristin was born on a row crop farm just outside of Salem. We had a tight knit family where every night was spent together around the dinner table. If we were all working late in the fields mom would pack up dinner and bring it out to us to eat on the tailgate.  My first fishing began with a snoopy pole out of our irrigation ditch catching monster trout and lobsters. Ok maybe they were crawdads. We started family adventures piled in the pickup, or bronco fishing first out of rafts and finally building up to a drift boat. In the summers it was not uncommon for me to sneak off to float the river with friends before work on the farm. When not working on the farm or fishing I could be found on the ball field. I continued on to play D1 softball at OSU, go BEAVS! Fishing was something my dad and I always did together (just like Sara and her dad) whether we actually caught anything or not. He died unexpectedly of a ruptured brain aneurysm a few years ago. I inherited the drift boat we spent hours upon hours in. He mainly ran a motor and I was the copilot. I’ve taken off the motor and am still working on building my skills on the oars, but that’s just a matter of time. My boyfriend has been brave enough to start teaching me how to run his sled. That will definitely take a lot more practice too.

What’s next for us?!
As for what’s next with us, well we definitely need to put a few dings, scratches and blood in the boat Sara won at the Fish Like a Girl Tournament. There’s a lot of fall fish and winter steelhead we plan to meet in the near future. Our website will hopefully be up and running in the next week. We too plan to share blogs, videos, product reviews and how to’s as well as links to useful information that we look at when deciding when and where to fish. We will also list upcoming events and projects we are involved in as well as have some swag available to purchase. Oh and of course lots and lot of pictures.