Fall chinook

VIP Outdoors Fish Like a Girl Tournament

I don’t even know where to begin with such a spectacular weekend so I guess I’ll work backwards to my favorite part :)

I was completely satisfied with my weekend and had actually forgotten that I hadn’t studied for almost 3 full days. I’m paying for it now, but I’ve barely been fishing this year and when I did go, there was an immense amount of pressure and guilt on my mind to make sure I studied every time my rod wasn’t in the water. In case anyone doesn’t know, I’ve been studying for my CPA since January and have yet to pass any exams sooooo…….Only 4 more exams to go! I needed this weekend more than I thought I knew.

Sunday, I was tired; I was exhausted; I was almost lethargic. I was on an entirely different level of tired where I couldn’t even fall asleep, and speaking words seemed to be too much effort for my body. It took me a few hours and a Rockstar to snap out of it and it was just in time for me to catch a fish!

Herb and Andrew had already landed a few and I lost a nice one that took me out over 100 feet on the surface of the water. I finally got on one that I was able to land and my energy level rose to its normal level. Back to the laughs, stories, and keeping the gear fishing! We ended up hooking quite a few more and everyone except Jeff got fish; although that’s completely by his choice because he usually just likes to see fish landed.

It’s rare that we spend a lot of time of photos because we all just want to either be getting our stuff back in the water, or eating LOL. But Andrew always makes sure to take awesome pictures and knows the value of a good shot. I was sooooo excited about this fish not only because I got to land 2 really nice ones, but because this picture is one of my favorites!

I got to hang out with my best fishing buddies Andrew, Herb, and of course Jeff and the day couldn’t have been better in my mind.

Now, for my really fun part of my weekend…….The Fish Like a Girl Tournament!

Pro Escobedo with VIP Outdoors reached out to Willie Boats with an unreal idea last year. They were on board and this was the second year that Pro was able to carry on with this event. Sarah Dodd from Reel Women of Fishing NW actually won last year and it’s been great to see her taking out her cute pink/black brand new boat to new adventures.

Pro spoke about why he started this and what it means to him and it hit close to home for me. When I started fishing, there weren’t really any girls that I knew that fished other than fly fishing (and I didn’t know those girls anyways). There weren’t many companies that made stuff that worked for me and I got a lot of strange looks on the water – This is why Steelhead Girls was created! Years later, through the power of social media, I have found A TON of girls just like me! We fish with our spouses, friends, solo, & strangers just because we love to fish. I don’t have to try to be “one of the guys” because I’m not an outsider anymore……….I’m one of the girls who loves to fish and there are so many just like me. This is why Pro started this derby. We connect and bond in a way that we can’t with men. We support each other just because we are women and we know what it’s like to feel like a woman in a man’s world.

This Tournament means getting to meet complete strangers or have a reason to fish with your best gal pals. Most of us don’t have a bunch of girlfriends that fish so events like this is how we meet and find one another. Plus, we can win a wicked BRAND NEW DRIFT BOAT!

I didn’t win the new Willie drift boat, but Jessica Goering did win and it was well deserved with a 31lb fish caught with guide Shea Fisher.

Shea owns and operates The Fishere Fishing Guide Service and is the beau of our very own fellow lady angler, Kristin Bishop with Reel Women of Fishing NW. He has a few dates left this B10 season (8/16, 8/18, & 8/19) so if you’re looking for a last minute trip, he clearly knows how to catch the big fish! 425.577.9445

There were so many friendships created and SO MANY FISH!

Vydellity Anderson

Kristin Bishop

Amy Spoon (who also had tuna and sturgeon trips all in a few short days)

Ashley on a trip with Brandon earlier in the tournament

Janae with a nice one!

Lizz Mullong getting things handled with Brandon Glass!

I only got to fish the last day, but I couldn’t have asked for a better group of girls or guide to spend the day with. We had all met before through various places and events and this is actually the SECOND time we all got to fish together this summer. We are 6 very different girls that come from different states, backgrounds, ages, fishing experience, and jobs! Other than being girls in our 20’s and 30’s that love to fish, we probably wouldn’t have much in common looking from the outside in. I’m not the most outgoing person in real life but I feel so comfortable around these girls, it’s like they were meant to be in my life.

Jamie Lebon – the chill, down to earth, starts her drinking before breakfast, not a bad thing to say about anyone kind of girl

Morgan Nicks – The girl who’s eyes light up like a little kid on Christmas morning when she tells you about her favorite type of fishing

Jessica Jenner – Always smiling and laughing, outgoing sweet girl that is so eager to learn as much as she can about fishing

Kari Smith – One of the first ladies that I found loves fishing just like me who is always the life of the party and down to fish and hunt whatever, whenever

Ashley Chaudiere – The Ice Princess, Hockey playing girl with the million watt smile that fits in with everyone, boy or girl, and always has a funny story to share

And me – The one who turns into a 6 year old child when the boat gets on plane and crashes through the current

And of course, Brandon Glass although he’s clearly not one of the girls LOL.

I fished with his dad, Jack Glass, a few years ago and was so happy to find out that Brandon was open the only day I could fish. His dad is basically a fishing legend and Brandon is following in his footsteps while creating his own legacy. Brandon greeted us first thing in the morning wearing his captain hat, bibs, and flip flops handing us mimosa’s before we even got on the boat. He knew us way to well.

Brandon fished us hard. He made every effort to put on fish and didn’t lose hope or show discouragement when we quickly realized that fishing had slowed down quite a bit from just 2 days before when several derby worthy fish were caught. I got to sit in the back and pick his brain and much like his dad, he was more than willing to entertain my curious mind.

We searched and searched and finally I hear “fish fish fish fish Bryanna fish!” I waited for the okay to grab it and he calmly walked me through the process and kept my nerves at ease. We got that beautiful fish in the net and I wasn’t sure if I should keep it. It wasn’t going to win the derby, but it was a perfect mid-teen’s hatchery URB that was going to have meat like a springer.

We kept the fish and I was more excited than I think I’ve ever been. I was literally beyond the point of emotion and had to stop talking a couple times because I felt the tears were coming. I’ve worked really hard the last few months and missed a lot of fishing trips and even missed the fulfillment when I did finally get out because of the guilt and pressure I felt for not studying every second I had. I’m not a lucky person and I usually feel that my fish are well deserved because of the time and effort that I put into fishing. I was the last person I expected to catch a fish like this and the whole day just seemed overwhelmingly fun. I took my victory shot and Morgan Nicks busted out her fancy-pants camera for me!

If you know Morgan (and if you don’t, you should go find her on Instagram or Facebook), you know that she takes beautiful pictures and knows how to capture the true beauty of a fish. She grabbed her camera right away and captured a few killer pictures for me.

Brandon continued to fish us hard and searched for action, switching bait/hardware, trying new depths, and even different places on the river. He entertained us for hours and fished us even later than it would have been possible to turn in a derby fish just because he wanted to get us some fish. Jessica landed a really nice coho that we had to release and had another bite that didn’t stick in the last hour of fishing.

The boat learned pretty early on that I really love boat rides. It’s something I never grew out of and the faster we go, harder we hit the waves, more air we catch in our seats, the more I laugh. The wind was blowing pretty well and the water was almost too rough to stand when trolling but we were all really excited for the boat ride back. Brandon made it worth our while and we all turned into laughing, squealing, little girls for the last 15 minutes as we made our way back to the dock.

We were off to the banquet with our hair and clothes soaked from the ride back in but we didn’t care. We were hungry, eager to see who won, and happy to have been blessed with such an amazing day fishing.

We hurried ourselves to the banquet and couldn’t wait to get our FISH CUTE hoodies at registration. A local and fellow fisherwoman started Fish Cute 3 years ago and its shot through the roof. In many states, she sells clothing that is made for women who want to actually look cute when fishing! She is constantly designing new items and having killer deals. Check out her items here:

http://fishcute.com/

Janae was able to bring along 3 youngsters that got to fish all 4 days!

There were SO MANY prizes to raffle off including Yeti product, rods, reels, fillet knives, huge spoons of fishing line, custom rods, gift cards, a million hats, a smoker, vacuum sealer, and so much more! Pro rounded up thousands of dollars’ worth of fishing stuff for all of us girls and made it worth our while even if we didn’t win the boat. There were guides, spouses, sponsors, and of course most of the ladies that participated and he had a great dinner for all us as well a bar for us to celebrate this amazing event. He was eager to get feedback on how to improve the event for future years so that we can keep encouraging and supporting the ladies that love to fish.

I can’t thank Pro enough for this event. This is why I feel welcomed in a man’s world. This is why I have a new group of girls that I can relate to. This is how I learn new fishing techniques, tips, and fisheries. I can’t wait for next year and we have already started planning our trip!

Thanks again to all the guides and sponsors that teamed up with Pro for the Second Annual Fish Like a Girl Tournament! I can’t wait to do this again and am so grateful for such an amazing opportunity!

Last hoorah

We had one last hoorah before we go in full force for hunting season! We’ll be gone for 2 weeks and we might come back to do a little salt water fishing, but I’m glad we got to squeeze in one day for fishing before we re-gear our minds for animals :)

It was an awesome bite in the morning but it quickly died off and with a lot of other angler pressure, we struggled to find places to fish that w=had fish in them. We released about 5, 2 in the box, and lost who knows how many!

It was a great day none the less and we had a lot of laughs and got to spend the day with a good friend we haven’t seen in a while. My first passion is definitely fishing and all the preparation that goes into hunting has left me aching for some more time on the water and I couldn’t have asked for a better day today.

Good luck to all you ladies fishing the next 2 weeks and hopefully the next time I’m on here, I’ll have a freezer full of Elk ;)

Loving coastal fall fish

Some of the best fishing happens when we transition from summer to fall. The rivers are low and clear, the fall fish are patiently awaiting in the Bay for big tide swings, full moons, and bringing those water levels up and dirty so they can begin their journey up river.

The water conditions were perfect this weekend and we headed to the top of the river to get those traveling fish that are staging up for a little break. It started out very slow in our first hole and the few fish we did catch, were a bit on the dark side. Not quite what we were expecting. We headed down river and searched around for some more fish and found a few more pulling plugs.

The fish were biting alright, but we were having a difficult time keeping them on and most of them were chrome silvers. Jeff pulled over and let me give it a whirl on the oars! I’ve pulled plugs and divers before in the drift boat, but never got any participants until Saturday! I got my first plug fish and got to finally return the favor, and put Jeff on a nice fish!

 

We kept fishing around and were a few silvers shy of our limit but headed to the takeout to get the evening low tide and dig our own sandshrimp! I unfortunately spent most of the night doing homework, but was well rested for another day of salmon slaying!

Sunday, we headed down river a bit to see if we could find some brighter, fresher fish and we did just that! We released quite a few darker fish, but managed to fill the box with chrome! We even got a bonus hatchery steelhead! It was our friend Zak’s first time in our drift boat and he did great! We all got fish on so many techniques, but majority of the fish on Sunday were on eggs.

We had several groups of friends in their boats and it was another fall fishing trip to go down in the history books. I love steelhead, but fishing the coast each fall with tons of friends is the type of trip that I look forward to every year and it’s exactly the type of trip we needed to get our fishing “fix” after so many weeks of hunting and preparing for hunting!

Back to fishing again!

Elk hunting is over and I couldn’t be happier to get back to fishing 100%! I did love hunting, but the passion still lies on the water :)

I got back last week so on Saturday I got to hit the water! Jeff had to work so I headed to the Humptulips for a little king fishing before the water got too low for a boat. We started out slow, but we ended the day hooking about 14 kings and well, we had to pick through the boots to find some chrome, fresh, kings. After we put 4 kings in the boat, we put on some spinners and floated down to the launch looking for some moving silvers. It’s a bit early and the water it REALLY low, but we found one! It was a nice wild, 10lb buck that was peacefully released and I have to say, of all the kings that day, the silver was the one that got me excited! I’ve missed those flips and death rolls!

So Sunday, we fished locally and searched for some more silvers but were unfortunately left empty handed. Not even a single fish. So we called it a short day and headed home.

Beyond excited for another weekend of fishing but Saturday can’t come soon enough! Hopefully we’ll be on Gray’s Harbor, but even if we do get a decent amount of rain, I’ll be excited to be on any body of water!