“Hard work pays off”

It’s a given. Steelhead fishing is tough business. It’s not a walk in the part, throw your fly out, and reel in a big steelhead first cast, kinda shinnanigan ( unless your a lucky son-of-a-gun ). It requires grit, time and patience, persistance, and in some cases, blood. In my effort to learn the basics of spey casting, my fly made contact with my head several times before I got the hang of it. 

Those little assasins are quick to grab some flesh!  Photo by: Justin Miller

Those little assasins are quick to grab some flesh! Photo by: Justin Miller

 Back at the shop, I recieved an invite to fish the Trinity river with a fisherman and his guide, Ross Wilkerson. Never passing up an opportunity to rip lps, I quickly snatched up the seat.

The next morning I met up with Frank (my fishing partner for the day) and guide, Ross Wilkerson. The day started off as any other day would. It was chilly and fog covered the hills. I was pumped and ready for I hadn’t fished the Trin as much as I had wanted to. I was fishing my single-hander on this outing and, I hate to say this….. was rockin an indicator. If there’s one thing I don’t like, it’s having a bobber tell me when to set the hook. However this time I had to break down and do it. Swinging flies would have been a head ache and the chances of catching a steely were basically non-exsistant.

Around 12:30, we came to a spot where sea run browns had been pulled in. I chucked my yellow bobber/indicator up river from me and let it drift down. Down it went.

” HIT IT,” hollered Ross. I set the hook and felt a heavy fish on the other end. At first we all thought it was a nice steelhead, but once in the net, we realized that it was a massive brown. I was bug-eyed! I had never seen, much less caught a brown trout of that size before. It had been several weeks since I had caught an adult fish, and feeling it’s head shake made me remember how much I loved fishing. I was grinning from ear to ear the rest of the day. That fish truly made my week. Little did I know that it would only get better from there.

Photo by: Ross Wilkerson

Photo by: Ross Wilkerson

The next day I decided to head back to the Trin for another day on the river. Ross came along as well and was pretty much my guide (even though it was his day off ).

As we were discussing fishing gear and drifting down the river, we both witnessed a giant steelhead lauch itself about four feet out of the water.  Ross immediately set anchor. For the next 10 minutes we drifted flies through that spot, and nothing happened. At least not until another boat was drifting by.

I had about 50ft of line out when my “bobber” went down. I set the hook and right away, the big steely flew out of the water. With my rod doubled over, I checked my drag and made sure everything was as it should. The fish made several runs that made my reel scream (what a wonderful sound ). After about 10-15 minutes, Ross tailed the fish and handed the beauty over to me.

What a wild one! Photo by: Ross Wilkerson

What a wild one! Photo by: Ross Wilkerson

 

It was awesome to finally get up close and personal with a wild, adult steelhead. I can understand why so many people are obsessed with these awesome fish. I just can’t wait to get one on a spey rod!

Goin’ Coastal

The Mighty Chetco River!!   Photo by: Camille Egdorf

The Mighty Chetco River!! Photo by: Camille Egdorf

One week, Justin and I decided to head to the coast and chase some serious chrome. So we packed our gear, hitched up the boat and drove four hours to the Chetco river in Oregon. We arrive to the Chetco around midnight, and find a good gravel bar to spend the night. Out of habit, we both rush down to inspect the water conditions, even though it was pitch black out. Standing there listening to the river flowing by in the dark made me giddy with excitment for the day to come.
The next morning came in what seemed like decades. We rolled out of our sleeping bags around 5:30-6am and drove to a small grocery store to grab some grub and get our shuttle taken care of.  From there we launch the boat and begin launching line.
Photo by: Camille Egdorf

Photo by: Camille Egdorf

The water was perfectly clear, in fact it was so clear that it was deceiving. Water that looked two feet deep was actually 8 feet deep. I’d never seen such clear water before. Although beautiful, it did have it’s negatives. Fish could see us a mile away.
So we’re drifting down the river in the early morning with a thick fog covering the hills. There’s no one else on the river, and it was completely quiet. Both Justin and I are staring at the water below us.
” This is dirt magert,” exclaims Justin.
I chuckled to myself, mainly because I had never heard that expression before.
Getting Dirty  Photo by: Camille Egdorf

Getting Dirty Photo by: Camille Egdorf

We stopped at a gravel bar and started shooting line. My casting was still pretty meager, and after watching Justin throw some perfection, and asked him to help me out. After the quick lesson, my casting dramatically improved and soon I was casting marvels. I even succeeded in catching a 17inch steely. This steely was different from the others. There was no strip down it’s side and the spots on it’s back were very faint. It was a beautiful fish, and I couldn’t wait to see what an adult looked like.

The rest of the day was spent drifting and hitting some sweet looking runs. We never did catch an adult but we did see large amounts of fish as we drifted, so they were there. We just had to find them.

We geared down at the boat take out, and then headed to town for some great Taco Bell action, and re-stock on grub. We were right on the coast so we thought it would be fun to swing by Chetco Point. As Justin was snapping pics, I took off down a small trail I found that went out to a rocky point. I wasn’t sure if I was tresspassing or not, but the draw of the trail was too good to pass up. Justin followed in my tracks.

Chetco Point  Photo By: Justin Miller

Chetco Point Photo By: Justin Miller

We ended up on a point that was a good 200 yards off from the main beach. We both stood out there and gazed at the vast ocean before us. I think we were thinkin the same thing.

“How many steelhead are out there?”

While we were driving back to the gravel bar, Justin and I were talking about tomorrow’s fishing plans. We had decided to do the same drift again, when out of the corner of my eye I see this small black figure run off the road in front of us. It was dark so I couldn’t get a positive Id, but after the extensive “Big foot” talk sessions I had with Frank, I immediately thought “little big foot”. Both Justin and I are not sure what it was but we agreed that it was a small black bear. To say the least, I was still hesitant to hit the bushes that night.

Back at the gravel bar we decide to build a fire and whip up some steelhead flies. We searched the forest around us for any wood that was slightly dry ( Everything on the coast is soaked in H2O ). We piled twigs and cardboard up and fired it up. It took several tries but some “Vitamin G” did the job perfectly. Justin set up a make-shift table from coolers, and started making works of art. Watching him tie up his bug, I remembered what he did, and once he was finished I gave it a try. I have to admit, tying steely flies next to a great steely river was definitely “dirt magert”.

Working fly magic!  Photo by: Justin Miller

Working fly magic! Photo by: Justin Miller

The next morning was cold. Frost covered the truck and my waders were frozen to a crisp. Not a great way to wake up in the morning.

Going through the same routine as the day before, we started our second day of chrome chasing. I chose to rock the fly I had tied the night before. The thought of catching an adult steelhead on that fly was too big to over-look.

Fly I tied beside the fire! Photo by: Camille Egdorf

Fly I tied beside the fire! Photo by: Camille Egdorf

We saw several fish throughout the day, but nothing put a bend in the rod. Justin had one give him a good hand shake but the steely eluded him. Floating the river all day and swinging winter flies was a ton of fun. Although we never did catch an adult, it was a great experience for me, and I learned truck loads about spey fishing. I can’t wait to get back there and give those steelhead another go round.

On the way home, we decided to stop and see the great Redwoods. I had never seen them before so I was really looking forward to seeing some massive trees. We drove into this small camp ground and right away there was this gigantic redwood beside the truck. I was amazed! The amazing thing about those trees is not only their size but also their age. I had no idea those trees were 2000-4000 years old. Seeing those trees was very moving and memorable.

The trip to the coast was a high-light of my stay in California. Thanks a mil for dragging me along Justin! It was tons of fun and was fo sho Dirt Magert! I can’t wait to hit the coast with you again!

What a massive tree!  Photo by: Justin Miller

What a massive tree! Photo by: Justin Miller

Living California

I couldn’t have asked for better room mates. Justin and Ryan are two of the most laid back and chill guys I know. As I mentioned before I was a little worried, not only because they were bachelors, but because everyone was like,”Oh you poor thing,” when I mentioned who I was staying with. I honestly don’t know why because they seemed normal to me (who knows, they could have changed after I left). 

One thing that I did learn when living with those two was Don’t eat anything on the shelves! This is an excellent example.

I walked in the door after work and looked up to see the pantry with a box of macaroni & cheese on the shelf. Now me, being uneducated, thought “That sounds so good,” and grabbed the box not thinking to look at the expiration date. I whipped out a bowl, ripped open the box, poured in the macaroni, sprayed it with water, and shoved it in the microwave.

Ding, ding, ding….I rush over to the microwave to make sure everything is fully cooked and edible. Firmly convinced everything is in order, I girlishly skip over to the counter, grab the cheese mix, and rip it open.

Hmmm……snif, snif. Coming from the bag is this funny, weird smellin, and greenish cloud of cheese. Now, I don’t know why, but I proceeded to pour the off color cheese dust onto my macaroni. I sift my fork through it, and it turns to a dark brown muck. With my lip turned up, I look  at Ryan and Eric ( Eric also works at TFS ), and ask Ryan how long the mac & cheese box had been on the shelf. He turns to me in horror and says, “I didn’t actually think you were going to eat it. I don’t know but it could have been here for years.” Bug-eyed, and jaw dropped, I frantically look for the expiration date. I hold back gawg, as I stared at the numbers on the back of the box. “Ryan…..the expiration date is April 4th, 2004.” 

Forever rainbows and checking expiration dates!  Photo by: Ryan Peterson

Forever rainbows and checking expiration dates! Photo by: Ryan Peterson

Working at the shop was like nothing else I’d ever done before. Outside of being in Alaska, I had never been in an enviornment where there was so much “fish talk”. Customers coming in left and right wanting to know how the fishing was, and phones ringing off the hook, orders being filled, and even on the side lines, there was fishing being discussed. I was in my element! I learned truck loads about retail, and also travel sales.  Half of my day was spent in the travel department emailing, and calling clients who came to Alaska the past few years. It was fun to catch up and “shoot the breeze” with past guests who shared a week with my folks and I in Alaska. One thing that amazed me about the travel department was how well everyone worked together. It was nice to be in an enviornment where everyone got along and did their best to bring in more business. I worked along side Pat Pendergast, Mike Mercer, Ryan Peterson, Bill Marts, Martha MacDowell, and Michelle Quinlivan. Pat Pendergast is an amazing salesman, and fantastic guy. Just listening to him on the phone was a learning session. I could tell that he loved his job very much, and it showed whenever he sat down and put that phone to his ear.  Thanks for all that you’ve taught me Pat! 

Martha and Michelle both are amazing “gals” who helped me get all settled in at the shop. Martha took me to lunch several times, where we gossiped about all sorts of girl stuff. Michelle was kind enough to go to San Francisco with me for a day of shopping and a day out on the town. It was my first time to a city of that size, so it was a “shocker” in more ways than one. Quite an interesting group of people down there. Thanks for the fun times girls. It was a blast!

The Golden Gate Bridge  Photo by: Camille Egdorf

The Golden Gate Bridge Photo by: Camille Egdorf

Mike Mercer is an inspiration for me. The enitre time I was at the shop, I never saw him in a gloomy mood. He always had a smile on his face and a laugh that echoed through the shop. I was always amused by his sometimes “blunt” humor. The world could use more people like Mercer.

Bill Marts was another who was always in a good mood. He was kind enough to look over some winter steelhead flies I had tied. He gave me some “sweet” pointers.

Ryan was basically my wingman throughout my stay at the shop. Whenever I had a presentation, he was there. He even went along when I went to San Francisco for a presentation to the Golden West Women Flyfishers. We made the mistake of trusting google to get us to Fanny Krieger’s house. We ended up going sight seeing.

The rest of my day was spent out on the retail floor, where I filled orders, answered questions, and stocked shelves. It was fun to get out on the floor and see all the action. All the guys helped me out and got me in the groove of things. What an awesome group of people. There was never a dull moment, and pranks were always flying around (I was fortunate enough to avoid being a target).  I did notice that basically everyone had an infatuation with Los Gordos, a small mexican diner, with the exception of John Deitz. So I decided to give it a shot and tagged along with Greg Kennedy and Justin during our lunch hour. We get there and the diner is very cute, and homey. I could tell this was a popular place because there was a substantial amount of people sitting at the tables. I was ordered to sit down, while Justin and Greg went to grab the burritos. I was beginning to think this was almost a spiritual occurance for them. They meant business, as they hogged all the hot sauce and salsa. I started to prepare myself for a huge “munch” session. They both walk over with a try full of burritos, salsa, hot sauce, chips, and large drinks. “You ready for this Camille?” asked Justin. “You bet,” I reply.

The burritos were huge! Each one had to have weighed at least 2-3lbs. I sat there and gazed at this monster as both Justin and Greg scarf their’s down. I tentativley un-wrapped mine and began chompin. Now I may be a girl, but I kept up with those guys. I very nearly ate the whole burrito and most of the chips, and as a result I didn’t need to eat for the next two days. Both Greg and Justin finished their’s off without a problem. Justin gave me a high five and said, “Not bad for a rookie.”

Steelhead

Steelhead, for those who are unfamiliar, are a super-charged, sea runnin, crazy reel screamin, and extremly hard to catch rainbow trout. Once they reach the sea after spawning, they split up and become loners, and have been found as far away as the coast of Japan. To think that the fish your chasing has been around the world and back, truly is something special, and the countless days having gone fishless, or even biteless, were worth every moment.

Camille Egdorf

I wonder how many steelhead are out there? Photo By: Camille Egdorf

My first encounter with these elusive creatures, was on my first outing with Ryan and Frank. After picking Ryan’s brain about spey casting, I waded out to my knees and started shooting line.

Swish….Swish…..Swish. Big mend.

“Let it swing down,” echos Ryan’s voice in my head. 

Justin Miller

In action! Photo by: Justin Miller

 I let the fly swing, anticipation in my arms. My eyes, mind, and body are concentrating on nothing else but the small “traffic ticket” at the end of my line.  Rain pelts my jacket, runs down my brow, and of course finds it’s way to my dry clothes, sending a shiver down my spine. Although I’m chilled and cursing the rain, I continue to follow my line as it swings below me. TAP…….whoa……there’s something there. My heart goes to my throat, and I very nearly set the hook. I catch myself, and quickly regain my composure. Tap….tap….TAP. I raise my rod, low and behold….theres a fish on! I give out good holler,”I got one,” reminding myself of my childhood years when I would yell at the top of my lungs,”I got one,” when I hooked up with a fish in Alaska(I did that just for the camp attention).  Grinning from ear to ear, I reel in my first steelhead. Ryan, at my side, congratualtes me and gives me a high five. As I study the small 17in. steely, I’m facsinated by it’s markings(completely different from the trout I’m used to seeing). A faint shimmer of red runs down it’s side, small spots litter it’s back, and bright chrome makes it shimmer in the sun with brilliance. I gently retrieve the small “traffic ticket” and return the little fella back to the river. “That was a good ole 1/2 pounder ya got there Camille,” exclaimed Ryan. Now you need one of the big guys!

Ryan Peterson

The great Traffic Ticket! Photo by: Ryan Peterson

On the way home from the almighty Klamath river, we were discussing the days fishing, when we decided to take a quick stop to gear down, and use the facilities. Just as we were jumping into the ole “Land Cruiser” Ryan notices something hanging from underneath the vehicle near the right rear wheel. “Hey guys, is that supposed to be there?” Both me and Frank look at it and are like, “no.” So for the next 15-20 minutes I sit on a rock and watch Frank and Ryan scratch their heads about the mysterious, hanging, attachment. Luckily Frank is an expert on land crusiers, or cars in general, and diagnosed the problem. I think the diagnosis was the exhaust was falling off. That was one of three incidents with the land cruiser.

Camille Egdorf

Doin Work! Left to right... Ryan, Frank. Photo by: Camille Egdorf

For the next several weeks I continued to pursue my fisrt ever adult steelhead. I fished weekend on weekend for what seemed to be a decade, and caught nothing but small 1/2 pounders. Don’t get me wrong, I was happy to catch the fiesty little buggers,but the thought of something bigger swimming around was just too hard to forget. I was determined to catch at least one adult before I went back to Montana.

Back at the shop, I had been working on a slide show/presentaion about my life in Alaska, which I was going to present to The Shasta Mayflies, Golden West Women’s Flyfishers, and the Shasta Trinty Flyfishers. The weekend before my presentation to the Shasta Mayflies, I was invited to participate in one of their outings on the Trinity river. At first I was unsure, mainly because I didn’t know how to get there and I didn’t know anyone, but in the end, I couldn’t pass up the opportunity to meet new people and talk a little fish.

Beep, beep, beep….I roll over with a groan and fumble to shut off the annoying, and evil alarm. My first thought was, “5 in the morning is insane,” but when the thought of fishing rolled in, I realized that this was an exception. I threw my gear in the “Ford Ranger” and took off for the Trinity.

Once I reached the meeting spot for the day’s events(fishing) I was greeted by some very enthusiastic fisher-women. I was overwhelmed at first because I’d never been around so many other gals who loved to fish as much as me, but soon relaxed and listened in on the conversations. There was a constant buzz of stories, questions, answers, and lots of laughter. I could tell that it was going to be fun day.

Camille Egdorf

The early morning Trinity! Photo By: Camille Egdorf

There was roughly 15 women attending this outing, so fishing in one spot was thrown out the window. We all split up into small groups and went our seperate ways. About 6 ladies met up with guides and drifted for the day, while the rest waded. I tagged along with three gals who were going to wade. They were a very interesting group. All energetic, and ready to “rip some lip.” One brought her dog along, which I really enjoyed. Nothing like having your pooch along on a day of fishing.
Like any day out on the water, it went very fast. We returned to a camp ground where we geared down and cleaned up for a potluck. A couple of the gals brought back pictures of some very respectable steelhead, and brown trout, which we all gawked at.  The rest of the evening was spent visiting and talking about the days fishing. I got to meet Racheal Andras and talked a length about the Fly Shop and of course fishing.(The main topic at this potluck was….fishing).
The outing was a ton of fun girls! Thank you for inviting me along, and sharing your knowledge of fishing with me. You will all see me again soon! Keep your rod tips high, and your flies in the water!
  

Down in the R-town

After an action packed summer in Alaska, I wasn’t too “hip” on the idea of college and book pages being stuffed in my face. So, I packed my clothes, and fishing gear into my “Ford Ranger” and headed South to Redding, California to embark on a new adventure.

Camille Egdorf

Desolate Nevada Photo by: Camille Egdorf

Before the summer of 08 began, I sent a resume/portfolio to Mr. Mike Michalak in hopes of becoming a member of The Fly Shop’s staff for roughly 6-7 weeks. I was so excited when I received that email saying, “Camille, we’d love to have you here at TFS.” I seriously did cart-wheels. Thanks so much for letting me be apart of the TFS crew Mike! Words can’t express how grateful I am.
My mother and I hit the road October 26th. I was actually starting work on the 29th, so we decided to leave a few days early so we could enjoy the mother/daughter road trip without being rushed. We zoomed through Idaho to see the grandparents, then shot down to Reno, Nevada and took advantage of the slot machines. We stayed at a place called “Boom Town” which was a respectable place but never judge a book by it’s cover. The external “Boom Town” was very attractive and seemed to be the place to stay, however once inside, it was…..blah. Dirty floors, weirdos walking around, noisey, and one thing I was continuously having problems with was finding my room.Everything looked the same so I was always turned around. GPS would have been great, or just a map. My mother is a pro at Wheel-of-Fortune by the way. Justin can vouch for that! I don’t know how she does it, but she always manages to come home with 400+ bucks.
Ryan Peterson

My new plates. Photo by: Ryan Peterson

After “Boom Town” we zipped over to Redding. I’m not going to lie, I was nervous. I was worried about being fired, not getting along with my fellow workers, and basically being in a new enviornment. This was my first time out on my own. To make a long story short, I got acquainted with everyone, got the full low down on the shop action, and got my first Mike Michalak talk session. That was scary, but defiantly nessesary.
Note to self: Sit up straight, and look him in the eye during a talk session.
I remember he asked me a very simple question, and I was so nervous that I stuttered, turned bright red, and gave an idiotic answer . “Great job Camille,” I cursed myself. “Now he thinks I’m a retarded chick.”
After the talk session, I followed my room mate, Ryan Peterson, to my new home. Now as you can imagine, I was wondering what living with two bachleors had in store for me. I was thinking about stinky bathrooms, random girls staying over, massive amounts of dirty dishes, snoring (one did but he will remain un-named), and other relativly small things. To my relief, none of these were problems. The house was “cute” and roomy, didn’t stink, and to make it even better, my room mates where awesome. Justin is a chill, low key, steelhead bum, Star Wars lovin, and mountain-man kind a guy(he had a bushy beard). He helped me learn the ropes of steelheading and it’s do and don’ts. Ryan on the other-hand was the complete opposite…….no just kidding. Ryan is also a major steelhead bum who greatly contributed to my education of steelhead. He was kind enough to drag me along on weekend steelhead trips to the Klamath, Trinity, and Rouge rivers.  
My first steelhead expedition took place on the Klamath river, which was about a two hour drive North from Redding. My partners in crime were Ryan, and Frank Smethurst.
Camille Egdorf

Ryan Peterson and Frank Smethurst at 2 am. Pumped and ready for the day to come. Photo by: Camille Egdorf

Ryan Peterson

Deep in big foot discussion. Photo by: Ryan Peterson

We left the drive at roughly mid-night, after a long and drawn out proccess of getting our gear ready and saying goodbyes to my mother(she was heading back to Montana the next day). The vehicle of choice was Ryan’s reliable land cruiser, which was very roomy, and had a great sound system, and a back seat belt that slowly squeezed your stomach till it was touching your backbone. We talked at length about various subjects. Big Foot was a hot topic. Apparently Frank is a firm believer, and ironically our destination was a hot spot for Big Foot sightings. I wasn’t un-nerved but every time I hit the bushes during the night, I was wondering if Mr. Big Foot was quietly observing.

Note: It was Halloween night.
Camille Egdorf

Frank and Big Foot Photo by: Camille Egdorf

We finally reach the gravel bar of choice. There’s a slight drizzle of rain, but when your steelheading you pay no mind. In fact, as I was told, rain is classic for steelhead. The rain didn’t bother me in the slightest. You live in Alaska long enough, rain becomes a way of life. We pitched a tent, drank some beers, talked big foot, and rigged up for the day of steelhead to come. I had never thrown a double-hander before, so I thought it best to sport the single hander first, just to get a feel for the river. Soon I graduated, and tried out the Spey! I’ll never look at single handers the same again.
Justin Miller

the big D. Photo by: Justin Miller

What’s up fellas & Gals?

Greetings all. This blog is an attempt to write down anything that I find to be interesting in my life. So welcome to my ramblings page. Enjoy!!

 Alright on to more important things. My name is Camille Egdorf….aka…maynard, mac & cheese, cami, and my favorite…..rip lps. I’ve spent my entire life migrating back and forth from Montana to Alaska. My folks, Kim and Dave Egdorf, own and operate a guided fishing operation on the King Salmon and Nushagak rivers in Bristol Bay, Alaska dating all the way back to 1982. My mother, an Idaho Falls bomb shell, was 21 when she decided to “go out on a limb” and take up a cook position in remote south western Alaska.  It was there that her passion for cooking originated.

Nick Meilander

Watch out! A crazy blonde is behind the wheel! Photo by: Nick Meilander

My dad was raised on a small farm in Minnesota, and was defiantly an outdoorsy kinda boy.  When he finished with school he went into the army and ended up going to Vietnam as a medic. He’s to this day still telling stories of some of his patients he had under his knife. After the war, he learned to fly and headed North in his small super cub. He spotted herring for a couple years, then went on to fly air taxi for several airports in Bristol Bay. From the sounds of it, the air taxi business is good exposure to some of the local “drunk” folk of remote Alaska. Here is an example.

“I just lifted off the runway with a very heavy load of local village people. Everyone on the plane was drunk off their rockers, and I was sweating the chance that someone might barf in my plane. The thought of cleaning up another mess like that made me cringe in my seat. Pondering on this possibility, I felt a tap on my shoulder. I look behind me to see a woman(a very large woman) staring me right in the eye with a twisted and painful look on her face. I ask her what she wanted. “I gotta go peeeee!!” she squeals. Taken a bit aback by her rank breath and very forward methods, I tell her she must wait utnil we get to our destination. “Pilot!!!!! I gotta go pee!!!” she squeals again tears welling in her eyes. I turn to face the wind shield and bite my lip. I really don’t want her to pee herself in my plane. So I turn around and land back at point A. Now I figured this woman would just hop off the plane and go inside to use the facilities. Nope! As soon as the plane was stopped she jumps out, lifts up her poke-a-dot dress and pees right in front of the plane. Now it wouldn’t have been as bad if she was a bit more slender, but a half naked fatso, with bad breath, and buck teeth was, as you can imagine down right horrid. As everyone in the plane and out on the taramak looked in the other direction, she finishes her business and hops back into the plane. Grinning from ear to ear. “Pilot lets go,” she orders.” And off we went.”

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Dave Egdorf sporting 185 Limo Tango Photo by: Camille Egdorf

My parents met at Tikchik Narrows Lodge. My mother was a cook and my father was a pilot. They started Western Alaska Sport Fishing in 82, were married in 84, and had me in 89.

Mike Mercer

The family crew! Photo by: Mike Mercer

I’m now 19, living the life of a full time college student, and still migrate back and forth from Montana to Alaska. I’m officially obsessed with fly-fishing or just fishing to be exact. I was about 3 years old when I dragged my first fish out of the water. I actually remember watching my little cruise ship bobber submerge and disappear under the ice hole. I was so amazed by the 5 inch long crappie, that I played and stared at it for hours. That was it…..I was hooked with a very big barb. In the years following that remarkable day, I continued to hamper and pester any fish that I could. When I was about 9 years old, I caught a 27 inch brown in front of the house in Montana. I was so excited that I showed everyone in the house. To my dismay, dad wasn’t there to view this amazing fish. So…..I grabbed the minnow bucket, which was about 3x4ft in size, threw it in the river, and stuffed in my prize fish. Now the fish didn’t stay in there for just a few hours……but for a few DAYS!! Finally my dad comes home, and I drag my fish up to the house to show him my trophy. He’s amazed not only at the size of the fish, but how long it stayed in the minnow bucket and had lived. To make a long story short, the brown was released and swam happily away. I’m sure it was cursing the little blond girl for couping him up in a dark box for four days. The old man still gives me a hard time for that one.

 

I was introduced to a fly rod at the age of 6. A client was kind enough to give me my first rod, I believe it was a Sage Graphite III 6 weight. To that man, I thank you! You gave me the best gift a little girl could ask for……the passion for fly fishing. 

Camille Egdorf

Gotta love the King Smolt! Photo by: Camille Egdorf

I continue to wave a rod today. I guide for my parents in Alaska during the summers. This past summer was my first time as a guide and although it was hard mentally and physically, I had a great time. What better way to spend the day then catching fish and drifting down a river. If I can make fly-fishing my career, it would be a dream come true.