Outdoors blog

Fly-fishing phenom April Vokey shines on camera as well as on river

April Vokey, a British Columbia fly fishing guide and founder of Fly Gals Ventures, shows fly tying techniques to Neal Beechinor of the Inland Empire Fly Fishing Club.  (Rich Landers)
April Vokey, a British Columbia fly fishing guide and founder of Fly Gals Ventures, shows fly tying techniques to Neal Beechinor of the Inland Empire Fly Fishing Club. (Rich Landers)

FLY FISHING -- My Sunday Outdoors feature story about Fly Gal founder April Vokey and her recent visit to Spokane was just a minor installment in an international series of media segments focusing on this bright light in the fly fishing industry. 

A few weeks later, she would be followed by a film crew to Belize before returning to her home-region in the Skeena area of British Columbia for a week of filming with a crew from 60 Minutes Sports (see trailer above). The segment aired in early November on Showtime.

Here are some of the highlights from my April Vokey story:

  • “I don’t like fluff in people, life or flies.”
  •  Among the most remarkable if not phenomenal details in Vokey’s life is that she’d become a hard-core steelhead fly fisher by the age of 16 without the direct influence of fishing parents.
  • “Late-night parties found drunken classmates stumbling through self-discovery as I soberly snuck out early to be on the river for first light.”
  • “I wanted it so bad that come hell or high water I did it every day to see how I’d do and get better at it,” she told me. “I’ve never had a 9-to-5 job.”
  • “It has always been a shame to me that fly fishing is perceived as a man’s sport. There is truly nothing overly masculine about it." 
  • “Woman in a male-dominated sport – I feel I’m so far past that now,” she told me. “I live the sport every single day of my life."

  • “I prefer to be thought of as an angler with integrity, someone who considers it a pleasure and a privilege to share what I know. "

Two weeks ago Vokey, 30, was in Missoula giving seminars. This week she's fishing in Chile.

The British Columbia fly fishing guide says she's been to about 20 countries for fishing. "I don't go to a country if I can't go fishing," she said.

  • Check out Vokey's blog.
  • See the March 2013 post in which she sheds light on her teenage years. "It took all of my courage to write that," she told me.



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