Ready to meet seven strong females in the outdoor industry? Of course, you are. These women are all badasses who focus on the sport, rather than themselves. Check them out below, and be sure to follow them on Instagram and elsewhere.
Ashley Nicole Lewis
Being a fishing guide in the Pacific Northwest is highly competitive, and the industry challenges younger talent to make a name for themselves and earn the respect of their peers. However, Lewis has already exceeded the expectations of her counterparts, earning that respect both personally and professionally. As a member of the Quinalt Indian Nation, she’s passionate about guiding on the Olympic Peninsula, fishing tribal waters that are closed with the exception of tribal members and their guests. Whether using spinning, spey, or centerpin, she can ease beginners into more advanced techniques, and introduce anglers to a whole new world of fishing with the finest gear on the market.
Ashley’s close connection to these world-class fisheries, in combination with her charming personality, has snowballed into a large following with features in print publications and websites, as well as her own live feeds and trade show seminars. She’s also extended her passion into a collection of her own experiences put into words on her blog at badashfishing.com/baf-news. While she might lack the same star power of some of the other names on this list, the spotlight is sure to shine upon her.
It’s about the journey, not the destination. Jess McGlothlin captures the essence of this philosophy through her travel photography. She stays so focused on capturing these images that you’ll rarely see her step out from behind the lens. Many popular outdoor figures tend to focus on that glory shot, holding the trophy fish above the water’s surface, or basking in the full realm of emotions after a successful hunt. However, very few of them capture the little moments that build up to that pinnacle of the outing —a YETI cooler and a case of rods on their way to checked baggage; the rainbow of colored thread carefully displayed at the local fly shop; a pelican perched on a pylon; and the moment of anticipation when a hook is being baited, or a fly is being tied to the line.
Jess has taken text and photography both to task, with a large collection of contributions for print publications, calendars, websites, advertisements and travel guides. McGlothlin is as much a journalist as an angler, creating a visual with words and images like a modern-day lady Hemmingway. Her website www.jessmcglothlinmedia.com serves as a platform for her writing, imagery and media contributions. Check it out!
Skinner’s photography captures more than just wildlife and nature, but the simplicity of outdoor life. Her imagery appears alive with sounds and smells, from elk bugling, to steam rising from coffee cooked over a campfire, and the warmth of the sun coming through the windows of a cabin. Rocky Mountain life in Colorado, Wyoming and Montana are painted through her lens while riding horseback, kayaking, backpacking, camping, and road trips in a Volkswagen bus.
Skinner won the National Geographic Young Explorer Grant, and documented post-tsunami Sumatra, Indonesia. She also documented the people and ruins of New Orleans a decade after Hurricane Katrina’s destruction. Her natural fascination between the connections of humans and nature also led to a series on falconry. You can follow her photography pursuits at www.beccaskinnerphotography.com
Beyond being owner of Lary’s Fly & Supply and guiding on Montana’s Flathead River, Hutcheson’s passion for the water extends into her role in conservation efforts. She has written in the Fly Fish Journal about the necessity of regulating coal trains near waterways, spoken at rallies in favor of preserving public lands, and marched for taking action to address climate change.
Even as an avid Montana trout fly angler, Hilary’s love of piscatorial pursuits and traveling displays a variety of fishing destinations with a diverse range of species. Her love for the mountains, snow and skiing led to her involvement with the Protect Our Winters campaign.
Krissy Hay Knox
While she might be in shadows of iconic safari huntresses such as Eva Shockey and Kendall Jones (for now), Knox is a humble northwestern archery hunter that knows her territory and how to be successful at hunting big game.
Being the focus of print publication coverage, Krissy’s efforts have been recognized, and she has began hosting seminars at industry trade shows, sharing her knowledge with others.
Growing up on Alberta’s Bow River, Shearer developed a love for fly fishing as a teenager that blossomed into adulthood as a guiding career.
Paula has contributed both text and photography to print publications, acted as an industry brand ambassador, hosted and co-hosted Fly Nation, In the Loop, and Fly Fusion TV on the World Fishing Network, as well as being featured in a number of fly fishing films. (She’s also the angler holding the trophy fish at the top of this page.)
Perhaps the most prolific and widely recognized names in the fishing industry, April Vokey has scoured the earth far and wide, pursuing everything that swims, archiving nearly a decade of blog entries from her travels. Beyond cataloging her own personal experiences in the written word, she offers a long list of book reviews for fishing related texts on her website www.aprilvokey.com. She also has a regular podcast available for download, with interviews from fellow conservation stewards, industry professionals, and other popular figures.
April’s charismatic and inquisitive nature expressed in the blogs and podcasts are also transformed into short films that have been displayed on the Fly Fishing Film Tour, and speaking appearances in the U.S. and Canada.
Images from Instagram