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"Never Forget Where You Came From"


The photos are of a fine River Tooth, and of me in my former guide life on the Quinault and Queets rivers. If you have not experienced one before, a River Tooth is the remains of a great tree taken by a powerful river.

It takes years, maybe decades to shape the old branch knot from a great tree. Once the tree becomes a part of the river, the water shapes and molds the tree. The mighty Quinault River, in this case, worked away at this tree until it bared its dense, pitch-filled teeth. The tree is gone, but its strength pervades as a single tooth like this one in the photo.

Months ago now, my friend sent me a package that contained a white puffy coat, a letter, and this river tooth. He made the placard with the inscription "Never Forget Where You Came From", a perfect metaphor because the river that shaped this tooth also shaped me. It worked on me for years--stripping away old versions of me and preparing me. The river revealed my strength, persistence, it shaped and refined my purpose.

I couldn't share this gift for months. It was too personal. I miss home too much, and am away because I need to get this damn doctorate degree.

Once I have it I can return home to my rivers, bare my own teeth, and protect them fiercely. I'd be doing precisely what these waters shaped me to do.

Thanks for this gift, Bill Herzog. Let's walk the river together soon.

I recently returned from the 2022 International Convention of Allied Sportfishing Trades, ICAST! This being my fourth ICAST event, I felt it important to share a few experiences in particular. ICAST is an industry trade show, so what can I share that is relevant for you and our other friends that love the crazy fishing world? A lot! New fishing gear, of course, is exciting to talk about. For me, having face time with the companies that support my career is meaningful. However this event should also be seen as a significant barometer for the future of the fishing trade. Change is afoot.

As a part of a growing trend, women were HEAVILY celebrated at this year’s event. I saw women represented on most companies posters, fliers, and marketing. Bebe Dalton, Angie Scott, Debbie Hanson and other women pulled together the “Women in Fishing Meetup” with an outstanding attendance of talented, brilliant, and inspiring women from all parts of the country. Shimano hosted a Women’s Happy Hour alongside the Take Me Fishing organization who raised money for the Recreational Boating and Fishing Foundation, the event was incredibly well attended! The Take Me Fishing Organization let loose a team of Women Wave Makers, arming new and avid female anglers with the resources needed to welcome newcomers to the sport to get their fish on and enjoy all the benefits of fishing and boating. Outdoor America hosted a beautiful industry party featuring musical talent LOCASH, and highlighted their ambassador team—WOMEN (myself and Kristine Fischer)! Support for the many inspiring and authentic women was prominent. What was not observed, is important as well.

I observed a DISTINCT lack of “booth babes” (booth babes definition- hyper sexualization of women who are directed to wear bikini’s or similar to pull the male gaze and falsely representing women in the outdoor world like me and most others). Make no mistake, I appreciate and respect women in all forms and representations. The exploitative nature of booth babes has always struck the wrong chord with me, but I would rather focus on what women do right instead of what some marketing personnel  did wrong.

The first time I attended ICAST personally, I think I knew a total of 10 people at the show. Few of those people were women, and it was a bit overwhelming. This year, I never felt once that I was looking for space to belong in this industry. Women made their own space, it belongs to us, we own it now. Collectively, the women in the photos, the women that were at ICAST, the women there in spirit, and thousands of women and girls who are a part of this industry have a role in shaping a future that ultimately means the continuity of our way of life as anglers and lovers of the outdoors. What do I mean by continuity? A 2022 Special Report on Fishing found that 63% of daughters participated in fishing with their mothers compared to 45% with their fathers. The report found that women are the decision markers, with 54% of activity planning coming from mom. The involvement and celebration of women in fishing means a vibrant and healthy fishing industry going forward.

You and I both know we all deserve a fair shake at becoming a fisher if we so choose. Whether you do it for food, mental health, as a way to learn a new skill,  to make memories with friends and family or all of the above— we all have a responsibility to pass on what was given to us. Full Stop.

I commend the industry partners that supported women’s events this year. I want to extend a huge thank you to the women of this crazy fishing industry. I came to the fishing industry because I love fishing, and I will stay forever because I love you all.

- Bad Ash 

On August 31st, U.S. Senator Patty Murray came to the Olympic Peninsula to walk along the river with myself, State Representative Steve Tharinger, President of Taylor Shellfish Company, Bill Taylor, and author and conservationist, Tim McNulty, to discuss the Wild Olympics Wilderness & Wild and Scenic Rivers Act. Our group walked along the stunning Dungeness river. There, we discussed why these places matter along with the importance and timing of this legislation.

The bill will protect more than 126,000 acres on the Olympic National Forest and designate 19 rivers and their tributaries as Wild and Scenic. In short, the legislation permanently ensures these places continue to stay wild and free flowing. You can learn more about it here.

To walk the river with someone is to share a personal and profound experience. We are reminded so quickly that we need the river, as human beings. We need the moments of serenity away from the business and noise of everyday life and to reconnect with the natural world. We need reminders that we are a part of an ecosystem, and our lives depend on the river.


“Come down someday, and we will take a walk along the river”- a favorite invitation of President Lyndon B. Johnson


When you walk a river with another person, you see them in a different way. President Johnson’s favorite invitation to his company was, “Come down someday, and we will take a walk along the river.” I imagine he accomplished much by this, when he extended that invitation to Secretary of the Interior Stewart Udall, as they discussed protecting the river they hold dear. I also imagine he was able to make his points to protect his beloved river by allowing it to speak for itself.

When I received the invite to walk the Dungeness River with Senator Patty Murray, I knew that this was a big opportunity for the Wild Olympics and Scenic Rivers Act. I knew that once the senator experienced again what each of us can relate to when we walk the river, that she would bring the experience back with her to DC in her fight to get it through the senate.

Beyond the magnificence of the Dungeness, we talked about salmon.

As a lifelong salmon and steelhead angler, a former Olympic Peninsula fishing guide, and member of the Quinault Indian Nation, salmon are entangled with my very identity. All Pacific Northwest tribes, while each unique in their own regard, share a profound connection with the salmon. The salmon are intertwined with our economy, our ability to feed ourselves, our history, and our very societal structure. Salmon are important to the sportfishing community for some similar reasons. It is a heritage passed down, a major economic driver, a way to feed a family, and a welcome respite from the exhaustions of life.

I had the opportunity to talk to the senator about protecting rivers now. Salmon anglers know too well the anguish of trying to dig ourselves out of a fisheries disaster after it is too late. While our friends to the south on the Columbia River are saying goodbye to their summer steelhead runs, we have a sobering reminder that ‘too late’ can come swiftly and any reaction to save them is not a guarantee.

Even on the Olympic Peninsula, the story of the Quinault Blueback Sockeye demonstrates how damaging logging, culverts, and damaged habitat is on a fishery. The Quinaults have closed the fishery for multiple consecutive seasons, as the returns continue to decline for this special sockeye exclusive to the Quinault.

Perhaps the most important lesson we have learned about our salmon fisheries in the Pacific Northwest, is that it is better to protect them proactively than it is to climb out of ‘too late’. When a forest is logged to the riverbanks, it takes time for that precious habitat to come back. When a dam is placed in a river, the damage is forever.

As we mourn our respective fisheries across the region, let us also be resolute in our opportunities to be proactive. Placing permanent protection on Olympic Peninsula rivers and land is a major win for salmon and steelhead. I am thrilled, and far from surprised, that Senator Murray saw the significance of this moment. She looked at these places with the same regard we do and is committed to pushing this legislation forward. Earlier this summer, she, along with Representative Derek Kilmer, re-introduced the plan. The bill passed out of the House with bipartisan support, and it has had a Senate committee hearing- it is close to getting to the president’s desk.

As we all go forward to help protect our fisheries, I hope more of us can use the river as our ally to win others over. It is what won you over, and me, and countless others. Say to your adversaries and to your friends, “come down someday, and we will take a walk along the river”. Hear people out on those banks and invite them to hear your perspective.

As a woman who lives at the intersections of many groups who are typically opponents, I find great joy in moments of cohesion and consensus. I am a sport fisher and an Indigenous woman, a member of two groups that share a dark history in the Pacific Northwest. In my ongoing quest to look for ways to bridge gaps between my two worlds, I often think about walks along the river. It is there that I trust others will look to solutions with longing and hope.



Shimano Pro-Staff Summit 2019


The moment I arrived at Shimano headquarters in Charleston, South Carolina I was hit with a profound realization. The realization was that the anglers I was meeting and catching up with would be the same people I will tell fishing stories with and stay in touch with for the better part of my life and career as a professional angler. I watched this in play as the anglers all met in the Shimano foyer. We were catching up, life updates, fishing expeditions, and thoughts about what the week ahead would bring.

The Shimano Pro-staff summit was a select group of Shimano teammates who would gather so Shimano could get to know us, and we could get to know Shimano a little bit better. The crew included top television personalities across the U.S., Master Brand Advocates such as me, and an overwhelming crew of Professional Bass Anglers. Even as many of us were meeting for the first time, there is a common way of seeing the world we all shared immediately. It just happens in the fishing industry, no matter how different you are as an angler. From saltwater fishing far off the east coast to small stream fishing under a forest canopy; the physical views are a world apart, but the world view is the same. We earn our livelihood from fishing and deeply care about everything that fishing encompasses. Because of this, we speak the same language. Beyond the love of fishing, we are all bonded by another significant attribute.

We execute at the highest level possible while leveraging the best fishing equipment available, period. Shimano rods and reels are at the least good enough for this group to allow it to be the foundation of their livelihoods. Specific equipment, as it turns out, would be the hottest topic of conversation on our first day together. After introductions, a tour of the Shimano factory, and reel and rod training, we gathered for a market trend conversation. Each pro was tasked with considering market trends and coming to the table with individual needs for each region. The likelihood of a more qualified group of individuals for this task is slim to none. Immediately conversation was rich with rod and reel needs, with feedback, and with the depth of understanding within each respective region. The bass conversation became so enriching that they split off and started their own quorum. Perhaps the most impactful part of the pro staff summit was the opportunity to give direct input to the Shimano team, knowing there is a solid chance we would see our suggestions on a retail shelf at some point. Who better to make those decisions than the people that use the product to the very extreme? While the rod and reel conversations were hard to pull away from, vans awaiting departure for downtown Charleston for dinner made us a bit more agreeable.

Low Country Boil

During one of the meals, I was lucky enough to sit across from Dave Pfeiffer, the president of Shimano North America. We engaged in conversation about various fisheries quickly, and the conversation turned to advocacy. I asked Dave if Shimano had a specific department that focused on advocacy, mostly because I wanted to ask him if I could be a part of that. Personally, I see my work as a professional fishing guide and outdoor personality as a gateway to conservation. When I take people outside and they experience the beauty of the rainforest and the joy of fishing, they begin to relate and care about places in a new way. If Shimano had some space for a fishing kid to get involved on a larger scale, I wanted to know about it. Dave's answer was a smirk, then he said through a smile we will talk about advocacy and exactly how you can get involved during the presentation tomorrow.

“To promote health and happiness through the enjoyment of nature and the world around us.” -Shimano Mission Statement


Two things about the presentation on advocacy at Shimano you should know about.

1)      Shimano puts their money where their mouth is. They show up for important organizations like CCA, Building Conservation Trust, Harte Research Institute, Keep America Fishing, and Keep Florida Fishing- notable there are only a small handful of other companies that do advocacy support the way Shimano does. (Like, three others) Shimano believes in science-based management, and that access for all is significant!

2)      The president gave the presentation. The presentation could have been given by anyone. I could have read the slides for this presentation. Dave Pfeiffer giving the presentation is significant because it makes the following statement.

When it matters most- We. Show. Up.


Moreover, as soon as Dave’s presentation about advocacy ended, the team went outside to assist South Carolina CCA and the Department of Natural Resources in a conversion project.

Turns out when you recycle oyster shells, bag them into the black mesh bags below and place them on coastlines a few significant things happen.

·         Oysters will build upon them, and oysters filter an average of fifty gallons of water a day and up to 2.5 gallons of water per hour

·         Coastlines are reinforced, preventing erosion

·         Fish habitat is created from the oyster shells

After getting our sleeves dirty (because you can’t talk about advocacy without rolling em up), it is only appropriate to have an Oyster Roast and cookout!


Of course, I am looking forward to Pro Staff Summits for years to come. Eventually and hopefully, there will a young woman there listening to Captain Ben Powers and I talk about the ‘way back when’s’ the way I listened Carter Andrews talk about his days rowing a drift boat just like mine.

Until next time, we disembark!


Bad Ash


Coast to Coast Blog Part 1


The summer of 2019 has brought me to some incredible places. I earned a spot at ICAST in Orlando Florida with Shimano North America, and early July I headed down to the land of humidity, big fish, and amazing people.

The experiences I had in Florida will not soon leave me. I made fishing plans with some of my friends here in the Pacific Northwest to do a little bit of fishing while we were all in the same place across the country. My friends from the Gerber Gear team set up a fishing trip with one of the captains on our Shimano team. Since I partner with both companies, I thought it an excellent excuse to go and scare a fish or two. As soon as I Cast is over, we would make a two-hour trek to West Palm Beach and begin our fishing excursion with Peacock Bass. Before I dive into that, a little bit about some awesome Shimano reels at I Cast.


Outdoor people are simply sickly people. Fishermen have their arms in a cast, and hunters always have buck fever. I can add a new ailment to my list of preexisting conditions, the bird flu. Two years ago, my good friends Eric, Bryan, Boardman, and another known as ‘young air force’ took me duck hunting. What they exposed me to that day changed my very idea of fun stuff to do outside.


For three hours we waited in line for the gate to open. The trout opening day in 2017 began with North Lake’s gatekeeper oversleeping, and late to let eager anglers launch their boats. More than forty vehicles waited in line as daylight approached, unable to move. Sound miserable? It was anything but! Although fishing should never be taken too seriously, still I focus a bit too much on the details. Trout is a completely different situation. It is easy to take less seriously for a few reasons. First, you are going to have success in a stocked lake even if you fish with a toaster. Second, you won't come upon the fish of a lifetime in a stocked lake. Not impossible, but not likely.

It’s the most wonderful time, of the year…. From the perspective of the passionate men and women of the outdoors I am clearly talking about Steelhead Season! With Halloween behind us and Thanksgiving quickly approaching now is the time to grab your warmest coat, head out to the fishing garage, and let the preparations commence. As a fishing guide, the most successful days on the water are a result of careful preparation and planning. To me, catching trophy steelhead and staying close to where they are doesn’t come by accident (every now and then we all get lucky!). From proper attire, to gear, to technique, here is everything you need to know about being prepared and ready to make the most of your steelhead season.

In the Pacific Northwest, summer time brings the best of our country to light.  In the fall and winter, most of outdoor sporting happens for those of us who chase salmon, steelhead, and hunt big game. As a guide, the summertime is more or less my “downtime” where I pursue other interests, and wait for the first rains of September to return to the river.

In the last 30 days, I have been reminded once again of how truly incredible the Pacific Northwest is. From the endless opportunities once you step outside, to the incredible men and women that carry on the heritage of outdoor sportsman life, there is much to fill our lives with the things that make us feel, well, full.

Guiding two private rivers on the Olympic Peninsula has been a great privilege to me, and it’s pretty difficult to pull me away from my home waters. As is the case with many of us that are fortunate to have some body of water close to us that we know inside and out. However, with my season slowing for the summer and a well-deserved break from school, I decided I would do a bit of exploring in my own way. My own way meaning I try never to limit myself when it comes to experiences, and I will try new things. I am not a fly fisherwoman, spey fisherwoman, terminal tackle fisherwoman, nor a centerpin fisherwoman. I am a fisher woman and enjoy all parts of fishing, whether I am proficient at the skill or not.

Destination: The Olympic Peninsula Gear/Technique: Single Hand 5 wt, Casting Rod with Spinners

Before I trek to new waters, I decided to start this 30 of summer on my home rivers, the Quinault and Queets rivers. I guide these rivers much of the year and wanted to see what is swimming in the post snow melt flows of the two rivers.

As long as I have been chasing fish, I have always been a fresh water angler. In the great Pacific Northwest, we count our fortunes by counting fish entering the river. I genuinely have never had much of a desire to go anywhere else! Home has always treated me well. I met Kiley, my boyfriend, two years ago and knew fishing horizons would be opened. Tuna fishing has captured me the way Steelheading set its hooks into me.

I’m happy to say it again, a life of salmon and steelheading is a darn good life. Exploring further than you have before to find new fishing grounds, trying every cure and color under the sun to trick your prize is a skill engrained in us.  Even if you are new to salmon/steelheading, the days on the water among our evergreen home is nothing short of memorable.  

Tuna fishing let me be new at something, and go further than I had before again. That is an experience I hope you give yourself too. 


I am a woman working in a non-tradition field as a fishing guide and ambassador of the great outdoors.  I take people fishing, give people a memorable experience in the outdoors, and share my adventures as well as teach through social media.

There are lots of blogs about the details of fishing, like different techniques and types of gear. As a girl who has been taken fishing by my significant other, as well as taken my significant other on trips- there are some lessons I’ve learned along that way that can impact your day just as much as the right rod, reel, or technique can.

Having a great fishing trip with your partner, is a skill to build too. There is nothing better than sharing a day doing your favorite activity outside with the one you love, and creating memories. On my guided fishing trips, I hear so often “I wish my wife or girlfriend would go with me” On social media, people comment on photos of my significant other and me and mention they wish they could have fun fishing days with their partner.

I have a lot of respect for companies that put forth effort to support the amazing ladies of the outdoors. Lord knows that in a male dominated outdoor industry, we can certainly take all the recognition we can get!  This week, Sportsman Warehouse is shutting down every store on April 6th between 6-8pm, and celebrating ladies. When Gabe Boline of the Kelso Sportsman Warehouse reached out to me to headline their night, I couldn’t say YES fast enough!  I mean hello, let’s talk about my favorite things with women who are out there too WITH a glass of wine in hand. (Can we have lady’s night every weekend?)

Not only am I excited to hang out with the ladies, but OF COURSE I have GIVEAWAYS of my own.  The team at G Loomis/Shimano heard about this, and of course were on board to support it.  Compliments of G Loomis, the first twenty ladies get a free hat (the one in the photohttps://www.facebook.com/images/emoji.php/v8/f6c/1/16/2764.pnghttps://www.facebook.com/images/emoji.php/v8/f6c/1/16/2764.png❤)



The hat fits my head, the underside of the bill is pink, and I LOVE this style


Along with this give away, Jim Reed from Reeds Rod Wraps sent me a pile of rod wraps to give away!

ESPN Seattle 710AM - Outdoor Line Interview - Hunting & Fishing Talk Radio

Source: http://kiroradio.com/listen/10009386/

Sometimes it’s best to hear the facts from the experts. These guides are doing just that. 

While everyone’s focus is on Astoria’s Buoy 10 fishery in August, some are planning ahead for guiding their clients on their home waters in more familiar areas.

If you’re unsure about hiring help to put you on fish, here’s a little motivation.

If you’ve ever looked into hiring someone that helps people have successful fishing trips for a living, you’ve probably weighed whether or not it’s worth the money. Catching is not always a guarantee, but the pros far outweigh the cons when you break it down into terms of what you’re paying for. Here are some legitimate reasons why hooking up with a guide will more than likely lead to hooking up with more fish.

If you can’t make it to the water, perhaps these notable quotes about fishing will help you get through the day.

Fishing is a lot of things to a lot of people, but it’s often a difficult thing to put into words that others can understand.

The benefits of being near the water or simply being outdoors have been proven as an effective form of therapy, often leaving us without thought, and at times, at a lack for words. It’s hard to explain, but here are some notable figures that have attempted to do so…

FISHING -- Nearly 50 new sportfishing rules, including a requirement that anglers release all wild steelhead they catch on several streams on the Olympic Peninsula, were adopted by the Washington Fish and Wildlife Commission during its Dec. 11-12 in Port Townsend.

Combining a passion for people with fishing and cosmetology

By Heather DeRosa

Job titles such as hair stylist and fishing guide are in career fields that don’t go together.

But don’t tell that to Puyallup resident Ashley Nichole Lewis — her two passions are more similar than one can imagine.


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