Rebecca Aldous | Whistler Question
May 30, 2016 05:56 PM
Cortney Brown didn’t know what she’d haul in when she cast her idea at Whistler’s Great Outdoor Festival (GO Fest).
As a young girl, the southern Californian would head to mountainous Wyoming with her mother. There the duo would find a river to themselves, get out their fly fishing rods and take in the beauty of their surroundings. It was in the flowing water that her mother’s passion for the sport washed onto her. And it was that passion Brown hoped to cultivate in others with her inaugural Women’s Only Fly Fishing Clinic.
“It was something I had been thinking about doing for a really long time,” she said regarding the workshops. “I really enjoy fly fishing and wondered why there weren’t more women in the sport.”
The clinic became one of the hot tickets of GO Fest. The first class sold out, forcing Brown to add an additional workshop. The whole event went so well, that Brown is now considering starting a women’s fly fishing society in the Sea to Sky corridor.
“Really I am just trying to find women to come fish with me,” she half-heartedly joked.
Brown first came to Whistler on a snowboarding trip, which turned into a lifelong pursuit of exploring the corridor’s lakes and rivers. Today she calls Squamish home and manages Trout Country Fishing Guides.
“I am so happy that I can now focus on sports fishing as a living,” she said.
Fly fishing is experiencing a resurgence of sorts, Brown said. While the Sea to Sky corridor hasn’t seen the same pick-up as Northern B.C., a growing number of visitors and locals are choosing to check out the sport, she said. Brown attributes the spike in interest to the cultural movement to understand our food sources and the increasing popularity of forging.
“Fly fishing is a great way to get out and explore the area,” she said. “You are continually learning.”
Fly fishing is “moving meditation,” Brown said. One has to retain a sense of calmness as they wait for a fish to bite. Then there’s the adrenaline of reeling it in, looking at the beautiful creature before setting it free, she said. Brown has learned to read the ripples that make their way to the water’s surface. She takes note of the vegetation on the river’s bank and other animals that may also be looking for a meal.
“You can really explore what is happening under the water,” she said. “You have to pay attention to the spectrum of life. It really puts you in the moment. You learn to read what is going on with the river.”
The sport gives one an appreciation for the environment, she added. A major part of the workshop was going over angler awareness, which includes catch and release practices. Overfishing in the ‘60s has impacted the amount of fish sports fishermen see today, Brown noted. While some fish numbers slowly returning, it’s important that people aid their progress, she said.
Brown hopes to continue to share her love of sport fishing with other women. Anyone interested in helping her create a women’s fly fishing society can email email@example.com.
“I wasn’t sure if the clinics would be a success,” she said. “Now I am just excited to see those women at the river.”
Guided Trips: http://www.fishwhistler.com/guided-fishing-trips.html