I was named Brooke after the trickling brook that quietly cascades through my bucolic childhood home in Vermont. My Mom is Margot Page, esteemed author of the fly fishing memoir Little Rivers: Tales of a Woman Angler and a founding member of Casting for Recovery. Through my Mom’s bloodline, I am the great-granddaughter of Alfred Waterbury Miller, known as Deac to his family, but to the rest of the world as Sparse Grey Hackle, the legendary writer, editor and author of Fishless Days, Angling Nights. My Dad is Tom Rosenbauer, who was basically spawned from a trout stream and has become the modern world’s authority on fly fishing through his countless books, TV shows, videos and podcasts. With all this nature and nurture from the fishing world, you would assume that I emerged from the womb wielding a fly rod permanently attached to my arm and an irrefutable talent for reading trout streams and tying extravagant wet flies.

Well, an angling prodigy I am not. Although, I was pretty good at making flies from dinosaur stickers and Barbie shoes at age 6. This is the story of how, after 29 essentially fishless years on this planet, I decided to make fishing my own, in spite of it all.

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Photo by Brooke Rosenbauer

I have almost no recollection of fishing with my parents. Apparently it happened at least a few times, as they have both unearthed photographs of me in a goofy, ill-fitting vest, wildly flinging the rod around. In a few cases, I was caught dangling a few dejected looking fish in front of my blonde, puffy, tween bangs.

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Photo by Brooke Rosenbauer