Growing up, my idea of the perfect summer vacation was heading up to Michigan and staying at my best friend’s family cottage on Big Fish Lake for a week.  She and I would count down the days until we went to ‘The Cottage’ because we couldn’t wait to spend our vacation fishing!  Rain, bugs, cold, nothing stood in the way of the opportunity to fish with our dads.

As we got older, we had less opportunities to go fishing, so it wasn’t until about a year ago that my eyes were opened to this sport.  When I first met my boyfriend, Aaron, he was working as a local Steelhead/Salmon guide.  I had never had an opportunity to fish for trout or salmon before, so I started tagging along with Aaron on his fishing adventures throughout the Midwest so I could learn from him.  That ‘nothing can stand in my way’ attitude was stronger than ever as it was wintertime when I first started learning how to fly fish.  Between frozen fingers and snags in the overhang of the narrow creek, one could say frustration was becoming a familiar feeling for me, but I was determined to hook into a steelhead that winter.  

That day came for me under the most unexpected circumstances.  Normally I would be set up to indicator fish a nymph or an egg pattern, but we realized that after driving 40 minutes to our fishing location, that we forgot to bring an indicator for me to use, so egg pattern without an indicator it was.  I made one cast and my line went tight and I knew I had a fish on.  Miraculously, I was able to land her and snap a quick photograph before we released her.  The phone call I made to my dad after was so fun because I could tell he was so proud.  

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Photo by Rachel L

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Photo by Rachel L