Jennifer and I got connected through facebook. I am not sure the first time I came across this awesome girl… but I think it may have been on the Trout Porn page where her alias “Grasshopper” would post some sweet fish pics (along with the whole TP crew).
I automatically loved this girl- she loves fly fishing, she is an amazing photographer, and she snowboards. I was like… I think I found my Canadian twin!! So needless to say I am bummed that we don’t live closer… but we are making plans to fish together soon when she visits Montana!
We had a skype date the other day, and this girl is hilarious. She was cracking me up the whole time. I loved hearing her stories, her passion for the outdoors & her love of photography.
Hope you enjoy her interview! Keep track of all her adventures with contact info at the bottom!
Name: Jennifer de Graaf
Nickname(s): Jenny, Jenn, Grasshopper
Where are you from? Grew up on an acreage outside of Lethbridge, Alberta – Canada
Where do you reside currently? Fernie, British Columbia – Canada
What makes you happy? Any outdoor adventure! My pets! My boyfriend!
If you could meet anyone in the world, who would it be and why? David Susuki – I respect everything he does to protect the earth we take from. I could talk to him for DAYS! I wish I had his strength/ambition to take less and to give more…
If you had a million dollars, what would you do with it? I would pay off my debt, build my photography business so it was very successful, I would get involved with conservation projects in Canada, I would do everything I could to reduce SUFFERING of any person or creature. These are the things I am passionate about.
How did you get into fishing? A past boyfriend of mine in 2008 taught me!
Favorite fish to chase? Why? Bull Trout! They fight hard and the places a Bull Trout hunt will take you are likely to be breathtaking!
Favorite place you’ve ever fished? lol Wouldntyouliketoknow River 🙂
Dream fishing location? Kamchatka – NOT just because of the fishing though. The history and the landscape of that place fascinate me! I want to hike, snowboard and fish there!!
Favorite fishing partner? My Boyfriend Ian!
What do you do when you aren’t fishing? I hike, snowboard, snowshoe, snowmobile, cliff jump, photography, work at my day job, walk my dog, hang with family and friends 🙂
Best memory while fishing? Oooooo well I have a couple but I will share this one: Before me and my boyfriend were dating and we were just getting to know each other I invited him to go fishing… I had a broken arm at the time from crashing into a tree at the ski hill, I had a cast. I was maybe two or three weeks into the healing process. Well I hooked a fish on the first couple casts – A pike actually, out of a river that had a great red and green coloration and was HUGE. Hehe I caught a significantly bigger fish than him that day and I think he fell in love ;P – Also my arm hurt real bad and took a lot longer to heal.
Craziest fishing related story? Well there are way too many but I will tell you one memory: One time I went out fishing in Fernie BC (BY MYSELF)…I was having a blast but really alert and maybe a bit scared of the bears. If you know anything about Fernie you know there are a ton of black and grizzly bears!! SO I was really watching out for them and I had my bear spray with me just in case. Well I was walking along the river (Quite small maybe two or three meters wide) and all of a sudden I see something big on the bank across from me!! AHHH I was so scared…It wasn’t a bear though it was a male moose! He was super frisky pounding his hoofs on the ground and swinging his head back and forth and then….He proceeded to get in the water and cross literally RIGHT beside me…I was so scared and enthralled. so I dropped my rod and slowly started backing up and at the same time trying to fumble with my camera to get a pic(didn’t get one). I realized that there wasn’t any where for me to go so I watched him(Heart racing!) cross right in front of me and go into the forest behind me. I sat there and thought “Time to go home or keep going” I stood there for a while…. Decided to keep fishing! So I threw a San Waun worm right in the pool were the moose had just crossed and on the first cast I caught a nice 14″ cutty…. So awesome!
You wouldn’t leave for a fishing trip without your: Camera
Favorite quote? ‘Be good to the fish and the fish will be good to you.’ – The old men around here like to say that a lot. I believe it though and I do everything I can to handle fish properly, clean up garbage and NEVER leave fly line on river! Also I always report a poacher!!
Favorite Rod: Redington 6wt
Favorite Boots: I love my Redingtons!
Do you tie your own flies? Tying flies is overrated. It takes me like three hours to tie a fly and it really doesn’t save you any money. I have caught fish with my own tied flies and that IS a cool feeling, but I am freakin busy man. I just don’t got time for that!! So I will always buy flies and once in a blue moon I will tie a few.
What do you want to improve about your fishing? My patience level – I get so grumpy when I am not catching fish that it takes away from the rest of the experience like the beautiful place I am in or the company I am with! And pretty much everything else…I am no pro that is for sure I have only been fishing since 2008 and I have a long way to go!
What are your biggest strengths when it comes to fishing? My cast. I think I have pretty damn good cast.
What advice do you have for other ladies breaking out into the fly fishing world? Be patient with yourself! Give it a good honest try for a month or two! Watch videos, read articles, take lessons.
Do you feel any disadvantage being a woman in the fly fishing world? Just pure strength. Men are stronger period. I have a hard time crossing some of the really big rivers so I am thankful that my boyfriend lets me hold on to his arm when we cross!! Other than that nope!
Anything else you want to share? If you don’t like fishing I am totally cool with that! That is one less person on the river!! ;P
Head over to her facebook page and say hello!
Thanks for letting me interview you, Jennifer!! Can’t wait to fish with you!!