Interview with Jennifer de Graaf {Canadian Hottie who can Outfish the Boys}

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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

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Head over to her facebook page and say hello!

Jennifer’s Facebook Page

Jennifer’s Photography Website

Thanks for letting me interview you, Jennifer!! Can’t wait to fish with you!!

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Big Giveaway!!! C&F Design Fly Box, Flies, Simms Hat & The Longest Silence Book!

Happy Thursday everyone!!

I felt like being a giver today… so I put together a sweet little bundle that will make you smile when you win it. 🙂

It’s pretty easy. Go like my facebook page, comment on this blog post, and then share this contest with your friends on facebook so they have a shot too!

Winner will be announced April 1st. Then maybe I’ll pretend you didn’t win and say “April Fools!” 😉

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Your Fishing quote for the day:

Fisherman’s Prayer

Lord help me to catch

a fish so large

that even I in the tell of it

never need to lie…

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My First Time… {Steelhead Fishing Washington}

Washington.

Washington will always have a little piece of my heart now. I will always remember my first steelhead. I will never forget how beautiful it was there. I’ll keep the amazing memories I shared with Matt, Ben & Trevor in my mind forever.

I get it now. I have been wanting to chase after a steelhead for a while now. I have heard countless stories that made me want those memories so bad. These fish are so special. They are fighters, they test your patience, they are each so unique, and they always leave you wanting more.

It was so interesting hearing Trevor talk about these amazing fish. He, like so many, is so passionate about them. He loves the chase and it’s what he’s dedicated a huge part of his life to do. He wants to protect them. He wants to share his passion with anyone who will listen. He made me love and appreciate these fish so much more. He also tried to teach me new fishing techniques for a week and didn’t kill me… so that proves he is a patient man. 😉

That feeling you get the moment you realize there is a steelhead attached to your line is one of the coolest feelings on the planet. You feel their strength, you are preparing for the fight, you think of NOTHING else in the world but that fish.It’s unexplainable, only those who have had a steelhead on their line will know what I’m talking about. Because they get it, too.

I think it’s so funny that I am even talking about this right now. Me? Obsessed with fly fishing? It still amazes me. I would have never guessed. Matt has tried to get me to love it for years. The moment I did it for myself, was the moment I fell in love with it.

I’ll be writing another post soon, with more stories, more pictures, and more adventures… but for now, I have to go catch up on everything I missed this last week while I was in Heaven Washington.

Thank you for everything, Trevor. You gave us some pretty incredible memories. Not only did you help catch me my favorite Alaskan rainbow trout of all time, you have now helped get my first steelhead. I will forever be grateful. You also put up with my crazy self for 7 entire days. My hyperness, my laugh attacks, my frustration on the river, my forgetfulness, and my klutziness. You got a little taste of what Matt has to live with on a daily basis, I’m pretty sure that’s why you kept feeding him beers. 😉

Thank you Ben for tagging along and taking video and pictures of our whole journey. You are so patient, so hard working, and so much fun to be around.

Thank you Matt, my amazing husband for helping guide me to love this world of fly fishing so much. I am so glad we get to share it together, you are so patient, and are always so encouraging and supportive. Love you forever!

What a trip…

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Ben caught this one as Matt and I were headed back to the boat. I love this picture. It’s not posed, we are doing what we love together, I’m sipping on my beer, and all is good!
Photo Credit: Ben Sherman of Lux Montage

Photos of Trevor, Ben & more fishing coming soon!

To contact Trevor and book this amazing trip for yourself contact him here:

Trevor Covich – Worldwide Fly Guide

OpFlyguy@gmail.com – (206) 437-6363

Happy Tuesday everyone!

Why do you fly fish?

Why do you fly fish?

Everyone has their own answer. Some do it simply because they love fishing. Some do it because they love to explore. Some, because they want to escape from the stress of their job. Maybe some people do it because they love spending time with the people they get to fish with. We all have our reasons.

At first, I did it because Matt did it. Matt would beg me to go. Sometimes I wanted to, sometimes I didn’t. I liked being on the raft… in the summer… when I could chill out, enjoy the sunshine, and fish 20% of the time we were on the water.  It would drive him crazy when I wasn’t fishing. Being that brat that I was am, I think him wanting me to do it so bad, made me want to do it less. Stupid, right? Yeah, it’s a dumb girl thing. Anyways… when I pulled my head out of my ass and realized how awesome it was, everything changed. Now, I ask Matt to go. I will go rain or shine. I still hate waders, but I don’t complain as much.

Sorry Matt, for taking so long to appreciate the sport you’ve always loved so much. So glad we get to enjoy something so awesome together now.

So here’s to fishing for your own reasons… and pulling your head out of your ass. Life is so much better when you do, I promise.

Fish on!

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Trout Tuesday {Alaskan Rainbow}

One of the best catches of my life was this Alaskan Rainbow Trout caught in Quinhagak, AK last July.

We’d been catching 16-20 inchers all day, so when I caught the first glimpse of this one, my heart started beating a million beats per second. I did not want to lose that guy. People that fish know, that nobody prays as hard as when they have a huge fish on the line that they so badly want to land.

Well… I landed him. It was an amazing feeling, and Trevor, our guide, my hubby and myself were running and dancing all up in that river when we got a good look at him. He measured out at 26 inches and Matt will forever be jealous of the trout I landed in Alaska.

Thank you, Mr. Trout for making my entire summer. You fought like a champ, posed for my pictures, and you put up with my screaming and bad dance moves as I bragged all about you.

Alaska will always have a piece of my heart… owed mostly to moments like this.

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