Smith River {Part 2} The Video Footage…

Matt just created a video recap of our trip to the Smith River. Enjoy a peek into our crazy adventure… sorry for the “F” bomb that Matt drops just moments after consuming the largest gin & tonic I have ever seen. (Thanks to Gary at Heaven on Earth for that…) Haha!

<p><a href=”http://vimeo.com/67168011″>Smith River 2013 with Montana Matt and the Crew</a> from <a href=”http://vimeo.com/user4941051″>Tracy Moore</a> on <a href=”http://vimeo.com”>Vimeo</a&gt;.</p>

Smith River Floating Trip {Matt’s Dirty Thirty Party}

We have been trying to get a permit to float the Smith River for a few years now, and we finally drew one this year! It was perfect, because we got to float on Matt’s birthday week to celebrate his 30th with some of our awesome friends!

Not sure if any of you have floated the Smith before, but if you ever get the chance- DO IT.

It’s a blast. We chose to float it in 4 days (but I believe you have an extra optional day). We fished, we consumed lots of beer, we hiked to an amazing pictograph cave, we laughed a ton, enjoyed nature and I half-loved having no service for 4 entire days. ;)

Our friends Tiffany & Lucas drove up from Colorado for the float, and we also had our good buds Richard & Josh too.

Coming home after 4 days in nature is bitter sweet. You don’t want to come back to real life… but you soon remember that real life has hot showers and soap. Real life also has fluffy pillows and soft mattresses. So it’s sad to come home, but it’s also awesome.

What floating/fishing/camping trips have you all done? What trips are on your bucket list?

Enjoy a few pics from the trip, there is more on my facebook page here: Montana Fly Girl FacebookImageImageImageImageImageTip for camping/floating food. Prep a ton of tinfoil meals and freeze them before you go. These breakfast burritos were the BEST. We made them beforehand (eggs, cheese, sausage, potatoes, peppers & onions) and we just threw them on coals in the morning and they were DELISH & so easy!ImageImageImageImageImage

Josh brought his pipe along… so we all enjoyed it.

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Some fun late night light painting!

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Rock climbing to the pictograph caves!

 ImageImageImageImageImageImageImageImageImageImageTiffany getting ready to stab the mouse that ate her energy bars…

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Amazing trip with great friends, can’t wait to do it again!!

Face your Fears. {Stratosphere SkyJump- 855 Free Fall}

What are you afraid of?

Not finding your soul mate soon? Staying with a job you hate forever? Scared of Heights? Scared of Spiders?

Whatever you are scared of… it’s time to face it.

Jody Blume said, “Each of us must confront our own fears, must come face to face with them. How we handle our fears will determine where we go with the rest of our lives. To experience adventure or to be limited by the fear of it.”

So… are you going to experience adventure… or are you going to limit yourself with fear?

Choose adventure. I promise you will never regret it.

Here is a quick video of myself jumping off the Stratosphere Hotel in Vegas a couple years ago. Yes… I jumped off the Stratosphere Hotel. I was in Vegas with my Studio Manager, Steph, and a couple of my best friends, Sara & Leann. We were there for a photography convention called WPPI and at the last minute, before we had to catch our flight, we decided to face our fears and jump. It was incredible. I was so scared… but when I was at the bottom looking up, I felt stronger… braver. I encourage you all to face your fears, and do something crazy.

“Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn’t do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.” – Mark Twain

Happy Thursday, you brave kids!

::xoxo:: – Tracy

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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A great day on the river with my Dad, after wayyyyy too long of a break.

“They say that from the instant he lays eyes on her, a father adores his daughter. Whoever she grows up to be, she is always to him that little girl in pigtails. She makes him feel like Christmas.”  - Anonymous

One of the best days on the river was when my Dad came to visit us out here in Montana from Colorado. He hadn’t ever been fly fishing with us. He hadn’t picked up a fly rod in decades. He talked about his love for it back in the day. I could see his eyes light up with joy just imagining the happy memories of his younger days. Life is hard, it’s not always full of good memories. So those times we get lost in happy moments, are so precious.

So I said, “Time to make new happy memories Dad!” and off to the Big Horn River we went…

It was an amazing day. He was right back in the swing of things and after a quick casting lesson with Matt, he was on his way. He caught some great fish, and like most days, lost some great fish too. Matt said he knows where I get my feisty attitude from. He also seemed to pick up on where I picked up my temper from. When my dad lost that beautiful, humungo trout… he may have said some naughty words. It all made sense to Matt. ;) Thanks Dad for making me laugh all day.

That day was so special to me, and I know it was really special to my Dad. I love how I can share this with him and enjoy it as much as he does.

Nothing like a good day on the river with the people you love.

My Dad holding me, September 16th, 1986.

Born & Raised in Southern California… I don’t think he would have guessed in a million years that little lady would grow up to love fly fishing. ;)

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PS- in that last pic, no… that is not slobber being transfered from the fish to me. EW. It’s my glowing hair in the background! I do not actually kiss my fish… I just pretend. ;)

“It is admirable for a man to take his son fishing, but there is a special place in heaven for the father who takes his daughter shopping.” – John Sinor

I want to add on to that quote. My dad did take me shopping, as well as play barbies with me all the time after he got done with a long day of work. Now, we go fishing together. And that is something I can add to the list of all-time memories to the Daddy-daughter list.

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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How to get your girl on the river… {10 Tips to get her Hooked on Fly Fishing}

Okay boys, listen up. This one’s for you.

Ya’ll keep emailing me asking how to get your ladies to appreciate your love of fly fishing, and how to get her to love it like you do.

Short answer. She may never love it. She may never appreciate your love of it. She may be un-hookable. Like that fish that taunts you… the one you can never land. But there might be hope. I’m here to help.

This girl was me. Years ago, I would have never thought I would be obsessed with fly fishing. I would have bet money on it. Matt would always take me out on the raft and I would just sunbathe, eat sunflower seeds, and cast a few times just to shut him up. True story.

Then, his persistence paid off. Somehow, someway… it finally hit me.  My husband and his stubbornness… finally used for good. ;)

So here are some tips for you guys out there. Get to work, be persistent, and do what I tell you… and you may be able to pull this off.

Also… 50% of the time, I may have no clue what I am talking about… so feel free to help and add your own tips in the comments section.

Top ten ways to get your girl hooked on fly fishing:

10. Start off small. Go somewhere close & start with a couple hours. None of this 6am to 9pm sh*t. She will be ruined. You want enough time to be able to teach her a few things, but do not give her time to be frustrated, get bored, or want to quit. Short and sweet here fellas.

9. Make sure the sun is shining. Check the weather, kids. Most girls are not big fans of being cold. We get grumpy, we don’t want to move, and all we can think about is cuddling up with you on a couch by the fire watching our favorite girly movie while you sit there, rub our feet, and pretend you like it. This will change with time, don’t worry. The more she loves fishing, the more okay she will be with fishing in colder weather. Because who cares how cold you are when you have a 26 inch rainbow trout in your hands?

8. Floating is better for the first time. If you have a boat, or can get one, do it. We are girls, we like to be pampered. Row for us, show us your muscles. Know what I’m saying? Don’t make her work too hard the very first time or she might just hate it forever. I know. Girls. Relax… she’ll learn to appreciate hiking and wade fishing later. Hopefully.

7. Buy her cute stuff. Seriously. Go shopping with her. Show her how excited you are to fish with her. Help her pick out a new hat, or a cute new jacket to wear. Don’t buy her ugly polarized glasses, let her pick out cute ones herself… then she will actually wear them. The cuter she feels, the happier she will be. Plus, we just get happier when you let us buy stuff… or better yet, when you buy it for us.

6. Tell her that her ass looks amazing in those waders. Because we all know they don’t. Waders suck for girls. We don’t feel cute. I hated them so much for so long, and I still don’t really love them, but Matt tells me that my butt looks amazing in waders, and I pretend he is telling the truth. Then I shake my butt and do a little happy dance and I’m all good.

5. Bring extra stuff, and double check. Another great trait that lots of us ladies share? We forget everything. We don’t know what we need when we fish. Her cute new jacket? She left it in the garage while she was yelling at you for waking her up so early. Her glasses she just spent hours picking out? On the coffee table. Round it up for her. Double check that she has everything. Then bring more.

4. Encourage her. A lot. It gets me motivated when Matt tells me I am casting like a champ. “Good Job!!” and “Yeah, girl!!” goes a long way. Make her feel like she’s not the big dummy she feels like. When she gets her fly caught in that tree for the 27th time… don’t make fun of her. Then move her away from that tree, you idiot. Don’t ever quit with the encouragement. We need it.

3. Don’t force them to fish the whole time. Let her bring a book, even if it’s that 50 shades of grey garbage. Bring her snacks, we love snacks. Let her watch you and be ever so impressed by your smooth casting skills. If she wants to take a break, let her.

2. Be patient. I don’t really have to explain this one. Just don’t be a dick.

1. Never give up. Never. Like I said, it took me years to appreciate fly fishing, then a few more years to really like it, then another year to LOVE it. She has to want it for herself. Just make it a fun experience for her. Teach her things in a kind way, make her feel good, make it a fun adventure, and keep at it.

After all this, when she finally likes it… save up for a trip. Take her somewhere awesome to fish. Matt took me to Alaska, and it changed everything. Seriously, it was amazing. I wasn’t even that excited to go, then I teared up coming home because I didn’t want to leave. Alaska, BC, Bahamas, Costa Rica, Mexico… there are so many options! Either surprise her and have it all paid for so she can’t say no, or plan it all out together because some girls hate surprises.

Hope this helps you boys get your girls out there with you.

You’re welcome, gentlemen. :)

xoxo- T

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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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