Angie Allsup (@flyfishing_flygirls on Instagram) was born in Colorado.
“But I didn’t grow up there,” she says. “My parents moved to Southern California when I was really little and that’s where I grew up. But living in Colorado had an influence on my parents, and we would go camping and fishing often.”
Angie spent most of her life with a spinning reel, but about 15 years ago, her husband decided to become a fly fishing guide. So, Angie took up the sport, as well. She was smitten.
“I think of fly fishing more as an art than a sport,” Angie says.
Although Angie and her family live in a gorgeous part of the world — about five miles from the entrance of Yosemite — there isn’t a whole lot of blue ribbon fishing in their immediate vicinity.
“To find really good fly fishing opportunities, we have to head up to the Merced River,” she says. “Sometimes we’ll head east of the Sierra Nevadas to the Owens Valley, June Lake Loop or Hot Creek. There’s some great fishing over there. We also enjoy fishing in Idaho and Alaska, where my sister lives.”
Angie targets mostly brown trout and the occasional rainbow.
“Sometimes, we’ll fish the Owyhee River in Southern Oregon,” she says. “The brown trout there are huge.”
In the creeks and streams of the high country near Angie’s home, she has also caught golden trout.
“I keep meaning to post a picture with one,” she says. “But I’m always too busy fishing to take pictures.”
She’s also a strict catch-and-release reeler, so if she doesn’t get the shot before the fish is back in the water there’s not another opportunity to do so.
When Angie is fly fishing, she typically walks a creek or river.
“But we do drift sometimes,” she says. “Especially if we’re fishing in a place that we’re not familiar with, the best way to get to know the water is to hire a guide and float.”
As an avid fly angler, Angie noticed something about Instagram in 2015.
“All the women anglers were sitting around in bikinis, holding up fish,” she said. “There were hardly any accounts or pictures of women fly fishing. So, I started Fly Fishing Flygirls.”
The Flygirls tag line is “More fin, less skin.”
Women fly anglers simply tag Angie’s account, tell a little something about themselves, and Angie shares their images. Her Instagram account now has 23,000 followers and due to demand, she even started an apparel brand — also Flyfishing Flygirls — in 2016.
“It’s going pretty well,” she says. “I do it more as a hobby than a way to make a living, though.”
Nevertheless, the brand also helps Angie toward her goal of empowering more women to become involved with fly fishing.
“For me, it’s important to get more women to flirt with the sport,” she says. “I’d like to start a women’s fly fishing group up here — there aren’t many of us — and even teach some classes, so that they will feel more comfortable with it.”
Angie hopes that other women can experience fly fishing in the same way she does.
“I love being in the elements. Getting out on the water,” she says. “The sound of the river, the smell of the pines, the wind through the trees. It teaches me patience. I like to go out on my own — it’s healing and soothing for me.”
“It’s my peace of mind,” Angie says.
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