Category Archives: Fishing Trips | Real Women Of Northwest Fishing

Read the stories of Real Women of Northwest Fishing on their Trips and Outings here at NW Sportsman Mag.

RWONWF: A Long Way From ‘Bullheads From The Bulkhead’

Editor’s note: If it’s December, it’s time for our 5th Annual Real Women of Northwest Fishing feature! Once again we’ve gathered some great pics and stories for our tribute to the fairer sex of Washington, Oregon and Idaho anglers. For one, it’s a self-taught love, others an activity that 5thAbegan down at the bulkhead or with Dad many years ago. For some, it’s come a long ways – Barb Koos tells us about her “all-female” crew now out on the Columbia, while Jennifer Stahl and Rebecca McClain enjoy working in the field, and Heather Hodson is busy bringing more women to the water. However they reached the water, we salute the Real Women Of Northwest Fishing in these and the following pages! –The Editor

By Jessie Bigley

My parents have a house on the water on Camano Island, Wash., so growing up we would stay the summers there.  Me and a couple of the neighbor girls would spend what seemed like hours catching bullheads off the bulkhead. It wasn’t until I met my husband, though, that I really got into fishing. He’s an avid fisherman, so it became very clear that it was going to be a part of our lives whether I liked it or not. Fortunately, I loved it!

Jessie Bigley with a Snohomish River coho. (JESSIE BIGLEY)

Jessie Bigley with a Snohomish River coho. (JESSIE BIGLEY)

Fishing is about more to me than just the catch. Don’t get me wrong – I like to limit out just as much as the next guy or gal, but it’s also about the time spent with my husband, sons Fischer and Billy, family and friends. Even the worst day of fishing can still be one of the greatest days on the water.

I feel pretty lucky that I get to do something that I love on a pretty regular basis. Fishing has taken me to some amazing places and introduced me to some awesome people. There’s still many species of fish on my list to catch and places to go, but I’d have to say, I’ve come a long way from catching bullheads from the bulkhead!

Jessie enjoyed fishing with her two young sons, Fischer and Billy, on opening day of trout season at Lake Ki, north of Everett. (JESSIE BIGLEY)

Jessie enjoyed fishing with her two young sons, Fischer and Billy, on opening day of trout season at Lake Ki, north of Everett. (JESSIE BIGLEY)

RWONWF: ‘I Fish For It All’

Editor’s note:  For some, it’s independence, for others a chance to get out and enjoy nature. Some point to the strong influence of fathers who took them afield at an early age, or boyfriends or husbands who recently got them into the sport.

In turn, they’re teaching their daughters and girlfriends to fish and care about the resource, and some are going further, joining the fishing tackle industry. However they arrived here, we saluted the Real Women of Northwest Fishing in our December issue of Northwest Sportsman. 

Over each day of the holidays we’re going to post the ladies’ full stories (some were edited to fit the mag) as well as pics we simply couldn’t fit into the given space.

Happy holidays!

By Wendy Hafer

I learned to fly fish at about 5 years of age while growing up just south of Portland.

My grandparents moved to Lincoln City from Orofino, Idaho, when I was born in 1973 to be near family. My grandfather, Gene Marquette, only had an 8th grade education and was a logger. Wait, I take that back, he was a fisherman! He loved to fish. I gladly say I am a product of him!

(WENDY HAFER)

(WENDY HAFER)

When I would visit him on the coast, it was up at 4 a.m. to leave by 5 a.m. to get “the spot.” My job was to build and start a fire. I watched what I believed to be perfection: wait for hours to get that one salmon to bite and the fight was on!

(WENDY HAFER)

(WENDY HAFER)

I only wish he was here to fish with me now. Just last week before going out on the Salmon River in Riggins, I said, “Grandpa, I need your help.” It was tough steelhead fishing, but sure enough, not an hour in and it was Fish on! It’s in my blood.

(WENDY HAFER)

(WENDY HAFER)

I work as the fishing lead at Sportsman’s Warehouse in Nampa where I get to talk and show/see pics of fishing when I am not doing it myself. I love the Pacific Northwest! Such a great place to live! I fish for it all, from deep sea on the Oregon Coast to catfish on the Snake River.

Let’s go fishin’!

photo

(WENDY HAFER)

RWONWF: ‘For The Challenge, For The Catching’

Editor’s note:  For some, it’s independence, for others a chance to get out and enjoy nature. Some point to the strong influence of fathers who took them afield at an early age, or boyfriends or husbands who recently got them into the sport.

In turn, they’re teaching their daughters and girlfriends to fish and care about the resource, and some are going further, joining the fishing tackle industry. However they arrived here, we saluted the Real Women of Northwest Fishing in our December issue of Northwest Sportsman. 

Over each day of the holidays we’re going to post the ladies’ full stories (some were edited to fit the mag) as well as pics we simply couldn’t fit into the given space.

Happy holidays!

By Cami Bayer

Don’t let her height fool you. At 5-foot-2, Toni Pollock-Bozarth may be short on stature but she is long on skill. Being one of two sisters among four brothers ensured that she would be no stranger to the world of outdoor sports – particularly angling.

Toni remembers back to as early as 5 years old when she accompanied her grandmother to Point Defiance on a fishing excursion during which she lost her little fishing rod – and it was later returned by some good-hearted fisherman. Fast forward to her adolescent years and she has warm recollections of driving to reunite with her brothers for a day of fishing off the Point Defiance Dock and Old Towne Dock in Tacoma.

(TONI

(TONI POLLOCK-BOZARTH)

Upbringing aside and despite being born in an era when a woman’s place was said to be in the kitchen, Toni chose to defy stereotypes. It would not have been unusual to run into her purchasing outdoors gear at any number of outdoor sports retailers. As a matter of fact, if you had been in a Payless store in 1976, you might have had the opportunity to overhear a conversation between Toni and the sales clerk in which she informed him that the ammunition that she was buying was for herself, not her father or husband.

Toni has clocked thousands of hours on the water, both fresh and salt, by boat and on shore, as far north as Baker Lake and as far south as the Columbia River, and in all directions in between. Deemed the “Kokanee Queen” by those who know and love her, she has definitely gained a reputation as a local force with which to be reckoned.

Now, stack all this hands-on repertoire on top of towing, launching and fishing out of her own boat and being an active member on a few different fishing forums with – get ready for this – making her own gear! It is no wonder that Toni is a natural when it comes to selecting the killer set-up that catches the fish. It began simply by playing around with creating her own gear.

Slowly, other anglers took notice of her success and began to ask her if she would sell them her wares. Her website, wannafishalure.com, is chock-full of colorful, tried-and-true inventory featuring names like “Black Bead Headed Woolly Bugger” and “F24 Mojo.” There are even sections on the site for reports and photos that back it all up. After all, who wouldn’t want to say that they caught a fish with a “Ballerina Jig”?

Ask her the burning question, “Why?” and she will respond with a knowing smile in her good-natured, no nonsense, matter-of-fact fashion that “I do it for the challenge, for the catching!”

(CAMI BAYER)

(CAMI BAYER)

RWONWF: ‘Dad Took Us Fishing For Nearly Everything’

Editor’s note:  For some, it’s independence, for others a chance to get out and enjoy nature. Some point to the strong influence of fathers who took them afield at an early age, or boyfriends or husbands who recently got them into the sport.

In turn, they’re teaching their daughters and girlfriends to fish and care about the resource, and some are going further, joining the fishing tackle industry. However they arrived here, we saluted the Real Women of Northwest Fishing in our December issue of Northwest Sportsman. 

Over each day of the holidays we’re going to post the ladies’ full stories (some were edited to fit the mag) as well as pics we simply couldn’t fit into the given space.

Happy holidays!

By Buzz Ramsey

When it comes to fishing, Cheryl Kindwall Laverty is among the more photographed women in the Pacific Northwest. And while Cheryl is easily recognized by those of us in the industry who know her, the many fishing success photos appearing in magazines like this one has prompted some anglers to wonder who the mystery woman is. So I asked Cheryl what got her into fishing in the first place.

“My dad had three girls and no boys, so we were introduced to the outdoors at a young age,” she revealed.

(CHERYL KINDWALL LAVERTY)

(CHERYL KINDWALL LAVERTY)

It turned into a career. Cheryl is the camping, fishing and hunting buyer at Fred Meyer with responsibility for 140 stores covering the three Northwest states plus Alaska and Utah. Becoming the buyer over these important categories wasn’t on Cheryl’s mind when she was hired on at the Newport, Ore., Fred Meyer as an assistant manager fresh out of college.

But she knew she wanted to be a buyer and was willing to take any department available. While working in the garden center in 2006 a copy of Fishing and Hunting News was circulated around the office showing Cheryl holding a 15-pound steelhead. She was surprised to see how much attention the photo caught.

The next year she asked her boss during a business trip to Alaska if she could be “dropped off” at the Soldotna store and book her own flight back to Portland. She fished the next three days on the Kenai and caught the largest king salmon of her life, over 50 pounds. When Cheryl got back to Portland, her boss called her “nuts” for venturing off on her own up north, but within a year she had the sporting goods job.

Given the chance to apply her experiences and passion for the outdoors into the decision-making process at Fred Meyer has been a big win for Cheryl and the company. Her enthusiasm oozes through the phone as I listen to her detail her sporting goods department responsibilities.

“We truly are a one-stop-shopping-destination. In most of our stores, you can pick up a sandwich, a case of beer, raincoat, fishing line and hooks all in one stop. Of the 140 stores I buy for, 125 handle fishing tackle with the tackle sets in those stores varying in size from 24 to 136 feet (of aisle space). Our product assortment varies by region and often by store, depending on what fisheries are available locally. For example, consumers in Alaska or other target areas like Newport, Tillamook, Brookings, Tumwater, Snohomish and Puyallup have more tackle to choose from than stores located where fewer of our customers fish or hunt. In addition, 39 of our stores carry firearms (including handguns), ammunition, and hunting-related products.”

There is little doubt Cheryl’s father Dick Kindwall had a big influence on Cheryl’s understanding and passion for the outdoors.

“We hunted for deer near our home and we would help Dad clean and prepare the animal. Hunting was a big part of our lives growing up – I remember taking a deer heart to school for show-and-tell when in second grade,” Cheryl confesses with a laugh.

(CHERYL KINDWALL LAVERTY)

(CHERYL KINDWALL LAVERTY)

One of her fondest memories is of her dad picking a backlash from her baitcast reel while bank fishing the mouth of Three Rivers back in the mid-1980s.

“Dad was so persistent; he wanted us to learn how to use his gear, even if it meant picking out dozens of bird’s nests! Poor guy! Dad took us fishing for nearly everything – winter steelhead on the Nestucca and Siletz, fall Chinook on the coast, trout, you name it.”

After returning from college in Montana Cheryl continued to make fishing a big part of her life.

“Before meeting Mike (Laverty) I spent most of my time bank fishing coastal rivers and fishing the Columbia with friends, but we now fish the ocean from our dory Beer Can, which is great because we pretty much have it all to ourselves.”

So what’s Cheryl’s favorite fish to catch? “Steelhead; I love to side drift for them.”

Her favorite to eat? “Lingcod, definitely.”

When I asked how often she fished, she did pause. You see, Cheryl and Mike now have a 1-year-old girl.

“Well, pre-baby, Mike and I fished pretty much every weekend during the best times of the year. Our daughter Jesse has slowed my fishing down a little, but I plan to begin taking her with me a lot more this next year – just like my dad did with me when I was little.”

Cheryl with Sockeye IMG_5559CHKREDS

(CHERYL KINDWALL LAVERTY)

RWONWF: Fishing Brings Her Independence

Editor’s note:  For some, it’s independence, for others a chance to get out and enjoy nature. Some point to the strong influence of fathers who took them afield at an early age, or boyfriends or husbands who recently got them into the sport.

In turn, they’re teaching their daughters and girlfriends to fish and care about the resource, and some are going further, joining the fishing tackle industry. However they arrived here, we saluted the Real Women of Northwest Fishing in our December issue of Northwest Sportsman. 

Over each day of the holidays we’re going to post the ladies’ full stories (some were edited to fit the mag) as well as pics we simply couldn’t fit into the given space.

Happy holidays!

By Kristi Daniels

I grew up in Grays Harbor, just above the Chehalis River. There was a path in my grandpa’s backyard on which me my brother walked down to the river and fished from the bank. At some point growing up he quit taking me fishing. I have it in my head that it was because I outfished him once.

(KRISTI DANIELS)

(KRISTI DANIELS)

I now live just a five-minute walk from the same river bank. In the last six years or so, I started dating an avid fisherman. He reacquainted me with the sport. I still remembered how to cast but knew nothing about how to tie any hooks or lures or other rigs. Over time he taught me some techniques, but many times he usually took care of my pole and equipped me with what was needed.

At some point, and through some time spent alone, I wanted to go fishing, and made a trip to a sportsman’s store out of town. I told a clerk I needed some supplies and asked for his assistance. I also asked for more instruction on how to tie hooks, so he took the time to show me. Of course, this man who also liked to fish asked questions about where I fished, and was quick to mention he fished down there a lot too, and had a boat. I’m not sure if he was fishing for more personal information, but he was kind enough to take his time to show me what I needed to know so I could fish independently.

That sort of launched more independence on my part, and I went home and spent about an hour at the kitchen table tying setups that included a purple Corky, a hook and some weight. I was planning to fish all afternoon, so I put all of my setups in a plastic bag and went to the river. Once there I sat down and started to get my gear out only to find all of my rigs completely tangled!

Frustrated about the time I’d spent as well challenges I was going through in my life, I began to cry. I laid back and asked God what he was trying to teach me. I soon realized it was patience. So I cut everything and started all over. From that point on I realized fishing was going to help give me patience and some peace in my life. That’s how I got back into fishing.

(KRISTI DANIELS)

(KRISTI DANIELS)

I FIND IT TO BE A GREAT, SOMEWHAT INEXPENSIVE way to spend an afternoon. Where we live and fish we generally don’t have to compete with a ton of people. I’ve fished up in Orting side by side with tons of people in small areas and narrow rivers, and that is not a type of fishing I enjoy.

Most of my fishing these last several years has been hiking into various places, and we have gone in all sort of weather – rain, floods, sleet, and snow. I enjoy the days we drive up to the Wynoochee Dam and take a 20-minute hike down to waters that are a beautiful blue, or the 25-minute hike into the Salmon River where we ended up catching a wild steelhead with nobody else around. It’s fun to stop at the store for some snacks and cheap bear for those adventures. (For some reason, cheap beer is the preference when it comes to fishing. It’s just not the same if you take some higher-priced beer along.)

(KRISTI DANIELS)

(KRISTI DANIELS)

In the last year I was given a boat, so we have spent more time boat fishing than on shore like we used to. I’ve added a purple touch to my boat, the REVLON, which features purple flooring we painted over the old boards. It’s nothing fancy, but we have had fun tearing it apart and putting it back together, and landing fish in it. It’s an ’86 Almar and it’s a great boat for fishing. My boyfriend is my boat chauffeur, but I am able to back it down the launch, loaded or not.

I FEEL I HAVE ENOUGH SKILLS I CAN FISH independently. I may not have mastered a lot of techniques, but I have a few that have proven to work, and I’ve landed several fish alone. One time, planning on fishing all afternoon, I had on a purple Vibrax and hooked a fish, got it near to where I was standing – and then my reel broke off my pole! I frantically tried to grab hold of the fish, but, well, you know the rest of the story: It got a way. Silly girl, I hadn’t though about needing a net. I can only imagine what I looked like wrestling a fish at my feet! But I’m not sure what I was more upset about: the broken reel, the lost fish or the brand-new lure that swam off with the fish? I renamed that spot the “purple hole.”

One of my favorite fishing trips alone was on a hot summer day. I just had some worms and light tackle, water sandles, shorts, a tank top and a baseball cap. I hiked upriver, crossing from one side to the other, fishing all the way up until I decided it was time to turn around and do the same thing coming back. I couldn’t tell you how many I hooked that day and released! They weren’t big but they were biting, and it only added to an incredibly beautiful day. I couldn’t escape peace that day!

I enjoy giving the fish I catch and can keep away to those who love fish more than I like to keep them. Sometimes just a picture with the fish is good enough for me and then I release them. I always prefer purple for any type of tackle, but I do try other colors on occasion. I do bait my own hooks at times, and I have cleaned a fish (yes, only one) with my nice SOG fishing knife, so I think that makes me an official “fisherw’man.” But any time someone wants to bait my hook for me or clean my fish I will gladly accept. I’m not that INDEPENDENT.

(KRISTI DANIELS)

(KRISTI DANIELS)

RWONWF: ‘If You See A Girl Fishing With A Baby, Chances Are It’s Me!’

Editor’s note:  For some, it’s independence, for others a chance to get out and enjoy nature. Some point to the strong influence of fathers who took them afield at an early age, or boyfriends or husbands who recently got them into the sport.

In turn, they’re teaching their daughters and girlfriends to fish and care about the resource, and some are going further, joining the fishing tackle industry. However they arrived here, we saluted the Real Women of Northwest Fishing in our December issue of Northwest Sportsman. 

Over each day of the holidays we’re going to post the ladies’ full stories (some were edited to fit the mag) as well as pics we simply couldn’t fit into the given space.

Happy holidays!

By Jessie Bigley

My name is Jessie Bigley and my husband has me hooked – on fishing! I don’t really think he knew what kind of monster he created until I started going on my own during the day while he was at work.

(JESSIE BIGLEY)

(JESSIE BIGLEY)

I still have a lot to learn, but I’m having a great time doing it. It’s a great excuse for me and the kids to get out of the house. If you see a girl fishing with a baby attached to her, chances are it’s me!

(JESSIE BIGLEY)

(JESSIE BIGLEY)

Here’s a picture of me with a beautiful summer Chinook I caught on the Skykomish River.

(JESSIE BIGLEY)

(JESSIE BIGLEY)

And here’s one of a future Real Woman of Northwest Fishing, my daughter Karissa with her first trout.

(JESSIE BIGLEY)

(JESSIE BIGLEY)

OK, she may have had some help reeling it in :-))

RWONWF: How I Found My ‘New Passion’

Editor’s note:  For some, it’s independence, for others a chance to get out and enjoy nature. Some point to the strong influence of fathers who took them afield at an early age, or boyfriends or husbands who recently got them into the sport.

In turn, they’re teaching their daughters and girlfriends to fish and care about the resource, and some are going further, joining the fishing tackle industry. However they arrived here, we saluted the Real Women of Northwest Fishing in our December issue of Northwest Sportsman. 

Over each day of the holidays we’re going to post the ladies’ full stories (some were edited to fit the mag) as well as pics we simply couldn’t fit into the given space.

Happy holidays!

By Carisa Barrett

It’s funny, I’ve lived in the Seattle area my whole life and grew up camping, but fishing was never anything I thought I would enjoy. Too many other things for a girl too do.

I did have a pole as a little girl, and I can remember catching a crab! As I sat on the rock with my two older brothers and three younger sisters waiting for the fish to bite, I realized my line was slack and looked down to see a crab crawling towards my feet, with my hook and line tangled around it. I screamed and my brothers laughed. We were at the Mukilteo ferry docks. That was the last time I fished, and I was 10 years old.

Now that the kids are out of the house and I have time to do what I want, I started hiking, and over the years, became an avid hiker. I often found myself at remote lakes and rivers in the Pacific Northwest. I would sit and watch the fishermen who would sometimes go for hours without a “fish on,” as they say.

As time went on, I eventually started asking questions and seeking out places to hike where I knew there would be people fishing. I love the sound of a river more than any other sound there is. It’s hypnotizing.

(CARISSA BARRET)

(CARISSA BARRET)

The final thing that got me fishing was the price of Copper River salmon! I sent one to a dear friend in Iowa for a barbecue they were having and I nearly fainted at the price! I thought to myself, I am going to catch my own.

I called a friend of mine and asked him if he would take me out. He took me to the Columbia out of Cathlamet and I caught my first steelhead within 30 minutes.

(CARISSA BARRET)

(CARISSA BARRET)

The next time he took me out to Bouy 10 and I caught my first salmon within 30 minutes!

(CARISSA BARRET)

(CARISSA BARRET)

I’m hooked. I travel about 70 percent of the year for work, so I don’t get a lot of time home to be able to fish. But when I am home and have time off, this is what I want to do – even if I don’t catch a thing.

Sitting on a river bank or trolling in a boat is one of the most relaxing and stress-free activities I can ever remember doing.

Now I am looking for a home on a river – that doesn’t flood!

RWONWF: Singer, Writer, Hunter, Angler

Editor’s note:  For some, it’s independence, for others a chance to get out and enjoy nature. Some point to the strong influence of fathers who took them afield at an early age, or boyfriends or husbands who recently got them into the sport.

In turn, they’re teaching their daughters and girlfriends to fish and care about the resource, and some are going further, joining the fishing tackle industry. However they arrived here, we saluted the Real Women of Northwest Fishing in our December issue of Northwest Sportsman. 

Over each day of the holidays we’re going to post the ladies’ full stories (some were edited to fit the mag) as well as pics we simply couldn’t fit into the given space.

Happy holidays!

By Troy Rodakowski

Kinser Nyden grew up living in and loving the outdoors. The 19-year-old excels at fishing, hunting and shooting, and is also a singer-songwriter working on her first album.

She attends Oregon State where she is a freshman studying microbiology and pre-med with plans to one day be an optometrist. In her time away from school she works at Mazama Fishing Pro Shop in Eugene.

(KINSER NYDEN)

(KINSER NYDEN)

“My parents have always supported me in different ways, allowing me to do what I want instead of forcing me to do what they think I should do. They have been very patient with me and my goals,” Nyden says.

One of her most memorable trips was a trek to Nevada to hunt pronghorn with her father, Gary. “I had been practicing with my Bowtech equalizer since I was 8 years old and will remember the 30-yard shot through the heart forever,” she says.

(KINSER NYDEN)

(KINSER NYDEN)

Nyden is quick to point out that salmon fishing is a very close second to hunting as she loves hooking those ocean beasts and fighting them to the boat.

(KINSER NYDEN)

(KINSER NYDEN)

RWONWF: The Toughest Northwest Sportswoman Of All?

Editor’s note:  For some, it’s independence, for others a chance to get out and enjoy nature. Some point to the strong influence of fathers who took them afield at an early age, or boyfriends or husbands who recently got them into the sport.

In turn, they’re teaching their daughters and girlfriends to fish and care about the resource, and some are going further, joining the fishing tackle industry. However they arrived here, we saluted the Real Women of Northwest Fishing in our December issue of Northwest Sportsman. 

Over each day of the holidays we’re going to post the ladies’ full stories (some were edited to fit the mag) as well as pics we simply couldn’t fit into the given space.

Happy holidays!

By Terry Otto

Misty Fox is not one to let anyone else land her fish. So when she broke her leg while scrambling over logs fighting a monster king on the Klaskenine River, she refused any help at all until she had wrestled the 51-pound brute on the bank.

“I free-spooled the fish until I was able to set the leg by myself and stand up,” she says of the incident. “I got him landed and headed for the car.”

MISTY FOX WITH A SHARK CAUGHT BY HAND OFF THE JETTIES AT WINCHESTER BAY. (MISTY FOX)

MISTY FOX WITH A SHARK CAUGHT BY HAND OFF THE JETTIES AT WINCHESTER BAY. (MISTY FOX)

One would think she headed straight to the hospital, but perhaps Misty stopped off to show the fish to a few people before taking care of that leg. For Misty, when it comes to fishing and hunting, pain takes a back seat.

The Northwest has more than its fair share of extraordinary outdoor individuals and Misty is certainly one of them. Growing up outdoors in Oregon’s Junction City, she now describes herself as a stay-at home mother who trades in exotic snakes. She now lives in St. Helens, but fondly remembers long summer days spent filling stringers on the Long Tom River.

“I love fishing,” she says. “My favorites are crappie, bass, bluegill, catfish, and kokanee.”

Now that she lives along the Columbia she fishes for salmon more often than warmwater fish. She’s no stranger to this kind of fishing, having started with her father and brother chasing fall kings on the Siuslaw when she was just 7 years old.

She is also an accomplished hunter. The first time I reached her by phone she was on a ridge top looking for a massive blacktail buck she had spotted days earlier. She also hunts other big game, and cougar and bear whenever she can. She recently went after quail, and wants to try other bird hunts too.

“I’m hoping to try a preserve hunt for pheasants,” she says.

Misty has an 11-year-old son and a 13-year-old daughter whom she has also started to introduce to the outdoors. In fact, family is the common thread that runs through all her stories of fishing Oregon’s waters.

“What I really enjoy more than anything else is spending time with my family in the outdoors,” she says.

These days you might spot her on Big or Gnat Creek searching for salmon and steelhead. But if you do run into her, and she’s fighting a big fish, don’t worry about offering to help.

Even if she breaks a leg.