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.
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.”
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.