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 began 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 Skylar Masters
I have been taking my daughter Ashley fishing with me for as long as she could walk. Trout, sturgeon, kokanee, steelhead – she didn’t care what we were fishing for as long as she was fishing! She has always enjoyed spending time on the water during the weekend or on evening fishing trips after school. If she is not fishing with me for steelhead, she is fishing Silver Lake with her grandpa.
When Ashley was younger, we had to bait and cast for her, but at age 10 or so, she began doing everything on her own. Mostly she uses small FlatFish or our favorite bait, Looney Coonies, behind the boat for summer-run steelhead on the mainstem Columbia, but last year her grandparents bought her a pair of waders and she began float fishing the rivers in the Kelso-Kalama area with me.
She is a great fishing buddy! She lost her first couple steelhead on a jig and bobber, but she was determined to land one. She’s now caught many steelhead from the boat, but her first from the bank was pretty special! She outfished the boys that day and she will never forget it!