Editor’s note: Each December we feature the Real Women of Northwest Fishing in our year-end magazine issue, and here are stories from the 2021 edition!
By Trishana Israel
There’s a small but incredibly strong pocket of amazing women anglers in the Pacific Northwest.
I’m truly inspired every time I’m out on the water. To look out and see other women across the water, we wave at each other, we encourage each other. We tip our lucky fishing hats as if to say, “You’re doing great, girl!”
I can’t speak for all women, but I feel the most beautiful when I’m fishing and have fish slime on my face and I’m covered in fish scales and scent.
I can pretty much pinpoint the precise moment that my passion for fishing was sparked. I was 4 years old and my father handed me a fishing rod at Lake Chelan. I spent the entire day chasing what were probably northern pikeminnow and kokanee. I was so upset when I had to go to bed and I couldn’t wait to return to that same spot the next morning. From that moment forward, I was hooked.
You can often find me on my modest little 10-foot fishing boat on Puget Sound stalking coho, blackmouth and the beloved king salmon. It’s an old fishing boat and it has very little creature comforts, but it has welcomed its fair share of nice fish aboard.
Some of the best days of my life have been on the water and the next adventure cannot come soon enough. When you’re fishing really hard, racing against that tide change, feeling the power of the water and the strong currents, there’s something really amazing about that and I get to return to it over and over again. Other things in my life continue to change, but that reference point is always there. It’s a really great way to check into a bigger perspective.
Being a woman angler definitely has its challenges. But at the same time I feel like it’s not that challenging. If you show up and if you are dedicated – do the work, fish hard – you’re respected.
Even though I’m not as physically strong as some of the male fishermen around me, I’m equally as dedicated and at the end of the day we’re all physically exhausted from chasing chrome, filling the freezer and creating stories to last a lifetime.