This month we are featuring Heather Hodson from Spokane Washington. Heather is founder and the “Jill of all Trades” of United Women on the Fly.
Where are you from?
Born and Raised in the Pacific Northwest.
What is your role with United Women on the Fly?
I’m the founder and “Jill of all Trades” within United Women on the Fly.
How did you learn to fly fish?
I grew up in a hunting and conventional fishing family. I decided to learn to fly fish in my late 20s and haven’t looked back. It took me an entire year to catch my first fish on the fly. I didn’t take advantage of any of the education available at that time. I then took a fly-fishing 101 class at the Silver Bow Fly Shop and Sean Visintainer was the first person in the Fly Fishing Industry to include me.
How often Do You Fish?
I try to get out as often as I can! I probably get out at least 100 days a year.
Whats the one pice of gear you can't live withought?
My Dr. Slick Clamp Buddy Bungee Lanyard. I haven’t lost a pair of hemostats in over 5 years. https://www.drslick.com/catalog/view_item/accessories/clamp-buddy
What’s one habit you have on the water that you think others could benefit from learning?
Start with the ABCs. Assess, Bugs/Bait and Casting.
- Assess the water and surroundings. What do you see, hear, smell, etc.?
- Bugs – do you see any insects flying around, are there any bait balls swimming around, are there birds? Pick-up rocks and see what insects are in the water. What food is available for the fish?
- Casting – how are you going to cast to present the fly in a natural presentation? Roll-Cast, Pick-Up Lay-Down, Side Armed, etc?
Any particular apps that help with fishing?
I use SnapSneed to do all of my quick iPhone photo editing.
Podcast you listen to most?
Favorite Place to Fish?
I’m a mountain over ocean kind of girl. Anywhere I can be in the mountains fishing for trout is my happy place.
Earliest Alarm Setting for a Day Fishing?
2am for Steelhead Fishing. Have to get the run first!
What's the one song that never gets old when you're fishing?
Wild Things by Alessia Cara.
How do you see the future of fly fishing?
I look forward to the day when it’s United Anglers on the Fly and there is no need for women groups.
Who's the one person who has had the biggest impact on your fly fishing journey?
My amazing husband, Eric Neufeld. Not only is Eric my best fishing partner, but he is also the most kind, giving and understanding human. I work full-time on this passion project and he continues to support me!
What’s the one thing people would be surprised to learn about you?
I was a line dancing champion in 1998. It’s no wonder that I’m always breaking out in dance!
What’s the one piece of advice you would give to anyone who is new to the sport of fly fishing?
The only way to get better is to spend time on the water. There are no fishing mistakes, there are only learning lessons. Embrace the entire journey!
How has United Women on the Fly impacted your life/fly fishing community?
I could never have imagined that UWOTF would be what it is today. My life has forever been enriched because of the incredible women’s I’ve met over the past 6 years.