Dancer, Driven and Dreamer – Heather Hodson is founder of United Women on the Fly. Also known as her Passion Project, Heather continues to put her heart and soul into the women fly fishing community. One to always color outside the lines, Heather’s vision, opinions and progressive thoughts fuel her fire to continue the movement of showcasing all women, fishing, building confidence and fight for equitable access to the outdoors for everyone.
“I will personally continue to share and standup for equitable access to the outdoors for everyone, not just women. Put simply, the term equitable access refers to the notion that everyone should have the same opportunity in the outdoors. There are many real obstacles to outdoor engagement, one of which is the stereotypes about who ‘belongs’ in the outdoors. I can do my small part by taking the Anglers for All pledge and continue to educate myself on how I can help and share this information.”
Where are You From?
I was born in Anchorage Alaska, grew up in Brush Prairie WA, and have lived in Spokane Washington for the last 21 years. In 2009, I took a year away from the Pacific Northwest and lived near Austin Texas as a Critical Care traveling nurse. I missed the mountains, trout and PNW lifestyle so I moved back to Spokane and couldn’t image living anywhere else.
What is your role with UWOTF?
I founded United Women on the Fly in 2016. I probably spend between 40+ hours on United Women on the Fly each with week. This Passion Project fuels my flame to continue to push for more women on the water. Everyday I’m learning to become a better leader, educate myself and continue to do the work fighting for equitable access to the outdoors for everyone.
Do you have a non fishing job?
I’ve always wanted to help people. Before I graduated from the Washington State University Nursing program in 2006, I taught EMT-B and Wilderness Survival at Spokane Community College. After 2006 I’ve been a medical, surgical, trauma and cardiac ICU nurse. I’ve worked in the Cardiac Cath Lab for the past 8 years and wouldn’t want to be anywhere else.
In 2014 I decided to live life to the fullest and chose to be supplemental nurse. This has allowed me the flexibility to work the schedule that I want in order to live my life and spend time with Eric and United Women on the Fly.
Dry fly, nymph, euro, streamer, soft hackle, etc and why?
I have two favorite types of fishing. Catching anyting that will eat a swung fly on my two handed rod or casting to wild cutthroat with big dry flies.
Favorite fishy podcast?
Barbless. I love their casual, fun and real conversation approach. I had the pleasure of recording a podcast with Chad and Nick in July 2020. Check it out!
Snapseed. It’s a free photo editing app that I use all the time! It’s especially good to lighten someone’s face with trucker hat shadows.
your most useless skill is?
In 1998 I was the Line Dance Champion in the PNW. I then took a ballroom dancing class with my parents at Clark College in Vancouver Washington where I learned how to two step, east and west coast swing, cha cha and waltz. I’m known to break out in dance any where, any time and in any situation.
My real-life superpower is?
Life Saver – Nursing saves lives and so does fly fishing.
My zombie apocalypse plan is?
I’m beyond fortunate that my husband, Eric has been planning for the apocalypse for many years. We’d grab our dog, our guns, extra cash and head to the northeastern mountains in Washington with lots of good whiskey!