Kari Strong

Kari Strong – South Dakota

UWOTF Regional Fly Sister - Kari Strong
“Technically I started fly fishing about 5 years ago but you could say I really got hooked about 4 years ago. My sister in law was the one who introduced my brother to fly fishing and on an annual camping trip to the Big Horns they decided to teach me. Despite being tangled in every possible shrub/grass/flower/post around me……I stuck to it and caught my first 6″ brookie; size didn’t matter, I still loved it! They bought me my first fly rod about a year after that and I picked it up off and on….mainly on that annual trip and anytime I would visit them. After going through a rough patch in life, I knew I needed to sink what little extra free time I had into something. I like to be busy (beyond busy) and even though I have at least three jobs at any given time I needed a social hobby that got me out even more. I think a little bit of me not fly fishing more on my own before that was intimidation; being a woman alone on the water, touching a slimy fish and anything my brain could make up to keep me from change. Slowly I made a few friends here and there that were into fly fishing and I started to go out more on my own. I traveled a lot to fly fish and attempted to join other women’s fly fishing groups because I wasn’t sure about the female fly fishing population in South Dakota. After deciding that traveling every weekend (at least 3 hours each way) to help another group wasn’t going to work out as much as I had hoped, I decided to find out what that female fly fishing population in South Dakota looked like. I started with building a FaceBook page called Reel Women of Fly Fishing. It took off and I have networked (compliments of UWOTF) and fly fished with some pretty amazing women. After that got going I joined the local Black Hills Fly Fisher’s group and became a board member. To say the least, these three groups have filled that void I was having and have made me very happy. By far I can not say I’m very good at fly fishing – I struggle with my casting, my fingers hurt and don’t want to tie on new flies or figure out what they are eating, I catch more small fish to no fish than I would like to admit. I stick to it because it’s not all about catching fish. It’s about the places it takes me, the people I meet and getting out of my own head. There are times that I get a little discouraged, were I feel like there is a bigger picture for me in fly fishing and I know there actually is but right now I’m not sure what that picture looks like. Every once in awhile I get a message or meet someone new that helps me piece that picture together a little more and that is what I love about the fly fishing community. I hope to go to guide school one of these summers just for me; I’m not sure I want to be a guide or if that will place me where my big picture has been trying to send me but it’s something I dream of doing. I hope to stay active in the fly fishing world to encourage all anglers to stay positive and support each other because only together can we make things better.”

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