Your name or any nicknames you have?
Jillian, I also answer to Pickles.
Where are you at in the world? Where will you be fishing this year?
I live in Western North Carolina, fishing mostly in Pisgah National Forest and Great Smoky Mountains National Park as well as in Tennessee quite a bit. I’m also headed to Southwest Colorado this fall, so I’m hoping to spend some time on the Animas, San Juan and several backcountry streams.
What river(s) and lake(s) do you guide/fish?
Davidson river is one I fish almost daily. I love any stretch of wild water, preferably in the Smokies, and the South Holston River in Tennessee. I’m also lucky enough to live next to the French Broad river, which is a great fishery for smallmouth and musky.
How long have you been guiding/fly fishing?
I’ve been fly fishing for about six years now.
What got you into fly fishing? When did you start?
Like a few other girls, I got into it because of a guy I was dating. He fly fished and I convinced him to teach me. It worked out ok though, because we’re still together and both still fly fishing.
Why do you fly fish? What does it “do” for you?
I’ve often referred to fishing as river therapy. For me it’s a time when I get to “reset,” it’s where I go and what I do to forget my troubles and find any part of myself I may have lost in the days or hours between trips.
If you own and use a Rod Vault, what do you like about your Rod Vault?
Still trying to convince my other half that it’s a necessity, along with the OverRoam tent.
“I’ve often referred to fishing as river therapy. For me it’s a time when I get to “reset,” it’s where I go and what I do to forget my troubles and find any part of myself I may have lost in the days or hours between trips.”
Do you think being a woman gives you different perspective as an angler/guide? If so, how?
Absolutely! I think more female anglers than males spend time just observing. It’s not always the case, but I’ve often noticed it in myself and others. Males seem to be very focused on catching the fish. Women can patiently watch and take in the whole experience of being on the water. You’d be surprised how much you can learn from just sitting and watching
What is a piece of advice you want to give to other anglers or a tip/trick that has helped you grow as an angler?
Be confident in yourself, maybe find something that can give you a little extra confidence. Whether it’s what you’re wearing, a particular fly, whatever, if it gives you confidence use it. I think women in particular have a harder time with that, myself included, maybe it is because we’re in the minority.
What’s your favorite new piece of gear?
Royal Wulff Bamboo Special line. I fish fiberglass or bamboo rods and it pairs perfectly with them!
What is your favorite fly (To tie, or catch fish on?)
A Mr. Rapidan Parachute or a Royal Wulff, dry fly girl all the way!
Best catch of all time?
A nine inch southern Appalachian brook trout. It’s not anywhere near the largest fish I’ve ever caught, but it was by far the most beautiful. Our native brook trout population currently have a lot of challenges that threaten their existence, in fact many streams here have been undergoing or just re opened after twenty years of restoration projects. So catching a larger, naturally occurring brook trout is a damn fine catch.
What’s your “Dream Trip”?
Going on a road trip to catch all the trout species in North America.
What is the best way to reach you or “follow you”?