I walked into a room full of pink feathers, beads, sparkly twine, thread, tinsel, with endless miniature tools to play with. As a creative 2nd grader this was a party waiting to happen…… Except unlike a normal crafting party, my friends all happened to be men aging from a range of 45 to 120, or so it seemed.


I can still vividly remember the ugly green table where I sat in the middle of the room. This is where I learned how to use a Fly-tying vice and whipfinisher tool, and how fascinating  peacock feathers really are if you look closely. I also learned that when you have an awesome dad who gets you into fly-tying, you can probably start your own second grade “business” and sell flies to all of his friends (for quite the up-charge). I quickly learned this is a better business move than trying to get your neighbors to buy bouquets of dandelions picked from their lawn.

Lisa holds up a rainbow trout she caught


Fishing was something that was probably introduced to me at the same time as walking, but fly tying was my first introduction to fly-fishing. It was my gate-way to the outdoors. I learned to fly fish before I learned to camp, before I learned what a 14er was, before I ever climbed a mountain, before I’d ever rock climbed, and before I really fell in love with the outdoors. For me, fly fishing wasn’t about falling in love with the sport it was something that gave me the confidence to feel comfortable learning new outdoor activities. That gave me the confidence to go back to school to become an engineer. And that gave me the confidence to start the journey to paint a picture on top of all of the 14ers.

One of Lisas paintings


Let me say, I am no pro. Fly fishing is hard. Its not something that you just learn and get the hang of – there is a lot to know. There is a lot of gear to acquire, and there is a lot of time that needs to be invested to really learn the sport. I’m very inspired by the many stories I’ve read on this blog.

There is a lot that I do not know, but I’ve came up with a list of things that I do know that fly-fishing has taught me.


1)    Some things are out of your control, and learning how to adapt with what happens in the outdoors can help you learn how to adapt to changing environments in your work place, and personal life.


2)    Being a female or a child in a male dominated sport is a good thing for confidence.


3)    Its okay to ask for help. Asking for help doesn’t mean you’re inadequate.  Most of my fishing excursions go like this…. “ DADDDDDD!!!!!! LOOK!!! DADDD!!!! HELPPP”

Lisa and her dad rig up for the day


4)    Standing in a river in the middle of a cold winter is one of the most peaceful places on earth.


5)    Fish and rivers don’t care about gender, stereotypes, or looks.


6)    Life is better when you have fishing stories to tell.

Lisa casts in the river


Thank you for taking the time to read this. I feel honored to be chosen to be part of this blog and to share why fly-fishing has had a positive impact on my life!

A colorado cutthroat trout


You can view Lisa’s art at http://www.lisadiannemartin.com/

You can follow her on instagram @paintthemountain


About The Author

Jill Kana

Jill is in charge of a great deal of our web content here at Denver Outfitters and is always looking for potential blog contributors, content, and #FlyGalFridays. If you have any desire to say hello or have an idea, please touch base with her at jill@denveroutfitters.com

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