Your name or any nicknames you have?
Melissa Pretty. Some people call me Pretty but I don’t really have any nicknames.
Where are you at in the world? Where will you be fishing this year?
I’m in Alberta Canada. We fish all over Alberta and British Columbia.. Hoping to hit some salt water with fly rods soon and also Alaska is on the bucket list.
What river(s) and lake(s) do you guide/fish?
There is way too many to name. We explore all over the provinces finding as much remote water as we can. The Bow river and the Ram river with its tributaries are a few of my favourites.
How long have you been guiding/fly fishing?
Only 3 years
What got you into fly fishing? When did you start?
I’ve spin casted my whole life with my dad and brother, but I would see fly fisherman here and there and it always intrigued me. I ended up being quite a natural when I picked up a fly rod.
Why do you fly fish? What does it “do” for you?
Fly fishing is a passion of mine. It puts my mind as ease and takes away everything else in the world those moments I’m on the river. I’m lucky enough to share this passion with my family as well. Its great for the heart and brain.
As a woman guide/angler, you’re definitely in the minority. What made you decide to be a guide/angler?
I’ve always been a bit of a tom boy who loved fishing. Fly fishing was a new challenge that I fell absolutely in love with from the very start .
Has the fact you’re a female ever been an issue with a client or other angler (such as them hitting on you or maybe talking down to you?) If so how did you manage it/them?
I’ve been looked down to and avoided by sales people at some fishing stores because they automatically think I don’t know anything because I’m a girl. I’ve been hit on a lot yes because I fish, but no one has ever been disrespectful.
Do you think being a woman gives you a different perspective as an angler/guide? If so, how?
No not really. I find myself equal to all the male anglers.
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?
Get to know your flies and hatches. Also learning to read the water as best you can has helped me big time.
What’s your favorite new piece of gear?
We Just got some new fishpond packs and nets that are absolutely great.
What is your favorite fly? (To tie, or catch fish on?)
I love tying Hoppers and streamers but my favorite fly to fish with has to be almost any dry flies. Nothing beats watching a trout come up and sip your flies off the top.
Best catch of all time?
My 2 biggest Browns. Love Big Brown trout. I’m after my personal best brook trout. I love their colors.
What’s your “Dream Trip”?
Oh I have so many dream trips haha. Mongolia for Taimen trout. Little corn island or anywhere tropical for Bone fish. Alaska for the experience. I can go on and on. 🙂
What are some of the best places you’ve been fishing?
Alberta and BC have some amazing water but Lee’s Ferry in Arizona and a creek in Sedona have to be some of my favourites so far .
How do people follow you on social media or reach you?
My Instagram account @_melissapretty