Your name or any nicknames you have?
Where are you at in the world? Where will you be fishing this year?
I currently live in New Jersey, USA. I hope to be fishing up and down the east coast this year, with a few international trips thrown in. I’ve been to Honduras and Chile this year already, and I’ll be in the Bahamas next week!
What river(s) and lake(s) do you guide/fish?
When I fish freshwater, I fish the Raritan River almost exclusively. For saltwater, I love fishing my home waters on the coast of New Jersey, in addition to the New England coast.
How long have you been guiding/fly fishing?
I’ve been lucky enough to grow up fishing at the beach with my family. I began taking fly fishing more seriously about three years ago.
What got you into fly fishing? When did you start?
My dad began fly fishing about three years ago, and I followed suit. We’ve both fallen in love with it, and have hardly picked up a spinning rod since.
Why do you fly fish? What does it “do” for you?
I discovered fly fishing at a really rough time in my life. It sounds redundant, but it was something that kept me going when things got really tough. Since I’ve started fly fishing, it has taught me some of the most important life lessons. It has also been incredibly empowering to constantly push myself outside of my comfort zone, whether it’s traveling to a foreign country by myself, or rock hopping to the end of a jetty at high tide. It also gives you a good excuse to travel the world!
If you own and use a Rod Vault, what do you like about you Rod Vault?
I just picked up a used Denver Outfitters rod vault and I love it! I love being able to transport my rods safely, and it’s nice to be able to always have a rod on hand, you never know when you might need it!
As a woman guide/angler, you’re definitely in the minority. What made you decide to be a guide/angler?
I am fortunate that my dad has raised me just as he would a son. I have never thought “oh I can’t do that because I’m a girl”. When I began fishing, I didn’t see myself specifically as a ‘female angler’, I just saw myself as another angler.
Do you think being a woman gives you a different perspective as an angler/guide? If so, how?
I don’t think I have a different perspective than my male peers. When I’m fishing with a group, we all notice different things and have different styles of fishing that aren’t based on whether we are male or female. That’s one of my favorite things about fishing. Everyone approaches it differently, so we can all continuously learn from each other.
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?
Push yourself outside of your comfort zone, and don’t give up. There is always room to grow and learn, no one knows everything. Take advice and be respectful of everyone you see on the water.
What’s your favorite new piece of gear?
I just bought a 7wt Sage Salt HD this winter that I’m obsessed with! It’s definitely my most versatile rod, I can’t wait to see what species I get on it.
What is your favorite fly? (To tie, or catch fish on?)
Chartreuse and white clouser! They’re easy to tie, easy to cast, and work in almost any conditions. I’ve caught more fish on them than anything else.
Best catch of all time?
My most memorable catch is my first striped bass from the shore. Walking down the beach, with the entire ocean in front of you can be intimidating. I was doubting my casting abilities, and thought there was no way I’d catch a fish on a little fly, less than 100 feet ahead of me. Sometimes you’re just in the right place at the right time, and on my first cast I pulled out a 28” striper. It was an incredible feeling.
What’s your “Dream Trip”?
The Seychelles are high on the bucket list right now. I hope to make it there within the next 5 years.
What are some of the best places you’ve been fishing?
For freshwater, my favorite place I’ve ever fished is Chilean Patagonia. The trout are incredible, the scenery is beyond beautiful, and the water is endless. For saltwater, nothing beats striped bass on Cape Cod. Massachusetts has done a great job at keeping their shoreline natural, keeping the habitat perfect for attracting striped bass. Whether you want to fish channels, flats, rivers or creeks, Cape Cod has it all.
How do people follow you on social media or reach you?
My Instagram is morgan_mattioli