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Kaitlin Boyer: A Passion to Teach

07/20/17 at 05:13 PM by Vince Puzick

 

“I love learning,” Kaitlin Boyer says.  And that spirit of life-long learning is one of the principles of the newest fly fishing guide to join Angler’s Covey.  Meet Kaitlin Boyer!

 

Kaitlin has joined our stable of guides after honing her fly fishing skills over the past seven years and, just recently, completing the Certified Guide School Program through Colorado Mountain College.  The course is a six-week residence program where participants spend 13 hours a day in classroom and streamside sessions.  “I learn best that way – total immersion,” Kaitlin says.

 

Over the past few years, Kaitlin and Andy, her significant other, would head out three times a week to the Dream Stream, or Elevenmile Canyon, or the Arkansas tailwaters in Pueblo.  “In fact, we went fishing for one of our first dates, so it was sort of romantic,” she says.  Andy, a fine angler himself, helped Kaitlin develop the skills and fly fishing passion that her father planted a few years earlier. 

 

Kaitlin had been in nursing school when the fly fishing bug sunk its teeth.  “Friends would ask me to take them fly fishing, and I really began enjoying that more than my nursing school program.”   That desire to teach people turned into her motivation to attend the guide school in Leadville.

 

Andy supported Kaitlin as she transitioned out of pursuing a nursing career to chase a career in fly fishing.  Kaitlin says her biggest take-aways from the guide school were, first, the incredible and unassuming friendships that formed.  Kaitlin wondered about how the twelve other students – all males – would respond to a woman in class.

 

“They were incredibly supportive.  I felt supported and encouraged and they gave me respect as an angler.  I went in with the attitude that I am going to kick butt, catch a lot of fish, and learn to guide.”  Kaitlin says that she defines feminism in this simple way:  men and women should have equal rights.  “I want to be treated and seen as an equal in this field and out on the river.”

 

Her second take-away was the incredible amount of knowledge.  6 weeks and 13 hours a day.  Total immersion.  “We spent two hours a day just working on casting techniques and ways to work with others.”  The curriculum included first aid, entomology, outdoor leadership, and fly tying. 

 

Kaitlin says that some of her goals as a guide will be to create comfortable and educational relationships with her clients.  She recognizes that guides can be sometimes be a bit intimidating, especially to the newcomer to the sport.

 

She wants her clients to see her as a “normal person passing on knowledge of this sport.” 

 

Her training in nursing school and her commitment to learning remind her to be empathetic to the beginning angler. 

 

“There’s a lot to learn because fly fishing has so many aspects. I want them to not get discouraged, to be patient as they learn.  At the end of the day with me on the river, I want them to say ‘I want to do that again!’”

 

One of the things Kaitlin emphasizes, particularly to women anglers, is to become independent on the river.  “We need to learn the stuff we sometimes rely on men to do for us.  Set up our own rig.  Choose the flies. Tie our own knots.” But it doesn’t mean you’re in it alone. “Fish with other women! And trust yourself, have confidence as you learn.”

 

Kaitlin says it is really cool to be part of the increasing number of women anglers (See Forbes' article and read about Orvis's 50/50 by 2020 program to increase the number of women fly fishers).  “Fly fishing has changed me for the better.  Some sort of shift happened in me through fly fishing. I’m really blessed to be a part of this and maybe to be a positive role model for young women.”

 

If you want to set up a guide trip with Kaitlin, please head over to our webpage.  And you can follow Kaitlin on Instagram @pixiek8.

 

Photos by Andrew Lowe.

 

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