In what capacity are you currently engaged in the sport of fly fishing?
My fiancé Brandon King and I have just officially launched our new company Arabian Fly Sport Fishing, which is based out in the middle east. We offer professionally guided bespoke fishing trips throughout Oman. I also work with some great sponsors; Clutch Tactical Fly Rods who are a fairly new rod builder based in the states. I love their new Archipelago saltwater series. There is also Costa Sunglasses, Patagonia and Fulling Mill who we are helping to design their new saltwater range of flies.
How were you introduced to the sport?
I used to spend long summer evenings with my father practicing casting on our front lawn when I was 5. On a Saturday he would take me fishing for trout on the test river in the UK. By the time I was 8 or 9 we started going to Scotland for a week each summer chasing Salmon….from there on I was hooked.
What is it about fly fishing that “keeps you coming back”?
Everything… I love being outdoors and preferably somewhere remote with no phone signal and just my thoughts. The excitement of stalking each species, trying to figure out what makes them tick, the moment that fish eats your fly, the adrenaline rush as it takes off and tries to out smart you. And of course the final release, to see each fish swim off to fight another day.
Who were your biggest influences or mentors, male or female?
I would say my father has been my biggest influence. He has given me the opportunity to see so many wonderful places and fish in many amazing remote locations around the world. And also my Fiancé Brandon who has patiently improved my casting ability and has helped me to target and land so many species on my bucket list.
What would you consider your home fishery and what do you find so alluring and special about it?
That’s a hard question….I would say the Indian Ocean in general. The atolls (Alphonse, Farquhar, Cosmoledo, Astove) are where I really fell in love with saltwater fly fishing and also where I realized I wanted to make fishing my life and career. However Oman has been the place I have chosen as home and to make that dream career a reality. I love that I can be in the city in the morning and within a few hours I can be on a deserted beach catching permit by the afternoon.
What environmental challenges are faced by your fishery?
Oman is a saltwater destination so we have the same challenges as any ocean fishery. Pollution is a huge problem especially plastic bags, bottles etc. Also the use of gill nets in some areas and the by catch the fishermen discard from these nets. As well as an ever growing population leading an to increase in demand for fish. That being said Oman is one of the few places that also still has vast areas of untouched and uninhabited coastline which make it an awesome destination to explore.
When you are not fishing,what are you doing?
Dreaming about fishing! Lately I have been concentrating on setting up our new venture but I also love to get out for walks and explore the countryside with my little Staffy, Luna. I have been spending a lot of time fly tying in preparation for our next season. I love coming up with new flies to mimic what I see out in the water when I am fishing and especially putting my own twist on patterns that are already tried and tested. It’s always that much more exciting to catch on a fly you have tied yourself.
You have the day off. What are you fishing for and where?
Well, there are two locations and depending on how much time I have, it would either be walking the beach for Permit or in our secret bay chasing Blue fish, 3 spot pompano, Bream the odd GT and a school of Milk fish that keeps eluding me!…..I cant tell you where as then it wouldn’t be a secret bay, but its in Oman!
What charitable organizations or causes do you support? Why is this important to you?
I support a lot of animal charities. I have a huge soft spot for dogs, especially pit bulls and staffordshire bull terriers. As breeds, they are so misunderstood. It is important for me because animals need our protection and someone to speak up for their rights. On the fishing side, any charities that promote marine conservation and sustainable fishing are important to me. If we don’t look after our oceans and fisheries now then there will be nothing left for our children and grandchildren.
Where would you go to fish if there were zero restrictions on expense, travel, etc…? Why?
I would hire Pangea (a mother ship that is fully kitted for fishing exploration) and travel to every atoll in the Indian Ocean and then every remote destination around the world chasing saltwater species on fly. There is nothing like the feeling of being in a remote location walking waist deep in waters that possibly no one or very few people have ever walked…..especially when you are neck deep with a meter plus Giant Trevally racing towards you after your fly… It’s a feeling I will never get tired of and what makes me feel alive!