By Anna Cohen for Amberjack Journal

[dropcap]W[/dropcap]hen Claire Topalian sets her mind to something, she doesn’t stop until it is done. Earlier this year she found herself in need of a new project. She picked fly fishing and set out on a mission to learn everything she could about the sport. Starting from scratch, she has been teaching herself how to fly fish by reading books, watching Youtube videos, and practicing knot-tying on the bus to work. Claire has learned a lot along the way, and she is sharing some of what she’s learned here with us.

  1. Tell us a little about yourself! What is your full name and occupation?

My name is Claire Topalian, I’m a 27-year-old Seattle native, and I’m currently the PR Director for a local startup called Transpose.


Claire Topalian picked the sport of fly fishing and set out to learn everything she could about it.


  1. What first got you interested in fly fishing?

I’ve had a mellow curiosity for fly-fishing for years. I think the interest spurred from growing up in the Pacific Northwest and hearing about the sport in the area. I’m sure this interest was also magnified by popular culture: seeing the film adaptation of A River Runs Through It alone piqued my curiosity years ago. Without any experience in the sport, I had a very romantic association with fly-fishing built up in my mind. I am kind of an “old soul” in the sense that I appreciate tradition, history, and cultural customs that might be considered outdated today. I think fly-fishing has a clear, active presence in today’s culture on a lot of levels, but something about the sport always struck me as linked to tradition. Perhaps that’s simply because fly-fishing models one of the activities that our ancestors had to do to eat and survive. Fly-fishing will always nod to this origin, even if it’s adopted by most people as pure sport today. Anyone who’s fly-fished can probably attest to the fact that one’s senses are suddenly more necessary and “awake” in order to fly-fish more effectively. This small outcome alone reminds me how natural fly-fishing is and that the impetus behind the sport (catching your next meal) is actually very simple and tied to basic human needs.

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