The LadyFisher HOST Ladyfisher
Deanna Birkholm
Publisher
P.O. Box 1959
Poulsbo, WA 98370
Phone: (360) 697-3905

I've been incredibly lucky. Early exposure to the outdoors, fishing with my dad and grandfather brought me to fly fishing way ahead of schedule. Gramps relented and taught me to fly cast when I was eleven. The old European method, standing in the stream, hard-cover book under my right elbow with the warning, "now we aren't going to get the book wet are we dear."
Since then I've gone through several upgrades on casting technique. And had the good fortune to live in places with good fishing. Raised in Michigan, the AuSable system was my home water. When JC and I moved to Montana, it was Yellowstone Park, the Yellowstone Valley, the Spring Creeks and less-known remote high-country waters.
Business expansion brought us to Washington state. We mostly gave up fly fishing for about two years. A local owner of a now defunct fly shop knew I could cast, and needed a woman to teach "other women" in classes he was running. At his insistence, (since the largest fly rod I owned was a five-weight Orvis,) I bought my first salmon rod . . .a 7 wt. G.Loomis IMX. And learned to double-haul.
When in Rome, as they say. Well, when in Washington living on the coast, try fishing for salmon. It is not dry fly fishing - and that really is my preference, but it is fishing. We try to get back to Montana a couple times a summer to fill some of the void.
My involvement in fly fishing has hopefully brought some benefit to others as well. I was the first woman member of TU, Mershon Chapter in Saginaw, Michigan in 1959. JC and I started the first FFF Chapter in Michigan, The Freestone Fly Fishers in 1972. Over thirty years ago I was the first licensed female fishing guide in Montana, where I guided for Dan Bailey. I was on the governing board for certification of casting instructors for FFF, and was a certified instructor. I am still a TU member.
JC and I taught fly casting twice a month from March thru November at the Port Ludlow Resort and Conference center about ten miles from here.
As a writer, I wrote the most widely distributed fly-fishing column for Scripps Howard newspapers and the Associated Press Wire under the name Ladyfisher. During it's short life, I also wrote the fly fishing columns for GoWest, a Cox Media Website.
My work life includes a chemistry degree from the University of Michigan. I worked as a medical researcher in cancer, managed six businesses (not at the same time), spent time in both radio and tv as an on air/camera personality, and filmed and scripted for a weekly tv outdoors program.
If stranded on a dessert island I would choose the Bahamas, a 6 wt fast rod, and lots of bonefish! My personal quote is a direct steal from Lefty Kreh, "Don't show knowledge - share knowledge." That's what FAOL is all about.
Castwell Himself HOST J Castwell
Jim Birkholm
Editor
P.O. Box 1959
Poulsbo, WA 98370
Phone: (360) 697-3905

A short walk with my grandma put us on the tiny creek in northern Michigan. The branch selected, string fastened and the worm impaled on the attached hook. In fascination I watched as she drifted the offering into the water. She handed me the stick and I pulled in my first trout. It was a huge six inch brookie. I was four. I am now 65; there is more to learn.
I spent 35 years in that state field testing for various fly type companies, capturing, raising, and photographing bugs, teaching fly-fishing; and working at real jobs. Deanna and I moved to Montana in 1972. We fished and guided and worked at real jobs there until 1988, when we moved to Washington.
We gave up fly-fishing for two years due to the hostile environment of the Pacific coast region to a dry fly fisher. Desperation drove us to try the big rods and chucking for salmon in the salt. The sport sufficed with the odd trip back to Montana for 'real' fly fishing. Time brought knowledge and skill and we began to actually catch salmon; and we enjoyed it!
We became involved once again with the industry and here we are, off and running! We have the casting school which runs every other Saturday at a posh resort and helps us to 'keep our hand in' on what is happening in the equipment world.
This web site is the biggest single venture, is a challenge, and probably the last thing we will attempt. The folks we continue to meet are nearly reward enough.


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