Most Influential Female Anglers in North AmericaThese are our picks for the “30 Most Influential Female Anglers in North America,” as of July 2019. Although it’s organized alphabetically by last name, additions and other changes to this list are determined by a proprietary algorithm developed by Wildlife Enthusiast Magazine. That algorithm measures not just the number of followers, friends, and fans on social media, but—more importantly—activity levels, engagement, and influence. Congratulations to each of these impressive women!

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April ArcherWhen humans crave water, it may be for adventure, for joy, or for healing. As CEO of SaraBella Fishing, April Archer helps her customers understand the art and the quality of fly rod production, and she believes in supporting the local community through employment, collaboration, and education. At the core of SaraBella’s mission, April believes in women’s rights and the significance of empowering women to impact the world in smart, beautiful ways. In the future, April hopes to catch more carp in the urban ponds of Denver. She also dreams of fishing throughout the USA, back to South America, more salt water, pretty much anywhere. Everywhere she goes, April is known for saying, “I’d fish that.”

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Maddie BrennemanA native of Colorado, Maddie Brenneman is the youngest of four girls. She grew up spending her summers in the Rocky Mountains riding horses, hiking, and most importantly, fishing. Maddie never says no to a day on the river and is always ready to crack a joke. Her laughter is contagious, and her casts keep the fish biting. Maddie is a seasoned traveler and adventurer, has worked as a fly fishing guide at a dude ranch in Colorado, backpacked through South America, and fished in the rivers of Patagonia, Argentina. In addition to fly fishing, she loves to hunt, camp, ski, cook, and hike with her faithful companion, Tuco the dog. Maddie recently graduated from the University of Puget Sound.

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Yvonne BrownAs a child, Yvonne Brown was taught how to fish by her father, but it was later in life that her passion for the sport was ignited after joining a couple of local bass clubs. In 2012, Yvonne created the “Fishing 101 for Women” program, now delivered under the umbrella of Ontario Women Anglers, which is offered to women with an interest in learning how to fish. Yvonne’s focus is to help grow the sport by increasing female participation, with the hope that women will pass their skills and knowledge on to the next generation of anglers. In 2016, she became the first female to receive the Rick Amsbury Award of Excellence, presented by the Canadian Angler Hall of Fame, for her contributions to the sport.

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Malorie CrispoMalorie “Mal” Crispo lives in the wilderness near a small fishing village on the East Coast of Nova Scotia. Before fly fishing came into her life, Mal spent her free time hiking, snowshoeing, and camping with her dog, Zoey. It wasn’t until she was introduced to the art of fly tying that Mal took an interest in fly fishing. She was drawn in by the beauty and endless creative opportunities that came with tying flies. For Mal, fishing encompasses her love for the outdoors and all of her hobbies into one lifestyle. It’s a lifestyle that has made her a better person. Mal is now more appreciative of the little things, more patient, and has made friends with the kindest and most genuine people she has ever known. Plus, she gets to catch fish!

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Kristine FischerHailing from the state of Nebraska, Kristine Fischer is an asset to young women around the world who love fishing and all types of outdoor adventures. Kristine grew up fishing along the border of Canada and Minnesota during family vacations. Walleye tournaments were a staple in those days. She has since devoted her life to the outdoors, serving as a fishing guide and getting back to the “important places.” You can find Kristine bone fishing in the Bahamas, stalking big bass in Florida from her kayak, or catching massive northern pike through the ice. While she is used to people questioning her skills as a female guide, Kristine says more people are recognizing that she knows what she’s talking about.

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Leiza FitzgeraldA self-proclaimed “top hooker,” Leiza Fitzgerald eats, sleeps, and dreams about fishing. She is obsessed with angling of all types—in freshwater or saltwater, with a fly, baitcasing, or spinning rod, and even with a bow or spear. Leiza is very active on the tournament trail and has won numerous “top 10” fishing titles at events such as the ESPN Redfish Cup and FLW Redfish Tour, as well as numerous regional and local events. She is a professional guide and Star Tournament Director for the Coastal Conservation Association (CCA). Leiza and her gal pals give back every chance they get. Their fishing team, “Screaming Reels & High Heels,” benefits two important charities: Hooked on Hope and Children’s Pediatric Cancer Foundation.

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Dawn FreelandBeing a female angler and hunter in a male-dominated field has been trying at times for Dawn Freeland. But she has used her love of wildlife and competitive sports to sustain her drive in becoming a successful outdoor enthusiast. Dawn also uses that love to help other female anglers and hunters have enjoyable and successful outdoor experiences, no matter their skill level. She has received a number of accolades for fishing, most recently as “Angler of the Month” and first runner up for “Angler of the Year” by Florida Fishermen Magazine and “Fisher Chic of the Month” by Fisher Chic. Dawn’s favorite quote: “Give a woman a fish, and she eats for a day. Teach a woman to fish, and get the hell out of the way!”

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Kiki GalvinKiki Galvin has been fishing for more than 50 years in New York, Montana, Wyoming, and Idaho. In 2002, Kiki was certified as a professional fly fishing guide, and she is now sharing her passion for the sport with other would-be anglers. Hoping to encourage other women to become more engaged in fly fishing, Kiki joined the Chesapeake Women Anglers and has been on the volunteer staff since 2001 of Casting For Recovery, a national program teaching women how to fly fish as a part of their recovery from breast cancer. She has been featured in L.L. Bean’s Outdoor Discovery Program, Trout Magazine, Southern Living Magazine, and Virginia Wildlife Magazine. Kiki’s motto is “Kiss More Fish!”

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Debra HengstNot only does Debra Hengst have a passion for bass fishing, she also is extremely competitive. For Debra, being on the lake is like attending church, and watching nature unfold is always a moving experience for her. Growing up, horseback riding was her first love. Debra competed in barrel racing in the Girls’ Rodeo Association during her teens and then moved on to the Women’s Professional Rodeo Association. She left the rodeo circuit when a new job in Dallas made it too difficult to continue. But in 1986, she started fishing with her brother on his club tournament trail. She ended up winning the Angler of the Year trophy, and from that moment forward, her ride changed from a quarter horse to a bass boat.

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Hilary HutchesonHilary Hutcheson started her fly fishing career as a teenaged guide in West Glacier, Montana. Hilary guided through college and then took her journalism degree to Portland, Oregon, where she worked as a TV news anchor and reporter. She eventually returned to Montana to co-own and operate Outside Media & Trout TV for nearly a decade. Today, Hilary is still guiding on the Flathead River and the Middle Fork of the Salmon River and owns and runs a fly shop in her hometown of Columbia Falls, Montana. She volunteers as a fly fishing instructor for Casting for Recovery, serves as a national board member of Backcountry Hunters & Anglers, and writes for a number of outdoor industry publications.

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Katie JacksonKatie Jackson is a competitive bass angler and professional fishing guide at the world-renowned Bienville Plantation in White Springs, Florida. Katie fishes the FLW BFL division, as well as the Fishers of Men National team tournament and Fitzgerald’s Fishtales tournament trail. In 2013, she became part of an elite group of All-American qualifiers and only the second woman to have ever fished it. Among the top 50 in the nation, Katie finished in the top 25. Her favorite aquatic prey is smallmouth bass, but she loves to catch peacock bass as well. Katie’s advice to other female anglers is to be patient and confident and not be intimidated or worry about looking bad or failing—fish are fish, and some are going to get away.

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Pudge KleinkaufPudge Kleinkauf, perhaps best known as the owner of Women’s Flyfishing, a Trout Unlimited-endorsed business, has been Alaska’s leading female fly fishing instructor, fly tier, and guide for more than 30 years. A retired university professor and lawyer, Pudge was one of the “Special Explorers” in the Alaska Magazine TV series on PBS for its entirety. She is a member and one of the founders of the International Women Fly Fishers Organization. Now retired from her guide service, Pudge is still fishing (of course), as well as promoting her five books. She also continues to write for Fish Alaska Magazine and other fly fishing publications, as well as work on book number six in the coming days.

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Tabitha LinvilleTabitha Linville and her fiancé, Justin live in West Virginia, where their home waters are the Kanawha and Ohio rivers. They both have a passion for catfishing and are partners in The Catfishing Duo Guide Service. Tabitha fished with her dad early in life, but it was Justin who introduced her to catching catfish, specifically flatheads. Tabitha always practices catch-photo-release (CPR) to make sure her clients put all the fish back into the water, as she wants them to continue to grow, so others can enjoy catching them for years to come. She fishes for the thrill and for the peace. And for Tabitha, catfishing is an adrenaline rush like no other. Having a big cat on the line literally makes her tremble. She calls it “catfish fever!”

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Pam Martin-WellsPam Martin-Wells’ first fishing partners were her parents and grandparents. With her sister, the family fished the Flint River near their home in Bainbridge, Georgia. Off the water, Pam read her favorite fishing magazines and studied the techniques of bass angling legends. She still believes that good old-fashioned hard work is her key to continued success, even though she already has several professional tournament championships under her belt. Along with preparing for individual events by pre-fishing lakes, researching the waters, and studying maps, Pam files away everything she reads and then tests those tips on the water, analyzing each result. Today, she lives and fishes on Lake Seminole in Georgia.

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Laurel MonaghanFly fishing guide Laurel Monaghan is living the outdoor dream, but it hasn’t come easy for her. Laurel left her family and a high-paying corporate job in Pennsylvania to travel across the country to become a fishing guide in Montana. But as a young female in a male-dominated industry, she often found breaking into the business very challenging. Local competition was high, and the guide lifestyle was extremely inconsistent. Laurel had to deal with being poor, alone, and fighting her doubts. Now the owner of “Outdoors with Her,” Laurel says it was all worth it. Her greatest hope is to inspire other women who are interested in fishing, giving them the confidence to get out on the water.

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Cindy NguyenCindy “Sid” Nguyen has been in love with saltwater for as long as she can remember. Sid has been fishing the Texas coastline since she was a tot—mostly off the beaches, piers, and jetties in the Galveston area with her family. In the summer, she and her family often traveled to Seadrift, Texas to fish off the oil rigs with their friends. These days, you can find Sid on her kayak, stalking redfish, trout, and flounder. Although Sid’s passion is light-tackle inshore fishing, she revels at any opportunity to chase offshore species as well. She loves traveling the world and sharing with others the places they can go, the food they can eat, the fish they can target, and most of all, the people who make those places so special.

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Alice OwsleyFrom battling big tuna in the ocean to tiny trout in mountain streams, there isn’t much Alice Owsley hasn’t done with a fly rod in her hands. Bitten by the saltwater bug at a young age, Alice has fished extensively for tarpon, bonefish, and many other saltwater species in the Bahamas, Florida Keys, Belize, and Mexico. She now serves Riverside Anglers’ clients as a guide in Yellowstone, Montana, and Idaho. A skilled caster, Alice enjoys teaching clients new tricks with the fly rod, like reach casts, tuck casts, and how to properly present a fly when Montana’s winds begin to blow. More than anything, she loves watching fish rise on the Madison River in the evening or a challenging morning of gulper fishing on Hebgen Lake.

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Ellen PeelA self-proclaimed “beach kid” born in Mississippi, Ellen Peel wasn’t satisfied with just her law degree from Ole Miss. So she headed west to Seattle, where she earned her master’s degree in marine resources from the University of Washington. One of Ellen’s professors said, “Don’t think that this degree will get you a job. You have to make your own opportunities in this industry.” So from the west coast, Ellen took her fisheries management knowledge first to a position in Washington, DC and then to her current position as Executive Director of The Billfish Foundation. She moved to Boca Raton, Florida after finding a home with a yard sufficiently large enough for her two doberman pinschers, and she hasn’t looked back since.

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Ashley RaeAshley Rae is a year-round, multispecies Canadian angler who resides in Ottawa, Ontario. Ashley writes about fishing for various publications and websites internationally. She is a newspaper/magazine columnist, freelance writer, and blogger, and she occasionally presents fishing seminars at sports shows and events. Ashley has hosted and appeared on fishing TV shows on the World Fishing Network and beyond. In 2016, she was named as a “game changer” and “one of 11 outdoors women transforming the face of hunting and fishing” by Field & Stream Magazine. She spends most of her time fishing throughout Southeastern Ontario but also enjoys traveling to new destinations throughout Canada and beyond.

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Rebekka ReddAn acclaimed traveling fly angler, Rebekka Redd is in pursuit of fish all around the world. She photographs, writes about, and even paints her passion: fish. Rebekka began her traveling career in the film industry via Country Music Television (CMT) music videos that were filmed all over the map, the much-loved Canadian drama “Heartland,” and many other creative projects. Rebekka has hosted and directed numerous award-winning fishing TV shows. She owns and operates a non-profit animal rescue, is an active member of her local steelhead association (working in conservation, protection, and educating the public on protecting our wild fish), Trout Unlimited, Wild Mustang Foundation, and the Canadian Horse Coalition.

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Jen RippleSpending all of her formative years diving the waters of the Midwest, it’s no wonder that Jen Ripple bleeds water. Currently, she is the Principal of Fly Squared Media, a company that publishes a number of magazines in the outdoor industry with an emphasis on the fly fishing lifestyle. Jen is best known as the Owner & Editor-in-Chief of DUN Magazine, the international women’s fly fishing magazine. She also is a member of the Board of Directors for Fly Fishers International. When not on the water, Jen spends her time empowering women through speaking engagements nationwide and teaching fly casting and fly tying clinics. She devotes her free time to conservation efforts through nonprofits.

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Abbie SchusterAbbie Schuster is the founder, owner, and head guide for Kismet Outfitters. A fly fishing addict and all-around outdoor adventure enthusiast, Abbie spent her childhood summers fly fishing for striped bass and bluefish from her kayak on Long Island Sound. Her interest in the sport became a passion while studying at the University of Montana. Abbie became a professional guide shortly after graduation and worked in Montana and Washington for several years before returning to New England to share the lifelong gift of fly fishing, yoga, and adventure with others. Her goal is to have every client leave with life-long memories, a stronger passion for fishing and conservation, and a greater understanding of the sport.

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Paula ShearerPaula Shearer is an experienced fly fishing angler and guide on the Bow River and Southern Alberta streams. Paula started fly fishing at a young age, and by her late teens, she was hooked on fishing the Bow. It was from that point where Paula’s true passion for the sport took over. Since then, she has spent most of her days on the banks and drift-fishing on this world-renowned river. Paula enjoys sharing her love for fly fishing by mentoring and teaching those who are new to the sport. She has had the privilege of hosting and co-hosting Fly Nation, In the Loop, and Fly Fusion TV, which air on World Fishing Network. Paula also has been a part of a number of other fly fishing films.

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Cassie SpurlingOriginally from Murphy, North Carolina, Cassie Spurling is an outdoor enthusiast who has been fly fishing since she was six years old. Cassie is a fourth-generation fishing and hunting Spurling from the headwaters of Persimmon Creek. Her dad was her biggest mentor and taught her virtually everything she knows about the art and science of fishing. It wasn’t until Cassie went on a trip out west at the ripe old age of 11 that she began to dedicate most of her time to the sport of angling. In 2014, Cassie began working as a guide at Blue Ridge Fly Fishing in Georgia, and she recently became the newest Pro Staff member for Scientific Anglers in Michigan.

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Nicole JacobsWhen her father passed away, Nicole Stelmach decided that she would do everything she could to make it big in the sport of fishing to honor him. So Nicole set off to do just that. She also knew how tough fishing all day can be, what mental strength it takes to do well, and why more women should give it a shot. But Nicole has a competitive drive fueled by her athletic background, and she has an infectious personality. Her stated goal is to reach people by making a difference in their lives through her passion for fishing and the outdoors. And Nicole’s vision is to use tournament channels, charity/community engagement, and media promotions to inspire other people to follow their own dreams.

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Kate TaylorA fishing guide, hunter, and full-time funhog, Kate Taylor follows the seasons the same way she chases fish—with constant motion. Along with her partner, Justin and their yellow lab, Kada, Kate spends her summers guiding in Bristol Bay and fall and winter seasons fishing in the Pacific Northwest. In the spring, she heads to the warmth of Southern Baja before happily repeating her journey all over again. In 2011, Kate and Justin founded Frigate Adventure Travel as a way to bundle their emerging guiding services and adventures. And in 2016, they started their own guiding operation in Bristol Bay. Kate and Justin now bring guests with them on their adventures to Baja, New Orleans, Christmas Island, and British Columbia.

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Mandy UhrichPerhaps the state of Minnesota’s most visible female angler, Mandy Uhrich competes in about 30 fishing tournaments and charity events each year. Mandy has been featured in national TV commercials, national and regional outdoor TV shows, several outdoor magazines, and numerous fishing seminars around the country. Though she thrives on the excitement of fishing competitions, Mandy says her most rewarding experiences come from mentoring others. She also is a prolific volunteer for the various causes she believes in, with attention to educating women and girls. Mandy puts time into Keeping Kids in Outdoor Sports, Becoming an Outdoors Woman, Women in Need of Kindness, and others.

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April VokeyApril Vokey began fishing as a toddler. By the sixth grade, she was saving her allowance for weekend visits to the local tackle shop. And by the age of 16, April spent every summer, fall, and winter seeking escape through the salmon and steelhead migration that frequented British Columbia’s coastal waters. Such ventures drove her to self-discovery, realization, motivation, and a hunger to escape a troubled environment in the city she called home. After discovering a passion for fly fishing, April soon dedicated her entire life to the pursuit. She has since established herself as a respected authority in the sport and has traveled the globe in pursuit of gamefish on a fly rod.

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Chasten WhitfieldChasten Whitfield is a young angler who loves the sport of fishing. Her mission is to change the lives of disadvantaged kids through fishing. Chasten’s dream started when she saw images of suffering children caused by Hurricane Katrina. She wanted to help. Over the next few years, Chasten had lemonade stands and yearly garage sales. She donated the proceeds to St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital. Then in middle school, she began fishing in charity tournaments. Each time she won, she gave the prize money back to the charity. Chasten now travels the State of Florida, sharing her message and encouraging kids to remember: “You have two hands—one to help yourself and one to help someone else.”

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Trait ZaldainTrait Zaldain was just a toddler when her grandmother and great aunt strapped her into a life vest and sat her on the end of a dock with a fishing pole. “Perch jerking” kept the youngster occupied while the women tended to other things. After graduating from college, Trait went to work for an investment firm in Dallas. And she began bass fishing with her father on weekends. As her skills improved, Trait started feeling confident in her ability. So she entered her first bass tournament in 2011, along with her dad.  They finished in fourth place. That experience was love at first bite. Now her goal is to qualify for the Classic (and Elites) through the same avenue that the guys have to qualify for it.

If you know of an influential female angler who should be considered for addition to this list, please let us know.