April Vokey – Australian Interview

Lureandfly.com’s Vicki Lear was lucky enough to meet up with April Vokey when she first visited Australia in September this year, and April agreed to do her first Australian interview with us.

Vicki also took up the offer of a fly casting lesson with her.  April is involved with fly fishing DVD, Fly Nation, she is an accredited fly casting instructor and fishing guide in British Columbia with her own business FlyGal Ventures. Apart from this, she also runs her own fly fishing blog – yes she an incredible woman and very down to earth.

We are also very excited to hear that April may be spending six months of the year on our turf starting from next year.  Welcome April Vokey and for those of you that haven’t heard of her, consider the following interview an introduction.

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1.  What is your greatest fishing memory?

My greatest fishing memory would have been the first steelhead I caught on a fly.

I had tied my own streamer pattern and set foot in the stream behind three or four guys who were fishing bait… my swung presentation must have been the difference the fish were looking for and after landing (and releasing) my first fifteen pound wild steelhead, I felt like I had truly accomplished something I had always dreamt of.

Photography by Nick PujicPhotograph by Nick Pujic

2.  I have read that you just started saltwater fly fishing a couple of years ago, which do you prefer fresh or salt and why?

I started saltwater fly-fishing in BC over ten years ago but started fly-fishing in the tropics five or six years ago.  I can’t truly tell you which of the two (fresh or salt water) that I prefer but I know that I can’t go without either of them for long without feeling a little bit of me wither.

I love sight-fishing and the saltwater certainly has that component mastered.

Photography by Lacy RushPhotography by Lacy Rush

Photographs by Lacy Rush

3.  You are involved in Flies for Fins which as I understand it is a program to protect your wild fishery.  What is the goal and how can people help?

Vicki, we are undergoing a major transition on this right now… I want people to know about it but with it changing hands, we don’t have anyone “working it” as such right now.

Photography by Stephan Dombaj

Photograph by Stephan Dombaj

4.  Do your injuries from that horrific car accident give you trouble whilst your fishing and if so how do you deal with this?

Unfortunately, they absolutely do…. my foot has arthritis and spending time on it certainly takes its toll on me at the end of the day.  I just have to remember that I am lucky to be here and keep pushing on with that in mind.

Photography by Stephan Dombaj

Photography by Stephan Dombaj

5.  Why do you think fishing is so male dominated?

I believe that fly-fishing is just slightly stuck in a historical slump.  There are many sports that have rapidly opened their appeal to both men and women and I just feel as if fishing is a little slower on the transition.

Photography by Stephan Dombaj

Photography by Stephan Dombaj

 6.  How do you think you can change this?

Inevitably it is time that will change this but having more women involved and having them spread the word certainly helps.  As soon as the stereotype that fishing is hard/boring/expensive/slimy is broken, the faster we can push this transition along.

Photography by Nick Pujic

Photograph by Nick Punic

7.  As a woman have you ever felt frightened in a fishing situation, if so please explain how you have overcome this?

Yes and I think this is all part of what keeps fishing so exciting for me.  Rapids, grizzly bears, sharks… it’s an element of survival that keeps me interested in the sport.  I love never knowing what exactly is around the corner.

Photography by Stephan Dombaj

Photograph by Stephan Dombaj

8.  Your best recommendation for how women can get started into the sport?

I have found that the best way to encourage women to partake in the sport is by taking a solo trip or a trip with another female friend.  As soon as independence in instilled in any angler (man or woman), then the sport truly becomes “their own” and it often stems into a passion.

Photography by Stephan Dombaj

Photograph by Stephan Dombaj

 9.  You have obviously proven you can make a career out of fishing.  For any up and coming ladies are there any tips you can give them to pursue their passion as a career?

I would say that all dreams are possible if you are willing to work hard and make sacrifices.

When I first entered this industry, I was on a path that had only a few dedicated blazers who had ventured down it so the response was… interesting.  🙂

It was difficult then but is getting easier now for women in the sport and I would encourage both men and women to follow their hearts.  Just remember that the first few years are difficult but most things worth fighting for.

Photography by Stephan Dombaj

Photography by Stephan Dombaj

10.  Is this your first time in Australia?

It certainly is!  And I absolutely love it!

11.  What would you like to see whilst here?

I would like to fish for barramundi and see a giant bull shark… I’m working on getting the hang of this surfing thing too.  😉

Photography by Stephan Dombaj

Photograph by Stephan Dombaj

12.  What is on the top of your bucket list?

I think at this time golden dorado in Bolivia…

Photography by James ChristmasPhotograph by James Christmas

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