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Karlie Roland

Karlie Roland

From time to time we like to introduce you to some of the amanzing women in flyfishing today. Karlie Roland has had a passion for flyfishing her entire life. Growing up in a fishing family any vacation was centered on the water. She’s a fourth generation angler on the Henry’s Fork, and never takes that for granted. She started her flyfishing career at Fins and Feathers in Bozeman and then moved to Seattle to work for Emerald Water Anglers. During her two and a half years in Seattle she helped Emerald Water Anglers build an amazing women’s program that showcased Karlie’s desire to support and mentor others in flyfishing. Karlie helped to start classes, group meetings and hosted trips. Her fishy excursions were both in the region as well as to places like the Henry’s Fork and Christmas Island. Karlie’s fun, fishy personality welcomed many women to the group and her own following continued to grow.

It was one of these women’s trips that got her noticed on the Henry’s Fork by TroutHunter owner Rich Paini. Soon Karlie started guiding for TroutHunter and she spent the last four years guiding on this legendary river. As many of you know she is a very fishy guide who takes great care of her clients to make sure they have an exceptional day. During this time she met her fiancé Ryan Loftice and they married on the Henry’s Fork this summer. Although Karlie was happy guiding, the opportunity to become the Northern Rockies Sales Rep for Umpqua came before her. With a desire to push herself and support local fly shops, Karlie happily accepted this position. She now serves fly shops in Idaho, Montana and Wyoming and is there to support their needs and growth. “I am proud to work for a legendary company that has offered commercially tied flies for more than 50 years,” she said. Karlie started in April and has already taught fly tying in Bozeman at Chica De Maya, been at events in Denver and at the famous Silver Creek, Idaho opening weekend, the Missouri, the South Fork of the Snake with World Cast and doing some photoshoots along the way! Karlie is very excited about her new career, marriage to Ryan and all of the great things ahead. As in previous roles, the Umpqua position allows Karlie to continue to mentor and assist both anglers and fly shops every day.

Finatical Flyfishing will miss having Karlie guide on the annual Henry’s Fork trips but are watching to see all that Karlie will accomplish. Congratulations on your latest career move and your marriage to the amazing Ryan Loftice! 

Lily Bertram fish Saltwater

Lily Bertrum and Kay Fly Fishing Lodge

From time to time we like to introduce you to some of the amazing women in flyfishing. Meet Lily Bertram! Lily grew up in western North Carolina and when she had the chance to work for a friend of her Aunt’s in Punta Allen she jumped at it. She spent three seasons working at Cuzan Guest House for Sonja and Armando. She then became the lodge manager full time and Punta Allen became her permanent home.

Cuzan offered flyfishing trips and other Mexican adventures. Lily had never fished before and wanted to learn and Jose Ucan (who grew up in Punta Allen) was guiding for the lodge. In their ‘down time’ over those first few seasons Jose taught Lily to fly-fish. When she returned to the lodge to manage full time, Jose and Lily began dating and are now married and partners in Kay Fly Fishing Lodge.  

Lily managed Cuzan from the same location until 2012 when La Pesacadora was being built. They moved into La Pescadora in 2013 and Lily continued as lodge manager and Jose the head guide through February 2021. In November of 2021 they moved into their own building as Kay Fly Fishing Lodge and Lily and Jose own and operate their own business today. 

When they renovated the current building, they had a family operated fishing lodge in mind from the start.  The home opens to the beach with a beautiful patio, hammocks and rod storage and cleaning facilities under the palm trees. Just inside you’ll join the group for dinner around a beautiful wooden dining table. Fishy artwork and a couple of Jose’s trophies from the Del Brown and March Merkin tournaments lead the decor. The main floor also holds a fly-tying room for guests, main floor bar and a commercial kitchen in the back. Double occupancy rooms include A/C and private bathrooms. Don’t miss the rooftop bar -a great place for fish stories and your favorite cocktails with friends overlooking the beach and the water.

Lily has now been fishing in Ascension Bay and managing flyfishing lodges for 19 seasons. She and Jose are both hands-on owners and their goal is to have those staying at the lodge feel like family. Lily and Jose are there for dinner, to help with gear, guide pairings and questions about the fishing and the bay. Guides are invited to dinner on the last night and friendships between anglers and the Kay Fly family run deep. These friendships and the remarkable Ascension Bay offerings keep anglers coming back each year.

Lily is quick to point out Jose’s experience and style are unusual in the Punta Allen lodge opportunities and it makes a difference. He is native to Punta Allen; his grandparents and uncle were lobster fishermen. Having spent his entire life here, Jose has ‘intimate relationship with the bay”. He understands it, began guiding when he was 14 and enjoys sharing it with visiting anglers. This Ascension Bay knowledge and his willingness to join anglers for dinner each evening and assist with questions is unusual.

When asked why Ascension Bay over other locations…. Lily loves both Ascension Bay and the small town feel of Punta Allen. “There is so much less pressure on the fish than places like the Florida Keys offer”, she notes. The keys offer recreation to jet skies, yachts and major airports to feed them. Ascension Bay offers one road from Tulum and one rarely used road from the jungle. The pressure in Ascension Bay is far less than the keys; offering a much better chance at Permit, Tarpon, Snook, Bonefish and more.

Although quite modest, Lily’s flyfishing skills are impressive. She is fishing the Herman Lucerne Memorial Tarpon Cup and the Ladies Fly Tarpon Tournament in Islamorada, and gets a few days on the water in Ascension Bay between guests, managing the lodge and her two boys. She finds women’s groups at the lodge tend to offer a less competitive and more supportive environment. Everything on the salt happens so fast! It can be intimidating but it is worth the effort! 

Lily is definitely another supportive and successful woman in the flyfishing industry that you will want to get to know. She enjoys hosting  anglers of all ages and from all walks of life. If you get the chance to visit the lodge don’t miss out! Join the Finatical Flyfishing women’s group Feb 4-11, 2023. 



Meet Rusti Christensen - Flyfishing Guide

From time to time we like to introduce you to some of the amazing women in flyfishing today. 

The Green River near Pinedale, WY is a well-kept secret and so is Rusti Christensen, the only female guide in the area.  Rusti served in the Navy for 4 ½ years and then went to school at the University of Wyoming.  During the summer she worked at Hack’s Tackle and Outfitters in the shop and fished with the owner and head guide every evening. If she wasn’t improving her cast and techniques, she was learning to row from the best in the business. She continued her education and the next summer (2001) began her guiding career.

After school she continued to work as a guide and had a passion for showing people the amazing gifts that are shared on the river each day. By 2007 Rusti had moved to Pinedale and started her family. In 2010, she reached out to what was at that time Two Rivers Emporium and began guiding in the summer while she worked in the IT department for the school district during the school year. She has been with what is now Two Rivers Fishing Co for over 10 years and knows every section of the river. Her favorite sections before and after the guides from Jackson Hole started making the 90-minute drive to fish these waters have changed.  However, “No matter where you go, you’ll find something spectacular,” she said.  Fish, moose, deer, eagles, wildflowers, large brown and rainbow trout, and a beautiful scenic view just to name a few favorites. Rusti talks about clients she has guided who have never seen Wyoming’s beauty and you can hear the passion and excitement in her voice. She loves the adventure and experience Wyoming offers and sharing it with others is as much fun as watching them land a giant trout.

As a single mom she devotes most of her time to her 14-year-old son. Special clients and requests (like the Finatical Flyfishing trip in June) bring her back to guiding each year. She also assists with Casting For Recovery, Two Rivers Women’s Rowing Clinics, BOCES women’s flyfishing classes (Sublette County, Wyoming) and others.

One of the best things about Rusti is her honest desire to help her clients do well no matter what their skill set is. She takes the time to get to know each client and design the best plan for the day. If you are a beginner she will share casting tips in the parking lot before jumping in the boat. If  you want to work on a particular cast or goal….. she will do her best to make it happen. Like many experts on the bucket list waters across the west, she is always learning, always excited to talk to people and show them the best parts of her home waters. The Green River and New Fork both produce larger numbers of 20”+  browns and rainbows than other regional waters and your chances of landing these fish with Rusti are very high! 

We are honored and excited to get to work with Rusti Christensen and the Two Rivers Fishing Co team for this trip June 23-27, 2022.

Amanda Bauman - Flyfishing Guide

Amanda Bauman - Flyfishing Guide

Meet Amanda Bauman
From time to time we like to feature some of the amazing guides and leaders out there. 
Amanda Bauman is a born and bred Idaho native. After leaving to attend college in Montana, she was lured back to the Wood River Valley by the pull of family and a lifestyle she embraces. Amanda began to fish during her time away at school. “It was something I could do by myself in the evenings while firefighting,” she explained. “Being somewhat self taught I remember vividly the first fish I caught on a dry fly on the East Fork of the Bitterroot River. It was that calm summer evening that I fell in love with fishing.” For her, the perfect end to a day on the river is getting back for an evening mountain bike ride in the valley followed by a meal shared with people she loves.
About her guiding style: Amanda is someone who likes to teach and can sometimes get lost in showing all the intricacies of fly fishing. She considers it a delicate dance to ensure the guest ends the day with new knowledge and understanding while ensuring they had fun and their expectations for the trip were exceeded.
She will be one of the guides on our September Sun Valley trip. She guides with Silver Creek Outfitters.
Meet Kris Millgate, a Journalist Making a Difference for Natural Resources

Meet Kris Millgate, a Journalist Making a Difference for Natural Resources

From time to time we like to feature some of the amazing women in the flyfishing industry. Kris Millgate is an angler by passion and a journalist by profession. After working for a decade in TV news she founded Tight Line Media in 2006. “I hope to make a difference for our natural resources by helping people truly connect to them. We rarely stop to think about the resources under our feet. We are busy with work, kids’ hockey games and our lives. The wilderness is trying to make its way, with us in its way”, said Kris.

The issues surrounding dams on western rivers has been a focus for years. Kris has done several assignments on the Yankee Fork of the Salmon River and witnessed the remnants of the river being dredged seven decades ago. When mining companies pulled the gold from the river bottom, they also pulled the river bottom and all of its nutrients. The piles of rock and debris still lay along the bank today as exhibits of the historical treatment of our rivers.

During her time on the Yankee Fork, Kris watched one of the dying salmon spawn. “I said to myself, ‘These fish swim 850 miles from the Oregon coast to Idaho’s wilderness to spawn then die where they started. It’s absolutely unbelievable. Wouldn’t it be amazing to document the whole route?'” Kris said. She studied this route for three years and devised her plan to film and produce Ocean to Idaho.

In 2020, during a pandemic, Kris Millgate traveled solo in her truck and camper throughout the Pacific Northwest to document the journey thousands of salmon make every year. Ocean to Idaho will take you on this journey, which includes eight major dams. The video, photography and story illustrate the salmon’s epic journey and why it is so much harder today. Extinction is in the realm of possibilities. The film also reveals all sides of the story when considering what we should do about dams. “It is about what the whole Northwest thinks rather than what I think,” Kris explained. "I want the full story from everyone, on every story.”

Kris has always felt comfortable outside, but she didn’t start flyfishing until she moved to Idaho.  “At that time, I was a newlywed in a new state while my husband was in another state,” she said. "I wanted to appreciate the natural resources surrounding Idaho Falls and the South Fork of the Snake River is part of that. I started taking casting and flyfishing lessons and my husband joined me when he came to Idaho.” She has fished all over the United States and took an assignment in Iceland that included exploration of the natural resources there and landing her first Chinook Salmon on a fly rod.

Kris is a talented journalist, who favors visual storytelling to introduce key players and amazing natural resources. In addition to Ocean to Idaho details, the Tight Line Media website shows you to the South Fork of the Snake River, the disappearing sage grouse and their lands, and the mighty Mississippi River. Those are just a few highlights as her archives are massive.

Kris gets inspired by a story or a hobby and she doesn’t let anything stop her. ‘Can’t’ and ‘quit’ are not in her vocabulary. Broken cameras, stitches, and a pandemic were all part of the making of Ocean to Idaho.  She is passionate about our natural resources and works hard to research every angle and produce the full story. Within hours of learning about the recent events on the Madison River, she had a story and photos ready for Field and Stream Magazine. This is a woman who pursues her passions and makes a difference in the world.

ADDRESS: Idaho, United States
PHONE: 208-220-0706



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