I first became aware of April Vokey two years ago. I was researching my dream kayaking trip- paddling with the orcas on the British Columbia coast. Since I have gotten more and more into steelhead fishing, I thought "Why not combine the two?". We have lots of steelhead here in MI, but who wouldn't want to chase them in their native water? Aprils website was near the top of the Google results.
My first reaction was much the same as every red-blooded guy. Who is THAT? Because let's face it, April is quite beautiful. I don't think I'm breaking any new ground by saying that; no one I know of has ever seen a picture of her and said "Wow, what a nice fish". After my heart rate returned to normal I composed a friendly email including 15-20 questions about the fishing out there. Much to my surprise she got back to me, sent me her phone number and we talked BC steelhead for about an hour. I've tried to stay in touch since then in case I'm able to make that trip happen- I'd like her to at least be aware of who I am.
I've made it no secret that I'm an admirer. My interest in April isn't simply that she's beautiful- there's plenty of beautiful people in this world to admire, nor is it the woman-in-waders fetishism that seems to be so rampant among fly fishermen. I have been fascinated by steelhead since childhood, and April fishes for big wild steelhead in their native waters. She pursues them via a method that likewise fascinates me- swinging flies with spey gear. Add in that British Columbia scenery that has always fired my imagination, and you bet I want to fish with April Vokey.
April hasn't been without her detractors ( "She's not that hot", "The only reason she get's clients is because she's hot", "She really can't cast") but hating April for being beautiful is like hating LeBron for being tall. No one would suggest he should quit basketball because he has an advantage. Both are using the gifts they were born with. You really don't want to see me on those magazine covers. Give some credit where it's due- if Kelly Galloup looked like April Vokey, we would all still be fishing Zoo Cougars. I think in her early days there was a tendency to dismiss her as "wanting attention" or worse- a cupcake in waders. Let's face it- if Ape didn't know her crap, she would have washed out long ago. All of us guys like getting our picture taken with a pretty girl, but when you've spent that much money to fish for BC steelhead your guide had better get you into fish no matter who it is. There's plenty of better ways to make a living. We talk about living the dream, but guiding is a hard life- you trade normalcy for that dream. If April didn't love the fish, the fishing, and the life she wouldn't be doing it still. April has withstood all of that, continues to grow her business, and her reach in the world of fly fishing seems to grow exponentially each year. She writes for or sits on the editorial staff of more publications than I can mention here, and she has worked with and continues to be involved with many charities and conservation issues, all while operating her outfitting and guiding business Fly Gal Ventures (http://flygal.ca/).
who do you want to see on your magazine covers? The choice is obvious....
I spent quite a bit of time with and around April at the Midwest Fly Fishing Expo. She very generously spent most of an evening answering my questions, and at times I wondered who was interviewing who. April is not just nice, she's hilariously funny (just try to photograph her- she's a real cut-up) and the life of the party, and not in a party girl kind of way either. I got to witness some of the behind the scenes sophomorish behavior of the guides and others at the hotel, and while I won't say April is one of the guys, she is definitely one of the guides. She made me play poker. While our conversation was long and rambling, I did make her answer my prepared questions.
|April giving a lesson to a young fan|
|these girls traveled three hours to meet April|
|April ties it up at the Expo|
I want to thank April for spending some time and granting such a great interview. I hope you enjoyed it. You can keep up with April at her website which includes her blog at
Make sure you visit her Flies for Fins Website through which she raises funds for conservation efforts. Shop for flies and gear, or make a donation and help April preserve our rivers. Check it out at