SaraBella Fishing & Minturn Anglers are Teaming Up!

 

 

 

 

 

 

Who: Female Anglers! Join SaraBella Fishing & Minturn Anglers to fly fish on private water! All levels welcome.
When: Tuesday, August 15th    9 am – 1 pm
Where: Sweetwater Ranch, Dotsero, Colorado — Private Creek & Ponds! Detailed directions will be emailed to registrants.
Price: $215
Includes: Gear, lunch, and guide fees (with a 3:1 ratio). We’ll do a brief introduction to fly fishing, followed by casting instruction and fishing opportunities on Sweetwater Ranch’s beautiful private creek and ponds. We’ll have female & male guides, including Mandy Hertzfeld (of Minturn) and April Archer (of SaraBella). This is a GREAT value for the price!  Space is limited (min. 6, max. 15), sign up fast!

REGISTER HERE!!

Gratuities not included yet greatly appreciated.

Life is Life (Part 7 of Michelle’s blog series)

by Michelle Karl

This is the 7th post for Michelle’s Summer blog series. Her previous SaraBella posts include, “Cancer, Set Me Free“, “Fuel For Growth“, “Floating Together“, “Just Love“, “Seeking Water” and “Taking Hold“. She has shared her insight about her 16 month battle with (against) stage 2 breast cancer as she adventures on a 3-week road/boat trip through Wyoming, Idaho, Montana & British Columbia — to fish, camp, explore, reflect, and rejoice. We hope you enjoy the last post of the series — thanks to Michelle for her honest, insightful, and beautiful reflections of her story. You can follow Michelle on FB @

Appreciation. You cannot both feel sorry for yourself and feel appreciation at the same time. The two feelings and actions contradict each other. In the last sixteen month I have had ample material in my life to do both.

During cancer, I did not allow myself to feel sorry for myself very often. I had little opportunity to do so anyway. I was an open book and let the people around me, to the best of my ability, know how I was doing and what I needed. The result was so much love and positive encouragement that I was able to remain positive, mostly. The one thing I did find myself missing was good ‘ol, belly laughing, fun. I anticipated that this vacation would be filled with a backlog of overdue fun. I would get to go mountain biking, camping, and hiking. I would learn a new sport and float through beautiful, pristine landscapes. I thought I would be so full of fun and happiness that maybe, I would just explode.

What I found was that life is life. Living in the present is not always easy and three weeks of vacation can sometimes feel like a little too much togetherness. There was a part of me that felt like I did not get all the laughter I was owed.

Then these moments would sneak in. Playing three looooong games of Uno in our tent, sleeping under the stars as a thunderstorm rolled in, watching my daughters get up on water-skis for the first time, playing PIG with my husband at the hot springs, taking river baths, doing yoga as I watched the sunset over a clear lake, catching my first fish on a dry fly. Time would stop.

The happiness did not show up the way I had expected. It was something more penetrating. It was peace and love and wonder and connection. It was looking at this beautiful world that we all live in and really, deeply and soulfully, appreciating the gifts that life has for all of us.

I remind my clients all the time that there is always struggle in our lives. Now I am reminding myself. It looks different for each of us. Nobody really has it easier or harder. We all have our burdens that we carry. We also have our gifts.

Life always pushes against the struggle. Life will win. It may feel like the good is hiding or stubbornly avoiding us at times, but the good is always there. We have to get past the judgment and the packaging. Sometimes our greatest gifts in life will be felt while we are in the midst of crisis. Sometimes, we need to reframe our experience, look around at what is in front of us so we can appreciate what the world holds.

Today I remind myself, not my clients, to loosen the grip. To let go of control and trust – that what is waiting for me is beautiful. I vow to watch more sunsets, find more water, count my blessings, and listen for the laughter. I hope that you can do the same.

Taking Hold (Part 6 of Michelle’s Series)

by Michelle Karl

This is the 6th post for Michelle’s blog series. Her previous SaraBella posts include, “Cancer, Set Me Free“, “Fuel For Growth“, “Floating Together“, “Just Love“ and “Seeking Water“. She has shared her insight about her 16 month battle with (against) stage 2 breast cancer as she adventures on a 3-week road/boat trip through Wyoming, Idaho, Montana & British Columbia — to fish, camp, explore, reflect, and rejoice. We hope you enjoy this post — about 2 weeks into her trip. We’re honored that Michelle is sharing her story with us, so we can share it with you!

My husband and I cannot get into a float boat without arguing. I do not know what the learning curve is on learning how to fly fish or teaching someone to fly fish but it seems to me that the learning curve is a slow and steady uphill.

Today we floated the Yellowstone. We continue to do some things better and still argue about others. What we did right today – we prepped the day before, we woke up early, and we were on the river by seven-ish.

The river was magnificent. The temperature was perfect. The sun was coming over the mountains. I started to row and I felt like I was getting the hang of it. The river was flowing faster than the last two rivers but it was wide open with no rapids or rocks. There were times that it felt like the boat was dancing on the water and I got to be the one who was leading. It was a peaceful meditative dance.

Then it went wrong. I can be a bad student; I will leave it at that. It isn’t that I do not want to learn, it is that it is not an easy thing to learn. Are there any other women who row out there? Did your husband try to teach you? Are you still happily married?

My husband took over the rowing half way through and my daughter started to fish the front of the boat. Right away she caught her first fish. She caught her second minutes latter. She was super happy. I decided to try my cast off the back, away from any watchful eyes. I watched as a fish came up and started to check out my dry fly, poking at it. Then he surfaced and took a big mouthful of fake fly. He was not big but he was really beautiful. He was a cutthroat trout; the red marking across his throat was clear, his stunning calling card.

The day as a whole was a win. The scenery was spectacular. I started to really enjoy the task of rowing and I held my first fish. Persistence is starting to pay off. I think the sport is starting to take hold of me.

Seeking Water (Part 5 of Michelle’s series)

by Michelle Karl

This is the 5th post for Michelle’s blog series. Her previous SaraBella posts include, “Cancer, Set Me Free“, “Fuel For Growth“, “Floating Together“, and “Just Love“. She has shared her insight about her 16 month battle with (against) stage 2 breast cancer as she adventures on a 3-week road/boat trip through Wyoming, Idaho, Montana & British Columbia — to fish, camp, explore, reflect, and rejoice. We hope you enjoy this post — about 2 weeks into her trip. We’re honored that Michelle is sharing her story with us, so we can share it with you!

Day 12
I have always felt drawn to the water. I know that. I am sure that when I was young it started with play and social activities. The pool, the beach the creak behind my house where we found crayfish and water spiders. I loved the recreation that the water provided, I still do. However, now it goes deeper and I understand my connection in a more complete way.

In the Midwest, where I grew up, the lakes were where I found myself. In Colorado, it is the rivers. I know there is a spirituality connected to the water. Peace and Power. Ying and Yang.

It both cleanses me and grounds me. The life and the constant movement reminds me something much bigger than myself. It is always there breathing and moving. It is a relief and a comfort to have something unconditionally present for you. Something you can always seek if you choose. The water gives me that gift, and I am deeply grateful.

 

Just Love (Part 4 of Michelle’s series)

by Michelle Karl

This is the fourth post for Michelle’s blog series. Her previous SaraBella posts include, “Cancer, Set Me Free“, “Fuel For Growth” and “Floating Together“. She has shared her insight about her 16 month battle with (against) stage 2 breast cancer as she adventures on a 3-week road/boat trip through Wyoming, Idaho, Montana & British Columbia — to fish, camp, explore, reflect, and rejoice. She will continue to share reflections, adventures, challenges, and growth. We hope you enjoy this post — about 2 weeks into her trip. We’re honored that Michelle is sharing her story with us, so we can share it with you!

Day 12
My husband just went off to float the Elk River in Canada. This is his time to fish in peace without distraction. This is his passion, and I am glad he is getting this time. We have also been together quite a bit on this trip.

I was thinking about this yesterday as we were driving to get here. Do I really make the people I love better people? I know that I have faults. I know that we all have faults. But do I actively in some way or another help others to be the best of who they can be? What does that even mean? Does it mean that I help them to be successful or less annoying, or irritable, or kinder? I do not know if that is really in my control. I can try to teach, but most of the time, the teaching is my own agenda and fails. I can model, and hope that my target person picks up the lesson. I can invest all the energy I have into making change happen and then be disappointed when it doesn’t…

Or I can just love. It seems that it always comes back to the simplest answer. I can love when it is difficult and when it is unpleasant. I can love enough to provide a safe place and acceptance. I can take all the love I have been shown in my entire life and give it back. I can use that love to give me the energy and the confidence to admit when I am wrong and not always need an apology when someone else is.

Cancer validated the love in my life. I was alone in my personal suffering but I was never truly alone. We are never truly alone. There is a bigness in our world, in life and living. There is a connectivity that we cannot avoid. In humbling ourselves to love intimately and imperfectly we can never be alone.

Floating Together (Part 3 of Michelle’s series)

by Michelle Karl

This is the third post for Michelle’s blog series. Her first SaraBella blog post, “Cancer, Set Me Free” shared her insight about her 16 month battle with (against) stage 2 breast cancer. Then she wrote, “Fuel For Growth” which was part 2 of this series. Michelle’s family is on a 3-week road/boat trip through Wyoming, Idaho, Montana & British Columbia — to fish, camp, explore, reflect, and rejoice. She will continue to share reflections, adventures, challenges, and growth. We hope you enjoy her 3rd post, about 1 week into her trip. We’re honored that Michelle is sharing her story with us, so we can share it with you!
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I have been keeping my own personal journal as the days have passed. To be honest, I was not sure that I could share the train wreck we were the first few days. Trying to have four grown people on one fly fishing boat with only one person that knows anything at all about fly fishing is a recipe for disaster.

We floated the Henry’s fork… twice. The first time was so stressful we decided to do it again just to prove that we could. On the second day we did it, it took a fraction of the time to find the put in and to get all rigged up. After that, we had the same stresses we did on the first day. The high point for me was that I caught my first fish. My youngest caught three. However, as a family we struggled to come together. The amount of fish you catch can bring momentary joy but does not necessarily create a joyful, appreciative, presence on a river.

Day after day, I would come down to the river to journal. I wanted to figure out how we could logistically do things differently and have a better experience. I am a mom. I am always trying to figure these things out.

To add to that, I realized that in the last year and a half we have all been on our own journeys. We have lived in the same house but our lives have gone in different directions. We were all functioning on our own agendas when we got into the boat. I found that at the end of day three I was praying that we could all just come together.

We were not even sure if we were going to continue on with my husband’s boat. The thought was somewhat heartbreaking. To think that after building his own boat and having to delay the trip a year, the process would be too stressful to continue. We decided to take a break for a day and think it over.

Day 5
We decided not to give up. After a day of relaxation we decided, by unanimous vote, that we would try again. This time on a 12-mile section of the Blackfoot River. We started early and put in at 8. We had been told that the section we were doing would take about six hours. That was daunting for our family, considering that a four hour float on Henry’s fork turned into 6 hours.

First, I have to say this river section was AMAZING. At the put in, the water was so clear that you could see the bottom perfectly. Each rock had its own color, when you put them all together, and looked at them in the sunlight, it resembled the scales on a rainbow trout.

Today, I was more confident rowing, my husband did a short casting tutorial prior to shoving off and we all vowed to untangle our own fly’s. It worked. We managed not to have any major arguments, crying episodes, or cursing. Plus we actually floated the whole 12 miles in 6 ½ hours, not bad… however, not a single fish was caught.

Today’s success was in coming together. In enjoying the river and each others successes even if there were no fish at the end of the day. I also have to mention that my agenda of reflection, observation and gaining perspective on the past sixteen months has to take a back seat to our family just being together.

My daughter just informed me that my hair looks gross. I informed her that she was not invited to comment. Our next stop is Whitefish, Montana. This is where resort living and mountain biking will be put on the schedule. Maybe, then I can do something with my hair.

Wild & Found ~ Fishin’ Fashion: Brands you’ll love whether you’re a fly girl or not

June 27, 2017

Wild & Found is a Canadian blog, and the author (Erin MacDonald) enjoys sharing information and advocating for women in the outdoors. This blog features brands that create products for female anglers. SaraBella Fishing is thrilled to make the list, and we love what Erin is all about. NOTE: the author was not compensated in any way in making this list.

Read the full blog here

Montana State University ~ Angling Oral History Project

February 23, 2017

Thanks to Jim Thull of Montana State University library for interviewing SaraBella CEO, April Archer, for the Angling Oral History Project. Professor Thull is making an active effort to include more stories from females in the fly fishing industry for this audio collection. We LOVE this! In the interview, April discusses her opinions on conservation, the outdoor industry, her role with Colorado Women Flyfishers, and her passion for “smart beautiful fishing”.

See the full interview here!

Full Circle ~ SaraBella fly rods at Anglers All fly shop!

May 23, 2017

We’re ecstatic that Anglers All is carrying SaraBella fly rods! April & JT purchased their first rods at Anglers All, 17 years ago….and now they’ve come “Full Circle” to offer their Colorado-made fly rods at this great shop. Stop by to say hi, cast, and purchase your next SaraBella fly rod! Our rods are also available through their website, and you can add SaraBella rods to your “wish list”!

We love that Anglers All added Courtney Despos, one of our awesome SaraBella Allies, to their team.  This shop is offering female anglers excellent equipment, education, and a positive customer service experience.

Read the article by Anglers All, “Full Circle with SaraBella Fly Rods“.

Anglers All
5211 S. Santa Fe Dr., Littleton, CO 80120
Mon-Fri  9:00-6:00
Saturday 9:00-5:00
Sunday 11:00-5:0
info@anglersall.com
Toll Free: 1-800-327-5014
In Colorado: 303-794-110

Outside Magazine ~ 40th Anniversary Issue

May 2017

We’re honored to see SaraBella rods in the women’s gear guide for Outside Magazine ~ 40th Anniversary XX Factor Issue “The New Icons: the Future of Adventure is Female” Page 44. This is what we’re all about!!!

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