Sunday, April 5, 2015

PodCAST...Anchored with April Vokey

I wanted to start a new segment here on TLTFF that highlights fly fishing podcasts. With a little play on words, its titled "PodCAST". I know I've talked about some podcasts in the past, including the ones a majority of you may be subscribed to, and we will get to those. But I wanted to open up this new segment with the industry's newest podcast, "Anchored with April Vokey".

I'm a wine and spirit salesman by trade, and I spend around 500 miles a week in my car driving around to see my accounts. I'm constantly in and out of the car so it comes to listening to something like a podcast, I have to find good stopping points so there is a good continuum of the topic and my ADHD doesn't forget what said topic was prior to going into an account.

I started listening to Anchored on Tuesday while at work and ran through the first 6 episodes by Thursday. As I finished my work day on Thursday, episode six finished almost on cue as I pulling into my driveway. While parking, I noticed a new notification pop up on my phone, episode 7 was ready for listening and I was half tempted to sit in the car and listen...but I held off knowing I would have an hour drive (average length of each episode is around 70 minutes) ahead of me on Friday. Lets back up...

Photo via of

Most of you know who April Vokey of the most influential female fly fishers in the world with a knowledge of the sport 90% of us do not have. Now, that 90% is an assumption on my part, but I think its pretty dead on and here's why. April has completely encompassed her life in fly fishing. Since a little girl, she has been passionate about a few things, all of which can be wrapped into the fly fishing world...conservation, steelhead, and the outdoors. The knowledge base April uses for her podcast, shows, videos, and more shine a light on how she has grown that childhood foundation into a fortress of love for life and the sport.

"Anchored" was started when April recognized a void in the fly fishing podcast her words when she reached out to us via the TLTFF Facebook Page:

I really wanted to be able to share the stories of such incredible people, while getting away from the same 'ol questions I found myself (personally) always being asked in interviews.

That void was filled in episode 1. The quality of questions asked, and caliber of people interviewed is beyond what has been done in successive interviews before. She puts names to brands, voices and opinions to names, and starts discussions many have never had the opportunity to begin. 

I have to admit, embarrassingly enough, I did not know the names behind Loop or Swift Fly Fishing. I had presuppositions about competitive fly fishing that were proven completely ignorant prior to listening to Anchored, and having light shown on these thanks to simple questions presented by April. She asks the right questions pertaining to conservation, more specifically the hatchery v. wild issue in the PNW...with the intent to allow both sides to give their personal views, to help us better understand why this argument even exists. From master casters, to shop owners, film makers, to pioneers, its every episode has been a home run.

This is by no means a dig on any other podcast within the industry, but you have to realize that April's podcast is a horse of a different color, with a different approach and perspective on the sport.

One of the most appealing aspects of Anchored is that April is sitting face-to-face with every single one of her interviewees. The level of discussions had is unrivaled as a connection is made by the two in a relaxed, almost lifetime friends type manner, even though some of her guests are sitting with her for the first time. Although culture, race, age, gender, and language create a gap between April and her guests, that gap is easily filled with a mutual love for fly fishing.

There are 7 episodes available as of Thursday, and here is what you have to look forward to in subscribing to Anchored and playing catch up...

Episode 1 - Lani Waller

Lani Waller is a man who needs little introduction in the steelhead world.
Respected author, angler, and traveler, he is probably best recognized by a set of steelhead videos that he released in the 1980’s … videos that were ahead of their time.
Lani has often been referred to as “legendary” or “famed”, but while he is the first to admit that he is proud of his accomplishments, he is just as quick to announce his imperfections.
Personally, Lani’s love for the sport captured my attention when I was a young angler and he has since become a friend and mentor with a compassionate ear and easing wisdom. In this episode, we talk about his introduction to the sport, the specifics behind his famed videos, steelhead fishing, human nature, and the plane crash that nearly ended it all.
Episode 2 - Peter Morse

Mention Peter Morse’s name to just about any fly fisher in Australia and you’ll immediately have their attention. Peter was one of the first people to pioneer fly-fishing in the vast continent and he has since done his part to maintain that role – author of three books, certified Master caster, television personality and well traveled angler.

In this episode, Peter opens up to me about his upbringing, his views on shark conservation, Australia’s fishing industry, and the television show that made an undeniable impact in the land down under.

Episode 3 - Juan Del Carmen
Juan Del Carmen is a Spanish angler probably best known for his role as technical director for the Spanish and English teams in the fly fishing world championships. A certified casting instructor and well-traveled angler, he is a wealth of knowledge. Myself, as an angler who has never even entertained the idea of competition on the water, I had a lot of questions for him.
In this episode we discuss competitive angling, following dreams, fishing in Spain, and some philosophy on why human beings are as they are.
Episode 4 - Dave McCoy
Dave McCoy wears many hats in this sport: retailer, photographer, guide, Patagonia ambassador – he knows his way around the fly fishing industry.
Dave is one of those people who isn’t afraid to voice his opinion, especially when it comes to causes he believes in. I was curious to hear more about his involvement in a recent “keep-em-wet” campaign, as well as his controversial stance against hatchery steelhead in the Pacific Northwest.
In this episode, Dave and I partake in an interactive conversation about the industry, Washington’s future, and the importance of wild steelhead.
Episode 5 - Carl McNeil
Carl McNeil is a man who’s full of surprises. Whether he means to or not, he seems to almost always find a way to break industry norms.
From his custom line of beautifully-crafted Epic fiberglass rods, to his cutting edge casting DVD’s (Casts that Catch Fish), and even the production/writing/narration of several engaging documentaries (including the award winning, Once in a Blue Moon and Itu’s Bones), Carl seems to always have a surprise up his sleeve.
What’s so astounding, is that he manages such entrepreneurism from a tiny village near the bottom of New Zealand’s South Island. Quite literally, he is causing a stir from the most remote corner of the world.
Episode 6 - Christer Sjöberg
There are few people who have had as big of an impact on the fishing industry as Christer Sjöberg. It’s tough to put a label on this ambitious entrepreneur — Christer founded Loop Tackle in 1979, and while it is what he is best known for, he is also the owner of Solid Adventures and several successful fishing lodges around the world.
From lodges in Norway, Russia, Cuba and Argentina… I met with him at his lodge on the Rio Gallegos where I was eager to finally hear the story behind the man who has so much to tell.
Episode 7 - Greg French

Greg French might best be known as the man who wrote the first accurate and comprehensive Tasmanian guide book, but there is much more to Greg than just the man behind the maps. Greg is the author of four published books with two more on the way. His most popular book, Frog Call, is brilliantly written and received raving reviews.
Now the Tasmanian local is bringing his extensive knowledge about fish biology and hatcheries into a book about an area of concern in Yellowstone National Park.
I met with Greg in Tasmania to hear his thoughts on tourism, advocacy, writing, honesty and stalking fish. As Greg always does, he left my head spinning and yearning to learn more.

I highly recommend any and all fly fisherman/women listen to Anchored. I've learned more about the history of the sport, the present and the future in the last week than the last 6 years of writing TLTFF and immersing myself within the industry. I want to thank April for recognizing a void, adding Anchored to her many caps, and utilizing her tools and knowledge to fill that void...and in turn make me, personally, much more versed in the sport I adore.

You can listen to the podcast on your phone or tablet by subscribing and downloading it for free in the app store or by heading over to April's site and clicking on the "Podcast" tab, click here to be directed. Be sure to follow/like April on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and YouTube. Be sure to also check out her new show, "Shorelines", which just wrapped up its first season.


1 comment:

  1. Excellent post and review, Morgan! I've listened to all the podcasts and couldn't agree more with your summary. April brings a unique view and perspective to the sport we all love.