|Not just another pretty face among women featured in outdoor magazines, Sara Dodd has an authentic passion for hunting and fishing, which begs the question: What is the proper term for a woman that's an experienced, successful and true outdoorsman?|
No bad days for Sara Dodd
|Sara with a blacktail taken this past fall|
Photo by Marty Theurer
Sara Dodd not only fits the mold for the "Real Women of Fishing" feature as a legitimate angler, she sets a standard. A native of southern Oregon, she grew up fishing the Rogue, but these days you'll be more likely to find her fishing Tillamook waters. If you've seen her out with her fishing buddy Kristin Bishop, they're probably decked out in goofy costumes fishing out of guide David Johnson's boat.
|Sara Dodd & Kristin Bishop modeling their outdoor look.|
Ugly sweaters and Fall Chinook.
|Ryan Beck exhibiting proper netting techniques on a steelhead Sara hooked this earlier winter.|
Photo by Kirby Cannon
|Patience paid off with a productive day of catch and release |
fishing for wild steelhead in the Siletz gorge.
Photo by Author
I wanted to set up another trip for us to stomp the banks on some water where we were both familiar. Unfortunately, her busy schedule and the oncoming spring salmon season competed with our mulligan, but she made time to fish one afternoon a week later. She managed to spot a few fish that weren't interested in biting. Again, it was a low water situation late in the season, so fresh chrome winters were few and far between. While she has a long successful history as an avid hunter and angler, I grew frustrated with failing to bring her a fish to the bank to make up for my faux pas on the Wilson. I got grumpy, and started
|Sara put a couple red stripes in her hair the night before and a few|
red stripes on the bank the next day.
A trip up into the Siletz gorge in late March finally provided us with some fruits for our labor towards the ending of winter steelhead season. Some rain events earlier in the week had given the water some color, and I was floating a larger bead in the morning. The water started to clear, and about the time I went to downsize, Sara, one step ahead of me, was hooked up. Then she hooked another, and another, and another. In just a couple hours we hooked a half dozen late march wild steelhead with beautiful spawning patterns. She hooked 5 out of the same hole. I spent most of that morning throwing my gear up the bank and scrambling to land her fish.
Our experience fishing together serves as a good example for any women (or men for that matter) aspiring to be a successful steelhead angler. Not because we were consistently successful, but because she was determined to overcome adversity.
|One of several spawning bruisers Sara hooked that day|
Photo by Author
In a modern culture of instant gratification, patience is required to enjoy fishing. Fishing and hunting are not sports where everyone gets a trophy. If you don't enjoy putting in the work as much as the reward that comes from it, then it isn't for you. Sara says she is drawn as much by the anticipation of a bite as she is the adrenaline of the fight. "Fishing is my therapy. I think about nothing. It's calming," she says. Sara has mastered the zen and art of enjoying being on the water. Sometimes, going the extra mile to create a few smiles along the way.
|Playing dress up and having fun|
comes naturally for this kid at heart.
Sponsors and pro-staff gigs aren't the motive behind the interesting wardrobe selections. In the words of Cyndi Lauper, "Girls just want to have fun!" When asked about her reasons behind the goofy costumes, she says "Growing up, fishermen have always been serious and competitive about the sport." Far too often, I've found myself frowning at googans and snaggers ruining my trip. Those days I'd give anything to replace them all with a shameless comedian. That's the fishing buddy she aims to be to those she shares the water with. Sara's positive attitude, patience and pleasant company makes it quite clear why she's fished with some of the top guides and anglers in the Northwest. Who wouldn't want to fish with someone who doesn't have bad days?
This article was published in the May 2015 issue of Northwest Sportsman Magazine
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