It’s not easy being a woman.
Photo: Kami Swingle, TwoFistedHeart Productions
The founding members of Able Women are the very embodiment of confidence, strength and grace. Each of their lives has been shaped by their love of fly fishing — they are fly fishing artists, filmmakers, guides, instructors, television hosts, ambassadors and world record holders. They are truly remarkable women and Legends of the Fly is proud to bring these incredible ladies to Hampton Roads so they can each tell their inspiring story.
Fly fishing teaches: sensitivity to the natural world, strength, grace, independence and creativity — and can play an important role bolstering a participant’s self esteem. Indeed, a passion for fly fishing can be a powerful antidote against the pressures of modern society.
Society’s expectations are not only ridiculously high, they’re undermining the physical and emotional health of millions of women across our country. Able Women was created to help counteract society’s negative influence by teaching women about fly-fishing and its many emotional and physical benefits.
Come meet these remarkable women at LOF2016. Not only are they powerhouse fly fisherwomen, they’re the very embodiment of how fly fishing can provide each and every one of us internal strength that makes life’s challenges all but disappear.
Having worked on Canada’s CBC tv drama HeartLand and previously a tv host on the Outdoor Channel, Rebekka is now a tv host for the Canadian show The New Fly Fisher. Rebekka’s career is enveloped around her passion of fly fishing, teaching, photography, the outdoors, travel & film. She loves to fly fish as much as possible and enjoys sharing her passion of the sport.
A fly fisher, artist, an accomplished equestrian (she is the founder of RR horse rescue), conservationist, humanitarian, animal advocate, published author and is a competitive martial artist that holds her black belt in TKD.
Kami lives just outside of Washington, DC with her husband. She’s a firm believer that fish respond to cute outfits, although she can’t empirically prove it yet. She’s a professional graphic designer, photographer and filmmaker. When she isn’t working, find her on the trail or on the water with a fly rod and camera in hand.
Kim is a retired Captain in the U.S. Marine Corp. In 2009, she was the first female to be deployed with an Infantry Battalion. May 2009-Jan 2010 1st Lt Smith was deployed to Helmand Provence Afghanistan.
Having been severely wounded in service, very few know the magical power of fly fishing better than Kim. She credits it with literally saving her life. Kim is an active ambassador for Project Healing Waters, which is a corporate partner of Able Women and dedicated to helping wounded military veterans recover from the physical and emotional scars of battle.
Jessica Callihan joined the Navy in the summer of 2007 and quickly excelled as an Aviation Electrician. During training exercises she suffered severe injuries to her upper and lower extremities and has been left with permanent nerve damage that requires a spinal implanted neurostimulator.
Like Captain Smith, Jessica is an active ambassador for Project Healing Waters and similarly credits fly fishing with much of her recovery.
Meredith McCord resides primarily in Houston, TX, where she runs a successful chain of paint-your-own-pottery studios, The Mad Potter (est. 1998). Thanks to her incredible staff at The Mad Potter, Meredith has the opportunity and availability to work/travel part-time for Tailwaters Fly Fishing Travel, as a lodge scout, ambassador and trip hostess. She has parlayed her passion for fishing and travel into doing some fun TV and film work with a fly rod in hand, stalking fish on flats, rivers and lakes around the globe and in her home state.
This year, the IGFA (International Game Fish Assoc.) named Meredith the Top Female Angler of 2015, as well as awarded her Most “Catch and Release” Records, Top Female on Freshwater Fly and Heaviest Saltwater Record on Fly in 2015.
When she is not at work or on the water, she’s usually enjoying family and friends, leading mission trips to work with orphans in 3rd world countries, bird hunting or cooking at home. To keep in fishing shape, Meredith spends her time training for and competing in triathlons throughout the Houston and Austin area.
She is passionate about many things in this earth, but her biggest love is for the Creator of it all.
Saturday March 12
2pm – 9pm at MOCA located at 2200 Parks Ave., Virginia Beach
Learn to cast. Learn to tie a fly. Learn about the local fishery. View some amazing fly fishing films. But mostly, have one helluva good time!
Whether you’ve never fly fished a day in your life, or you’re a seasoned veteran, Legends of the Fly 2016 is an event you’ll not want to miss. This is your chance to learn — or improve — the essential skills of fly fishing. Its a wonderful opportunity to not only learn about our local (and outstanding!) waters, its a chance to meet other people interested in this incredible sport.
The day will start at 2pm with an hour long casting clinic led by local legend Cory Routh and participating ladies from Able Women. This will be followed by an hour-long forum on fly fishing led by some of the founding members of the Able Women Team. In this session we’ll discuss not only the how of fly fishing, but the why. Fly fishing can shape a person’s life in powerful ways — and it certainly has these remarkable ladies. In this session, they’ll share the story of their personal relationship with this wonderful sport.
Then, at 4pm, we’ll host a women’s-only casting clinic called Cork and Cast — sponsored by Chatham Vineyards. At this session, the Able Women will help interested women learn, or refine, the basics of casting a fly rod — and the proper way to tip a glass of wine at the same time!
At 5pm, the all important social hour begins. Now’s the time for beer, BBQ, live tunes and your much needed participation in the Silent Auction. Proceeds from this year’s Legends of the Fly will benefit the Chesapeake Bay Foundation. So, please help us raise funds that will help sustain this all important, local fishery.
At 7pm, and after a few remarks, we’ll play the winning entries of the 10th Annual Fly Fishing Film Tour — including Tidewater — a film about the incredible Marlin fishery right at our backdoor. Odds are good that dozens of toss bags filled with all kinds of good stuff will take flight during intermission, so get ready to grab! And finally, we’ll announce the winner of the raffle for a YETI Tundra 35. You most certainly don’t want to miss out on all of that!
Photo: Kami Swingle, TwoFistedHeart Productions
* Enjoy a wine tasting courtesy of Chatham Vineyards while
you learn the fundamentals of casting a fly rod.
• Laurie is a representative of Lynnhaven River Now.