Before heading into Give’r HQ in the morning, and often before they even eat breakfast, Fulfillment Lead Julia Bell Pope (JB) and Production Associate Josh Oblad like to fish. JB and Josh both started fishing at a young age with their dads, uncles, and cousins. While JB first wet a line in the cool creeks of North Carolina, Josh got started on the lakes and ponds of Utah. Now together in Jackson Hole, these two co-workers are the very best of fishing partners and keep the Give’r garage running smoothly while they’re at it! I recently sat down with JB and Josh to hear more about their passion for the sport.
How did you first get into fly fishing?
JB: Growing up camping with my family, after breakfast we always went fishing. There wasn’t really any other option. If I didn’t join my dad and his cousins, they left me at the campsite. So, I learned how!
Josh: I already loved fishing with a spin rod and wanted to try something new!
What surprises you about fishing in Jackson?
JB: I get caught a lot less…meaning my flies don’t get stuck in the trees as much as they did in North Carolina. Here the rivers are wider, and the forests are less dense than the ones I’m used to back east where we had to side-cast to avoid hooking branches. Also, at parties and social events you can always find a cluster of people talking about fishing. It feels like there’s a younger crew of people who fish here.
Josh: The accessibility here is incredible! The Snake is so close and it’s never a pain to get out.
What’s your favorite fish you’ve ever caught?
JB: One day on Fall Creek we were only catching tiny fish. Josh told me not to get my hopes up. But I ended up catching a huge fish that day! It was the first one I’ve really dealt with alone. It was massive – a beautiful cutthroat that was growling and angry to be out of the water.
Josh: One time I was trying to catch carp, and I caught a duck instead.
What’s your favorite fishing story?
JB: When I was 15 or 16 we were camping in NC. I was fishing with my cousin’s Bob’s flies that he tied himself. No one could catch anything, but we could see the fish so clearly! We had a really good breakfast and a delicious lunch, and no one was worried at all that we couldn’t catch anything.
Josh: One time we were fishing in Arizona, and we also didn’t catch anything. We were with a scout group and this guy came up behind me and my buddy on a bike and had a whole stringer of fish. He told us to take them back to the camp and tell everyone we caught them. Our friends were so impressed! Little did they know, we’d caught nothing. One thing JB and I love doing is deciding what we’re going to tell the people we run into in the parking lot after… if we’re going to fluff up our story or if we’re going to be honest. Sometimes it’s good to tell the honest truth we didn’t catch anything! Sometimes it’s fun to act confident even if we didn’t get one bite.
What’s your ultimate fishing goal?
JB: I would really like to go salmon fishing in Alaska and/or catch a fish out of Flat Creek!
Josh: I’d like to tie my own flies and catch fish on flies that I’ve tied myself.
Why do you choose to fly fish over other outdoor sports?
JB: There’s an art to fly fishing. You have to cater to exactly what the fish would want. It makes you slow down, take note of the temperature, and watch the bugs. It forces you to sit and observe beautiful places.
Josh: It doesn’t hurt my body the way mountain biking does. The way I see it, I’ll live a lot longer if I fish!
We love hearing the tall tales of JB and Josh’s fishing adventures and are really proud of all they’ve learned in their first Wyoming summer. These two have bright futures in fly fishing and beyond and we’re proud to have them on our team.