Camille Egdorf is Yellow Dog's director of Christmas Island and Alaska programs. Between her busy schedule of planning people's fishing adventures and her own angling adventures across the globe, she had time to chat a little about her life in fly fishing.
Can you tell us a little bit about your background and what drew you to fly fishing?
Well my parents own a lodge up in Alaska and they started that in 1982 so even before I was born my family was ingrained and very much involved with the fly fishing and sport fishing industries. When I was born in ‘89 I was born right into it, and I was 6 months old when I spent my first summer in Alaska in camp. Apparently, I had a little cardboard box I’d sit in at the kitchen and dining area and that’s where I hung out! From a very early age I was exposed to fishing and have always been very outdoorsy – it was only natural for me to pick up a fishing rod, and eventually down the road, a fly rod. I was born into it.
And your parents are still outfitting, right?
Yep! This will be their thirtieth-something year, so they’ve been doing it for some time now. My whole life fly fishing has always been there and has really been all I’ve ever known. I guess I didn’t really have a choice except to pursue fly fishing! I wouldn’t have done it any other way, it was a pretty awesome childhood!
When you’re not fishing or planning your next trip, what’re you doing?
Truthfully, a lot of my time is spent here in the office. But if I’m not here, or out fishing or traveling somewhere, I’m usually doing something like camping or something else outdoors here in Montana, especially during the summer. I try to get outside as often as I can. I’ll also tie some flies, for example I’ll tie flies for clients for Christmas Island. But a lot of my free time is usually spent in here, out on the river, or travelling somewhere.
And when’s your next trip?
Well I don’t have anything planned for a while, I was going to Christmas Island in May, but now I’m getting married in May. So I should probably stick around for that. But I’ll probably get back to Alaska at some point this summer, however I’m not sure yet what that looks like. I’d love to get back up there, especially during the fall. And then my next big hosted trip is actually in 2019 to Kamchatka. I kind of have an open schedule for the next couple months which is pretty nice.
If you could fish one river for one day – say it’s the last day of your fishing life, where would it be?
I’d go to the Nushagak in Alaska. It doesn’t have the biggest or most fish and there are other fisheries out there that are way better than what it is, but it’s the river I grew up on and I learned a lot of things about myself on that river. It has a lot of meaning to me. So if I had one day to live and fish, I’d go to the Nush.
Aside from your fishing gear on trips, is there one piece of gear you always bring?
A camera, of course. That’s a pretty big one. But as far as other gear goes, I’d say for myself I always bring wet wipes. Wet wipes are the one item that are always really useful to have. Whether it’s going to the restroom, cleaning yourself up after a day on the river, wiping something off your gear, or if you’re out in the middle of the jungle somewhere without access to a shower you can clean up – you can never have enough wet wipes.
What do you want to do in your future with fly fishing?
I’d say continue what I’ve been doing. Continue seeing new and different places. I still have a lot of places on my bucket list, places like Iceland, Africa, I’d love to go New Zealand, Bolivia… the list goes on. Also, I’d love to continue helping people take these trips of a lifetime. And finally, I want to eventually pass on all this knowledge down to kids and conservation efforts.
What’s the most pressing issue right now in the world of fly fishing? What keeps you up at night?
Something that everyone has heard about is the conservation aspect. With the new administration and the new leader of the EPA, there are certain monuments and national parks that are under threat. And the biggest one that hits home for me is the Pebble Mine up in Alaska. Honestly, I try not to think about it too much because it really stresses me out. When I start going down that road I get pretty passionate and get really worried about it. And even though it’s in a good spot right now, there’s still a long road ahead to protect Bristol Bay and keeping that mine from actually being implemented. That’s the biggest issue for me and one that definitely hits home because it’s in my backyard. When you actually go up there and work within that whole industry and get to know the people and the history and all that comes from that entire region, the question is why you’d want to put all that at risk? You begin to really realize it’s a big deal.
What’s your favorite band?
I don’t know if I even have one! I listen to a lot of random stuff. But I listen to a lot of country. I’ve always been a George Strait fan – he’s awesome. But I listen to everything like Ryan Bingham and John Mayer too.
If you could choose one actress to portray you, who would it be?
I don’t know if she’d portray me really well, but I’ve always been a huge fan of Jennifer Lawrence. I think she could portray me all right. But she may make me seem smarter than what I really am…
To find out more about fly fishing the world and Camile, don't hesitate to call or email us. Remeber, no one ever regretted an adventure!