Last week, we had the epic opportunity to accompany Tribe Ambassador Jenny Tatelman on a fishing trip in her home waters of Marble Head, Massachusetts! Many fish were landed, most by Jenny. After the trip, we took a minute and sat down with Jenny to chat about her fly fishing journey and why she loves being a Postfly Ambassador!
Postfly: Tell us a little about Jenny Tatelman!
Jenny T: “Sure thing! I’m a New Englander who grew up on the water. I developed a love for the ocean at a very young age. My father played a very impactful role in my fly fishing journey. When I’m not fly fishing I’m likely thinking about my next time on the water or spending time with my husband and dog. Other hobbies include friends & family, travel, hot sauce and cycling.”
Postfly: What has it been like being a Tribe Ambassador?
Jenny T: “Being part of the Postfly tribe has been a great experience. This community is all about supporting one another and sharing in your passion. I’ve enjoyed connecting with other females in the program and making new fishing friends along the way. In terms of Tribe Ambassador perks, my monthly Postfly box has been extremely rewarding and something that I look forward to each month. I’ve successfully fished several of the flies this summer. Postfly has been a great addition to my fly fishing journey–thank you!”
Postfly: What has your fly fishing journey been like, so far?
Jenny T: “My father had a large impact on my fly fishing journey. Being an angler himself, his passion for fly fishing was contagious. I remember watching him as a kid, effortlessly bomb out a cast and the pure joy on his face when he would hook into a striper. While I grew up with a familiarity of fly fishing, it wasn’t until 2009 that I first picked up a fly rod.
My first fish on the fly was a bonefish in the Bahamas. Clearly, I was hooked from there. I often reflect on my fly fishing journey and what I’ve discovered about myself beyond my love for fishing. When I started fly fishing years ago, I was more in search of “the one.” In later years, my journey has become more about fly fishing being my sacred place. While there’s nothing more that I love than having a fly rod in my hand, I’ve found that the journey is what actually drives my lifelong passion. From self reflection and discovery, to new fishing friends and exotic trips around the world, fly fishing has enhanced my life in so many ways. In a more literal sense, I started fishing for stripers in my backyard and most recently have been to the Wind River Range in Wyoming for native rainbows, browns, cutties, and golden trout. It’s been quite the journey that I look forward to continuing to ride the wave.”
Postfly: What sort of obstacles have you conquered on your fly fishing journey?
Jenny T: “Being a female angler can be challenging at times. I went to guide school in Montana last Fall where I was the only female angler of the group. Of course I felt I had to prove myself. After a day or two I felt like one of the guys. From putting them on fish as I learned to row the drift boat to figuring out how to play poker and wagering flies, leaders (really anything relative to fly fishing) I quickly became part of the crew. But yes, it was an obstacle I had to overcome and I have no regrets about it.”
Postfly: What is your favorite part of Striper fishing on the fly?
Jenny T: “There’s nothing like a striper surface feed to get your blood pumping. It’s my absolute favorite. Striped bass are aggressive fish, and when they’re hungry, charge into battle like a small army.”
Postfly: Favorite fish to catch on the fly other than Stripers?
Jenny: “Albies! These fish fight like none other. Their sheer power fascinates me every time. They are technical, picky, and bulls out there on the ocean. Each time you land an Albie, they’ll take you straight to your backing. Just when you think you’re going to land one they’ll give you a second run. I love my ability to lose all sense of composure when I’m fishing for these Little Tunnies, which means I’m doing something challenging and different. After a day of fishing for Albies, I head home feeling exhausted, exhilarated, and wanting more.”
Postfly: What would you say to someone who wants to start fly fishing?
Jenny T: “In general, I would say patience and persistence is key to beginning fly fishing. It’s like anything new that you start, it’s all about taking the time to learn which requires both patience and persistence. I remember my “ah-ha” moment on water when I finally felt line speed go through my fingers and connected with a double haul. At that moment, there was no turning back. For anyone new, it can be a long learning curve but it’s so worth it! Keep getting out there. Keep getting skunked, frustrating wind knots, tangled lines, lost flies…it’s all part of the journey.
With regards to striper fishing on the fly, I think they are a great fish, to begin with. They’re often forgiving when it comes to the presentation of the fly which is great for anyone starting out. Set yourself up for success with the proper gear and research on location and tides. As a beginner, there’s something really special about blind casting and the anticipation of a strike on every cast.”
Postfly: What are some of your favorite fishing experiences? Best day? Worst day?
Jenny T: “There have been so many “best days” on the water since beginning my fly fishing journey. One that comes to mind was an all-day surface feed in Boston Harbor after a long night out and a sluggish morning. These fish stayed up through slack tide and were all generous in size. We stayed out on the water all day with a group of 4 close friends reeling in fish after fish. Once hunger finally hit us we left the feed to pick up a large cheese pizza for the boat worried the surface feed may subside as we went in. Immediately following our quick trip inshore, I landed a 34’’ which was the icing on the cake. Good friends and an 8-hour long surface feed made this day one of the best. If only we could do it all over again!
While I truly believe there are no bad days on the water, there was one time that I questioned my sanity while fly fishing. We had driven 3hrs to fish the Housatonic River for pike with our friends at Harrison Anglers. When we arrived the river was still frozen over, the temps were in the single digits, and winds were howling. The ice on the river was showing no signs of melting. After a group decision to move on from the Housatonic, I made us all drive to the Deerfield River and forced us all out. Pretty sure the group hated me at that moment and we all lasted about an hour. Ice developed between our lines and guides on our rods. Our fingers were numb after about a minute of being outside. It was a rough day all around.”
Postfly: What’s next for Jenny Tates in 2018?
Jenny T: “New Zealand with my husband for our honeymoon! We’re headed to Owen’s River Lodge for a week located on the South Island in search of once in a lifetime browns. Aside from upcoming trips, I hope to be able to encourage more women to get out there and start fly fishing! You won’t regret it.”
Dan Zazworsky’s passion is sharing his love of fly fishing with anyone that will listen, read or watch. You can find him exploring new waters every day while chasing any fish that will eat a fly!