An interview with Hilary Hutcheson, part II

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An interview with Hilary Hutcheson, part two...

Got a most memorable fishing character you can share with us?

Two guides immediately come to mind. The first was working for the Elk River Guiding Company, out of Fernie, British Columbia. He was taking me to an absolutely awesome fishing spot, but he spent lots of effort to confuse me, including pretending we were lost and crossing the creek multiple times. He knew I would want to go back to that spot. I appreciate that he wanted to share that spot but didn’t want to take any chances of exploiting it.

The other character was a 7-foot tall, tattooed giant in Estonia named Jarkko, who also wanted to make sure I didn’t know where I was as we trekked around backcountry castles. When we arrived at his secret spot on a spring creek, we were greeted with a magnificent mayfly spinner fall. I had visions of giant brown trout. But the native brown trout we caught, which were really small, held a special place in Jarrko’s heart, like native westslope cutthroat do for us here in the Flathead. He had wanted to share them with me. It was the most beautiful place I’ve ever been.

Why the name “Lary’s for your fly shop?

An old insider nickname. Our first names were printed on our jerseys when I played Wildkat volleyball in high school. Mine returned from the printer with two “l’s”. I removed the first one, then it read, “Hi lary”.

Any other projects?

I fish professionally for a number of fly fishing brands, including Yeti, Orvis, Costa, Patagonia, Scientific Anglers, and Fishpond. So I work on new product testing, industry events like trade shows, and multimedia collaboration. I’m doing advocacy for climate policy in Washington, D.C. and Helena, volunteering for Casting for Recovery (my sister is the national executive director) and I’m active in the 50/50 On The Water industry movement to achieve gender parity in fly fishing. I recently became a board member of Backcountry Hunters and Anglers, a non-profit group that works to ensure the rights of hunters and anglers on public land.

Special plans/trips for 2018?

Next up is tuna on the fly in Panama this spring.

Jerry Smalley’s Fishful Thinking column appears weekly in the Hungry Horse News.

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