Emerald LaFortune is a fishing guide in Idaho’s Salmon River. She’s also a whitewater rafter, an outdoors writer, a deep thinker, and a conservation advocate — and just a gem of a human being. (#gemstonepuns?) There’s pretty much nothing her sharp mind doesn’t dive into. This week we take a deep-dive into Emerald’s career as a female fishing guide – what she’s learned, how she’s grown, and what her experiences mean to others.

  • 2:30 There’s no better lead-in to a salmon discussion than serving wild-caught Alaskan salmon on a salmon-fishing trip in Idaho
  • 4:00 On river trips… salmon cooked over the fire? Or on the griddle? Go! 
  • 6:30 Adult-onset angling… If you’re a river person, fly-fishing has a way of making it into your repertoire
  • 7:00 Emerald’s life: A mix of guiding fishing trips, outdoor writing, and salmon recovery/conservation work on the Salmon River in Idaho
  • 7:45 What would my life be like if I’d taken a fly-fishing elective in college instead of step aerobics?
  • 13:00 Guiding summers out of college – growth versus burn-out
  • 16:00 Emerald’s Insta: @EmeraldLensMedia; Online at EmeraldLaFortune.com
  • 17:00 What’s it like to be a river guide? Transformative. There’s your young, fresh-out-of-home self… there’s growth in self-knowledge, confidence and ability. And then, years later, there’s a career-minded, conservation/writing-hustling self who has made a life out of this field
  • 20:00 Male fishing guests with small-in-stature female fishing guides
  • 24:00 Becoming an expert… failure is a part of the equation. Do learning failures get labeled as incompetence more often with women guides than men? It can feel that way. And it can make us feel paralyzed about making mistakes. 
  • 27:00 The Redside Foundation – help and support for Idaho’s guiding community… in health, finances, everything. It’s an extraordinary program.
  • 34:00 Legends of the Tetons: A Lady Angler’s Storytelling Night in Jackson, Wyo.
  • 36:00 Artemis Queers and Camo podcast with Taylor Morton and Sarah Keller
  • 37:30 Hunt to Eat’s Pride fishing shirt… you need this in your closet
  • 38:00 Community: it’s everything. Places like Missoula Fly Gals, Queers and Camo, and Artemis try to build inclusive communities. Isolation sometimes makes us think there’s one way, or one culture, in these sports… and that’s not the case
  • 41:00 “Shit Fly Fishing Gals Say” video by Emerald
  • 44:00 Hilary Hutcheson’s fly shop and guided tours: Lary’s Fly and Supply
  • 49:00 “If a picture is worth a thousand words, what’s an experience worth?”  The Pride of Being a Guide
  • 50:00 The conservation world can be chock full of stress and noise… staying connected with the ‘why’ is so important to staying fresh and effective 
  • 55:00 It’s usually a series of experiences over time that culminate in making us who we are or what we’re passionate about
  • 58:00 Growing up in a whitewater family… running the Middle Fork of the Salmon with kids ages 7 and 4
  • 1:00:02 Lean into the fear. It’s where growth happens.
  • 1:10:00 Great American Outdoors Act passes the House, en route to the president’s desk