Katie Johnstone

While on a trip to Alaska in the Fall of 2017, Katie got a taste of fly fishing for the first time. During the Winter of 2018, she attended the Columbus Fishing Expo and picked up her first fly rod outfit. From then on, she was hooked. Katie joined one of the local fly fishing groups in Columbus, OH and began to learn about her local waters. She also joined her local TU Chapter and eventually took a position on the board.

When Katie was introduced to fly fishing, she was an avid rock climber. She enjoyed being involved in the climbing community and was a board member of the Ohio Climbers Coalition. While sitting on the board for the OCC, Katie met another female angler, Jess Suvak, from Cleveland, OH. Inspired by United Women on the Fly, Katie and Jess decided to create a similar group in Ohio. In January of 2019, Ohio Women on the Fly was founded. The group spans the whole state and has grown more than either of them could have imagined.

Listen to Katie Johnstone's Show...

Ohio Women on the Fly

Katie started fly fishing just five years ago. Her passion for the sport has been insatiable. Katie’s journey from newbie fly fisher, to local TU Chapter board member, to the founder of Ohio Women on the Fly and now a professional guide has been fast and furious. Join us to hear how Katie’s journey took place and the challenges she faced as a woman in the fly fishing industry.

Just a few of the questions asked and answered during the interview:

  • How were you introduced to fly fishing?
  • Did you grow fishing?
  • Did you have any preconceived ideas about fly fishing?
  • Where did you get you first fly fishing gear?
  • How did you learn your fly fishing skills?
  • Did you have a mentor?
  • Did you join any groups or clubs?
  • How did Ohio Women on the Fly get started?
  • What type of events does your group sponsor?
  • What recommendations do you have for women thinking about trying fly fishing?
  • How did you get your job at Mad River Outfitters?
  • How did you learn how to guide?
  • Where do you guide?
  • What's next on your journey as a fly fisher?
As Katie became more involved in the fly fishing community, she began spending more time at her local fly shop, Mad River Outfitters. She started tying her own flies, which led to weekly trips to the shop. Throughout these trips, the owner dropped hints that she should come work for MRO. After a year of giving it some thought, Katie left her corporate job and became an employee at MRO in July of 2020. Katie now works full-time at MRO, guides for Smallmouth and Trout, and can be found fishing or tying flies in her free time.


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