Courtney Neal

Courtney joined the Fish Tales team amid the 2020 COVID-19 pandemic. Courtney has been part of the Calgary fly fishing industry for a few years and has great customer service skills. You can find her (and her custom usable artwork) on Instagram (@prairiepalette). Courtney's customer service experience and knowledge of e-commerce is a welcome addition at the shop. 

How long have you been fishing? I have been fly fishing for 15 years.

How did you get started in fly fishing? I was lucky to be introduced to fly fishing by someone passionate and interested in sharing the sport with me. 

Favorite species? All fish are beautiful to me. They are a fundamental component of Earthly ecosystems.

Favorite water? I would fish a tin cup if it held water, but I love the waters of Montana. There is a lake in Montana full of grayling that is dear to me. In Alberta, the Bow River is my home water.

Favorite technique? Streamer fishing or swinging flies two-hand on glass.

Favorite flies? That's a secret...

Favorite fishing book or DVD – Although I do read the occasional fly fishing book strictly for entertainment, I like learning and sciency things. I loved Chico Fernandez's Fly Fishing for Bonefish, as well as An Entirely Synthetic Fish by Anders Halverson.

Favorite Vise (as in the tool)? Anvil Atlas - not expensive and gets the job done. 

Favorite pattern to tie? I love tying flies for trips. I will get a list of a dozen or so patterns for a trip and then tie like crazy. But, any streamer is fun to tie.

Most interesting (remote, distant, crowded, etc.) location you’ve fished.

In August of 2021, I visited Northern Italy to fish for marble trout in the mountains near Switzerland, and for pike at Centro di Cadore lake in the Dolomites. My first day fishing in Italy near the tiny town of Piode, I found a glass cat's eye marble in the river that had been tumbled in the sand and water to a silky sea glass texture. Later that day, I caught my first marble trout. The cat's eye came home to Canada with me; the trout stayed in Italy.

Your destination/species wishlist: 

#1 = Any fish species I haven't yet caught. 

Given the opportunity who would you choose to fish with? Or someone who has inspired you as an angler/tyer/teacher/guide.

If I could spend a day with Joan Wulff, I am sure she would change my life.

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