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 13 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?

Freshwater = grayling

Saltwater = snook

Favorite water? I would fish a tin cup if it held water, but I love the waters of Montana. In Alberta, the Bow River is home to me.

Favorite technique? Guerilla streamer fishing or swinging flies two hand on glass.

Favorite flies? 

Trout, grayling etc = squirrel leech

Bonefish, permit etc = gotcha

Tarpon, snook etc. = corona toad

Salmon, steelhead = blue charm, mahoney

Dorado = robrahns bluewater dark day

Favorite fishing book or DVD – I do read the occasional fly fishing book strictly for entertainment. 

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 

Favorite pattern to tie? I love tying everything but especially like tying low water steelhead flies like Skykomish Sunrise or Blue Charm. 

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. 

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

The Paraña River in Argentina and Paraguay for Golden Dorado. A close second was Atlantic Salmon on the Middle and Margaree Rivers of Cape Breton

There is a lake in Montana full of greyling that is dear to me.

Your destination/species wishlist: 

#1 = Louisiana/Texas Redfish

#2 = Belize/Cuba Tarpon and Permit tied for second

#3 = West Coast Steelhead I don't care where I get it I just want it

#4 = Indo-Pacific Permit

#5 = Alpine Lakes Alberta Golden Trout 

#6 = Cuda anywhere

#7 = Colombia Peacock Bass

#8 = Argentina Sarubi and Pacu

#9 = Alaska Leopard Rainbow Trout

#10 = Hawaiian Bonefish

It goes on….

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

I love hockey and would love to get Lanny MacDonald in a boat for a day and hear some stories. 

I always love fishing most with my bestie Claire and will always ask her first. 

I admire Jeff Currier's lifestyle and art and would love to pick his brain and hear about his 500 species on the fly.

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

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