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 handful of years and has great customer service skills. You can find her (and her custom usable artwork) on Instagram (prairiepalette). Courtney's previous 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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