Thursday, January 3, 2013

20 Questions: Rachel Morgan

Rachel Morgan
I love Rachel Morgan's passion--for fly fishing and for the rest of what she does, too. She's one of those rare people who smiles first and asks questions later.

I had the privilege of meeting Rachel last fall when I went to Boise to attend a meeting of the Boise Women Fly Fishers club. My friend Rebecca Garlock was invited to speak to the club about her trip this past summer to Yellowstone, and she called me in for backup (as if she needed any). Rachel met us at the door and immediately made us feel at home in a room full of strange women (hold the applause, please). 

After the meeting, we met for a drink and I got to know Rachel a bit better, and over the last few months, we've stayed in touch because she's part of a group of women who have launched a new website, Fly Fishing Ventures, for women who fly fish. It's over these last few months that I've come to realize just how passionate Rachel is about fly fishing, and it's something I can really appreciate.

Like all of us at one time or another, she's in the midst of some significant changes in her life, and she told me as I prepped this piece for posting that fly fishing might have been her salvation. As she dealt with some really heavy personal stuff, she turned to fly fishing to salve her spent emotions and her frustrations.

"It's like I owe it my life," she told me.

Many of us who fly fish can be somewhat flip about the craft and what it means to us, even if it truly is the fabric that keeps our being together. But Rachel's comments aren't flip--she means it. She fishes. It's who she is. 

Enjoy getting to know her... on with the questions:

What is your idea of perfect happiness? 
Happiness isn’t perfect, otherwise it would be boring. My idea of perfect happiness is to retire with my husband (if I have one at retirement age) and buy a motor home. Travel to all the waters in the United States I can wet a line in and fish!

What is your greatest fear? 
Losing one of my children.
Rosa Parks

Which historical figure do you most identify with? 
Rosa Parks because I too have been kicked off the bus in my lifetime and stood my ground. But I am a strong woman and I always bounce back. It may take a while to get there but I'm determined enough to make it happen.

Which living person do you most admire? 
My grandmother. She is 82 years old, has a pacemaker and a defibrillator. Has fallen and broke one arm and dislocated the other. She layed there for three days before she was found. She was determined to get better and she has. She is the most beautiful person in the world.

What is the trait you most deplore in others? 
People who judge other people because of their disability, looks, or wealth. Truth is, God made us all the way we are for good reason. 

What is your favorite journey? 
Life is my favorite journey. It is so beautiful--one day it is ugly, the next mean, and the next depressing, but there is only one true word to define life and that is beautiful.

Which words or phrases do you most overuse? Mostly "Because I said so!" Sometimes as parents we dont want to or won't explain our reasons for why the kids have to do what we tell them so we say "because I said so." I have teenagers and this goes on quite frequently.

What is your greatest regret?
That I didn't get the opportunity to take my time, to think things through on my most recent heartache.
What or who is the greatest love of your life? 
My children and fly fishing

Which talent would you most like to have? The ability to play music and sing.

What do you consider your greatest achievement? 
Motherhood. I have two beautiful children who have very high goals for their lives.

What is your most treasured possession? 
My heart.

Where would you like to live? 
In a log cabin by a nice fishable river in Idaho
Zane Grey

Who are your favorite writers? 
William Johnstone, Zane Grey, Louis L'amour, Ralph Cotton.

Who are your heroes? 
My mom, my children, my grandmother and every veteran, that fought for me to live free.

How would you like to die? 
With a fly rod in my hand and as old as the hills.
What’s on your iPod? 
All old-time country singers, Don Williams, Ian Tyson, Vern Gosdin, Red Sovine, Bobby Bare etc…

What’s the favorite of all the cars you’ve ever driven? 
1929 Model A Ford

Which actor/actress would play you in the movie about your life, and why? 
Sally Field because she just gets it right every time. She has this uncanny ability to reach into the heart of the character and make them come alive.
The fish face.

What’s your favorite guilty pleasure? 
Popcorn with lots of butter, a fleece blanket, someone to cuddle with and a movie that has something to do with fishing.

What’s the closest you've ever been to dying? 
I flat-lined three times after I gave birth to my son. The third time I almost didnt make it back. I hemorrhaged so bad.

BONUS QUESTION: If you could go back in time, what year would you visit first? 
1817. I have been told numerous times I am an old soul and I should have been born way back in the day. I am thoroughly fascinated with that time era.


  1. The ladies at Fly Fishing Ventures are all friendly, good looking and fishing, so of course Rachel rocks! How do I join?

  2. Well, Howard... how do you look in drag? ;-)

    Rachel's a good one... I'm glad I got to know her these last few months. There's a lot of good ladies in that club that I am looking forward to fishing with.

  3. Lucky guy! "Binders of women" at the fly fishing meeting. I believe fly fishing has at times been the salve on life's wounds for many of us. It's hard to obsess about something else when fly fishing.

    1. HINT: Accept ANY invitation to speak to a room full of female fly fishers. It's a room without egos... no judging, no preconceived notions... just intently interested people who value what you have to say.

      Us dudes could learn a lot from these women. Just sayin' ...

  4. Thanks for another fine interview, Chris. I will say that while I've not yet had a chance to meet Rachel in person, I've spoken to her and she strikes me as being as real and authentic as they come. One of these days I'm going to get to Boise and fish with her and the other two dames that comprise the V Trifecta. Or maybe they'll find their way to a certain National Park come Spring. Who knows, maybe you will, too...