Traveling Angler Profile: Fly Fishing the World with April Vokey

April Vokey with a big chromer. (Credit: Steve Morrow)
April Vokey with a beautiful steelhead. (Credit: Steve Morrow)

April Vokey is living an extraordinary life. With a passion for fly fishing as fuel for worldwide travels, her enthusiasm has cultivated talent and knowledge that she now passes along to others. April recently took time between travels to take on some questions for The Venturing Angler:

Where in the world have you fly fished?

Whew, that’s a tough one to answer without sounding self-important.

I should probably counter my response by first stating that I’ve been somewhat nomadic for the past eight years, so travel comes with the lifestyle.

Norway, Iceland, Argentina, Chile, Seychelles, Belize, Honduras, Mexico, and all over Canada, the USA, Australia and New Zealand.

What is your favorite destination and why?

It will always be BC for me.

I’m particularly drawn to indigenous fish. There’s just something so special knowing that while the world around me is changing at such a rapid rate, BC steelhead remain the same (or try to), and yet they’re still amongst the most incredible, resilient, inspiring and fascinating masterpieces existing today — just as they are, just as they were.

April Vokey with a nice steelhead on bamboo. (Credit: Adrienne Comeau)
April Vokey with a nice steelhead on bamboo. (Credit: Adrienne Comeau)

What is the most memorable travel experience you have and why?

Well, as much as I’d love to tell you that it was some forty pound permit or big blue grander, my most memorable travel experience resulted in me landing a 210 pound, blue-eyed, Aussie accented, sexy looped fisherman instead.

I met my husband on an Atlantic salmon trip in Norway. We were both there on separate solo, leisure trips — the NFC guys had put us up in a secluded farmhouse with neighbouring rooms. We talked fishing all night long…

What has been the best trip so far and why?

That’s like asking me what my best meal has been over the last 32 years — many of them were “bests” in one way or another (depending on hungry I was at the time).

What I can say with certainty is that my top trips are based on one of two factors: laughter or life-changing revelations.

Since I likely let you down with my answer to the previous question, I’ll try to cooperate and go on record to say that the Seychelles, Argentina, and any trip I’ve ever taken with Adrienne Comeau are at the top of my list.

April Vokey with a heavy Rio Gallegos brown trout (Credit: Stephan Dombaj)
April Vokey with a heavy Rio Gallegos brown trout (Credit: Stephan Dombaj)

Do you have any travel coming up?

Yup. I live half of my year in BC and half the year in salty Australia. My entire life is travel.

Apart from trips at home, the next twelve months have dates in Florida (with my girl, Captain Lacey Kelly), Guatemala, Belize, New Caledonia, Mongolia, and Russia.

Is there a specie that you are dying to catch? What is it about that fish?

A marlin. I don’t know how to type the sound of exasperation into my keyboard but whatever sound that is, I am making it right now.

I want a marlin so bad that it almost hurts. I’ve spent countless hours suffering, begging and cursing while frying in the stern of a boat staring at wagging teasers and crashing seabirds.

I’ve caught them on gear, I’ve hooked them on fly, I’ve watched them explode in a bright, vivid smear of fluorescence on top of bait, daisy chains, lures, boat wakes… basically on top of everything except for my fly while the boat is out of gear.

April Vokey with a kingfish (Credit: Charles Barrett)
April Vokey with a kingfish (Credit: Charles Barrett)

When you are not on the water, what do you want the most out of a trip and why?

Laughter, camaraderie, enlightenment, good food — need I say more?

What is your dream trip and why?

My dream trip happens every fall when friends and family spend the steelhead season near my place up north. Steelhead on dries, wood-stove coffee, cast-iron breakfasts, campfire dinners, and a thirty second walk to the river in pyjama pants and gumboots — rod in one hand and Carolan’s in the other.

I haven’t figured out the “why” part of this yet, but I’ll keep at it and let you know when I do. 😉

If one song where to play in a video short of your last fly fishing trip, what would it be?

Last” as in I’m going to die? Or last as in I’m quitting fly fishing to become a forum moderator?

If I was going to die, it’s always been The Story by Brandi Carlile (every single word of that song resonates with me and I feel as though it’s my personal tribute to BC steelhead). If it was because I was seeking a more adventurous and courageous position as a moderator, it would be Freedom by Anthony Hamilton & Elayna Boynton.

What is the one piece of gear you couldn’t bear to leave at home?

I honestly don’t think I have one…

Probably my tooth brush. I can find optimism in every scenario of poor packing — except a mouth that feels like it’s full of mouldy, spawned out salmon.

Yup, definitely a tooth brush.

To check out more from April Vokey, please click here.

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