Camille Egdorf is a friend of The Venturing Angler who has traveled all over the world. The program director at Yellow Dog Flyfishing Adventures for Alaska and Christmas Island and a pro for Loon, Simms, Hatch, Thomas & Thomas, YETI, Sight Line Provisions, Adipose Boatworks, and many more, she has made a mark on the industry and is one of the most skilled anglers out there. She recently sat down to interview with The Venturing Angler:
Where in the world have you fly fished?
I’ve been very fortunate to fish some incredible places. I’ve fished various places in the United States including Alaska and Hawaii. Internationally, I’ve gone to Brazil, Argentina, Guyana, Belize, the Seychelles, Christmas Island, Cook Islands, British Columbia and Kamchatka, Russia.
What is your favorite destination and why?
I spent a large amount of time in Alaska in my formative years. My parents own and operate a lodge on the upper Nushagak River which they founded in 82’. Every summer I would migrate North with them to open and run camp for four months. As a result, I grew to love Alaska and the experiences there. When I got the opportunity to see Kamchatka, I was enveloped by how similar it was to my history in AK. I will always love Alaska but something about Kamchatka has completely captivated me and I’ve found myself continuously searching for ways to go back. I fell in love with it and I think it’s because of a combination of reasons. The helicopters, the Russian culture, the fisheries, its wildness, all contribute to why it’s likely to be my favorite destination.
What is the most memorable travel experience you have and why?
The Seychelles, no question. I was with my boss, Jim Klug and the Confluence Films’ crew on our way to an area of the Seychelles that had been closed for nearly six years due to confrontations with Somali Pirates. It had recently been reopened and we were one of the first groups to revisit this esteemed fishery. We flew into Mahe and boarded a 120 foot ship called the Maya’s Dugong and began a 400 mile voyage across the Indian Ocean to Providence Atoll, one of the outer islands of the Seychelles. It was the tail end of the cyclone season and even though the massive storms had passed, we still had some high winds. Well, with high winds come high seas. I’ve never been so seasick in my life and I had to endure it for 3 full days. 15 foot waves rocked us nonstop for what seemed like an eternity and there was no where we could go to get away from it. It’s a pretty sobering feeling when you look across a vast expanse of water vacant of any life or land. It immediately grips you with a sense of inferiority and insignificance. I’ve never felt so small and exposed in my entire life, not to mention the possibility of pirates hijacking our ship. I was surrounded by the Indian Ocean and all I could do was put my faith in our captain for safe passage. I will never forget those 3 days nor those 3 weeks.
What has been the best trip so far and why?
Tough question. Each trip has its own personality and unique experiences that make them incredible but different from each other. All of which have a lasting impact. So, I’m not certain I can really pinpoint a best trip, however, the Seychelles has likely impacted me the most. The fishery and atmosphere of the Seychelles is stifling but those two things are only part of what made that trip so special. During those 3 weeks, I found out what I was capable of both mentally and physically. I had no clue what I had signed up for and once I saw our ship harbored in the Mahe marina with fake guard dummies with guns lining the railways of other ships, I began to understand that this was going to be one hell of an adventure. And I’ll be honest, I had a slight sense of anxiety and apprehension about it. It wasn’t until we hit the open ocean and 15 foot swells, that I really began to wonder, “What the hell am I doing here?” For the next two weeks we fished hard and I’m mean … hard. This was a trip where I really learned what type of angler I was. After that trip I learned I’ve got some grit and if I put my mind to it, I can do and catch anything I really want too.
Do you have any travel coming up?
I’ll be hosting a group of anglers to Christmas Island the end of May, then will spend a large amount of time in Alaska visiting a number of outfitters this summer.
Is there a specie that you are dying to catch? What is it about that fish?
To be honest there are several. I used to be infatuated with permit but after getting my ass handed to me a few times, I’ve come to realize that it’ll happen when it’s right and to not obsess about them. I love exotic stuff – things that tend to creep around in muddy water and have teeth (i.e. tiger fish). I went to Guyana in 2017 and really enjoyed not always knowing what was at the end of my line.
When you are not on the water, what do you want the most out of a trip and why?
I like to experience other cultures and see what life is like for those who live in remote or exotic countries. America is the land of bounty and we get so used to having everything we need right at our finger tips that we forget how lucky we are. Going to another country reminds me to appreciate the luxuries I have at home. The exposure reminds me that the world is BIG and I’m very small.
What is your dream trip and why?
Again, there are many. I’d love to see Iceland, Bolivia, Tanzania, Tierra del Fuego, go back to Guyana, fish in Australia, go back to the Seychelles, the list goes on. I’ve often thought about what my dream trip would be and I think I’ve realized that my dream isn’t exactly one location but rather seeing as many places as possible.
If one song where to play in a video short of your most recent fly fishing trip, what would it be?
“Tubthumping” by Chumbawamba
Permit fishing in Belize
As you have traveled, what environmental issues have most concerned you?
There are several but one issue that haunts me most is the proposed Pebble Mine in Bristol Bay, Alaska. We’re at a critical point and it’s more important than ever for us to get involved.
To check more from Camille Egdorf, please click here.
And to listen to our podcast with Camille, please click here.