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Get to know Rebekka Redd

by Alumacraft 30 Mar 18:06 UTC
Rebekka Redd © Alumacraft

Rebekka is a Canadian outdoors-woman, writer, photographer, and film/tv personality. Fly Fishing globally for nearly a decade. Co-directing and filming feature outdoor films/shorts that inspire and educate.

Known for wild adventures of fishing South America/Colombia's rivers to a wide variety of audiences. Rebekka also works in production for MGM, Disney, Paramount, and more. She enjoys spending time with her family and takes her nephew fishing as often as she can. She also has a number of Gypsy Vanner horses and mustangs and has been riding horses since she was two years old, and also enjoys riding motorcycles in her spare time. She lives in Alberta and Ontario.

Tell us about your individual journey into fishing

My love for fishing and the mesmerizing allure of the water has its roots in my childhood. It was at the age of 8 that my eldest brother initiated me into the world of fishing, taking me to the dock of a serene lake and introducing me to the art of angling. With the sun shining down on us and the gentle waves lapping at our feet, we cast our lines and waited with baited breath for a bite. And, it was then that I caught my first walleye - an experience that was both thrilling and humbling. It was that moment that sealed my fate and sparked a lifelong passion for fishing, family and the great outdoors. From that day forward, I was hooked on the adventure, excitement, and peace that comes with being on the water and fishing.

How has the industry changed when it comes to women since you got started?

The fishing industry has undergone changes in its perception and representation of women. Currently, there is a positive shift in the industry, with more attention being given to women's needs and preferences. The availability of women-specific fishing gear and clothing has improved, catering to the growing number of female anglers. The increased participation of women in fishing, both recreationally and competitively, has also led to their broader representation in all facets of the industry, including media and product design. Overall, the fishing industry is in a better place for women from when I began.

Why is it still an issue to get women into fishing?

It can be intimidating! It's still a very male dominated sport and for many ladies, it isn't as inviting as some may think. The outdoors and fishing industries are heavily dominated by men, from visiting a retail sporting store, walking into a dealership to launching a boat at a ramp. Despite this, I have seen a growing interest from women in the sport of fishing. Through my casting clinics, I have had the privilege of teaching women of all ages and backgrounds. Many of my female students have shared with me that they feel more comfortable and confident learning from another woman. They often mention that there is a lesser sense of tension and intimidation in a female-led environment.

What, from your unique vantage point, is the single most important gesture that can be made to make women feel more welcome in fishing?

I feel that one of the main important gestures would be creating a safe and respectful environment. To Foster a culture of respect and inclusivity, where all participants feel comfortable and valued.

Less judgment. A welcome feeling that it's ok to just be yourself and that the outdoors, angling and boating is for everyone.

Who did you look to for inspiration when you first got started?

My earliest inspiration for pursuing my fishing passions has always been my eldest brother, even though he passed away when I was a teen he continues to be a source of inspiration for me to this day. However, my mother's unwavering spirit and indomitable courage has also played a significant role in shaping my worldview and ambitions. Despite facing countless challenges and hardships, she stands tall and proud, always radiating kindness, beauty, and strength from within. Her fearless approach to life and her unbridled adventurous spirit have left a lasting impression on me, and it was her boldness that led her to embark on a solo trip to Colombia, which sparked my own love for travel to South America. To this day, I look up to both my brother and my mother as shining examples of the kind of person I hope to become - fearless, humble, kind, resilient, persistent, and driven by a relentless desire to improve and grow.

Thanks to them, I'm always seeking new knowledge and perspectives, continuously building upon the foundation of life experiences and lessons learned.

Were there any situations you found yourself in where you felt excluded or singled out because you are a woman? how did you deal with that?

Many times! More than I can remember. However, finding one's path and forging forward is never easy and its very challenging no matter the career. I find surrounding myself with a supportive network of family and friends helps while staying focused on goals is key. No matter the challenges one may face, it's important to stay focused on one's pursuits and maintain a positive outlook, remain motivated and resilient, even in the face of adversity.

What does being in this industry as a woman mean to you?

It offers unique challenges and an opportunity to break down gender barriers and stereotypes. It's also a lifelong passion and love for the sport that connects me with nature. It's been a rewarding experience that allows for personal growth, new knowledge and perspectives. I'm continuously building upon the foundation of experiences and lessons. I feel an unwavering determination, and my tireless work ethic, helps me to push the boundaries of my own potential and inspiring others to do the same.

How do you stay empowered both on your boat and off?

Stepping onto my boat is like entering into my own personal domain, where I can find solace and focus my thoughts. The tranquility of nature envelops me, as the sounds of the surrounding environment simplify the complexities of the world. It is a place where I can fully connect with myself and the world around me, rejuvenating my spirit.

Off the boat - As a social connector, angler, traveler and writer for various magazines and media outlets, I have a deep connection with outdoor enthusiasts from around the world. The joy and energy I receive from connecting with them through my work is immeasurable. I am especially gratified when I receive messages from those I have inspired, whether it be to take up fly fishing, explore new waters, or share their love of the outdoors with their family. It is truly a privilege to play a small role in their outdoor adventures.

What time of the day do you enjoy fishing the most? why.... what makes it the 'golden' hour for you and what do you most look forward to... describe your 'perfect' day on the water? what season (time of year) do you enjoy fishing the most... why, what makes it special?

I like to fish in the early mornings and late at night. As a fly angler, this is the time of day when the wind typically calms and the fish get active. I also love the lighting for landscape photography.

My perfect day starts with getting up early, brewing coffee, walking out to the beach at camp with the dog, stepping into my boat, pushing off the dock, and heading to my favorite bays. The peaceful setting of the morning lays the stage for a terrific day. I like to unplug from all technology, turn off the television, and disengage entirely from the outside world. It's even better if I can bring my family with me. Spring and autumn are my favorite seasons.

Describe the best day of fishing you've ever had. what made it special? who were you with (if anyone)?

The best day of fishing I've ever had was in Tanzania, Africa. Fly fishing for Tiger fish. I had an incredible excursion with my team, catching countless tiger fish on the fly. I had set a goal of catching the largest tiger fish of the trip, if not the season. Sure enough, in the latter hours of the last day, I hooked and landed a behemoth Tiger fish on fly, and my guide was there to join in the happiness. We savoured that release, and it was all caught on film, which made it into the fly fishing film tour and was nominated for best film of the year.

Did you always know that you wanted to make a career out of fishing? What drives you day in and day out to keep doing what you're doing? When you were growing up - who were your 'fishing heroes' or people who inspired you to become who you are today?

I understood from a young age that I wanted to work in fishing, film, and travel. My insatiable thirst for adventure, and the opportunity to learn about new waters and species keeps me going. Through these journeys, I enjoy motivating and teaching people. My brother was and continues to be my fishing hero. He passed away when I was a teenager, and I fish in honor of him. Every fish I release and every trip I take, I imagine how much he'd appreciate those moments and locations if he was still with us. It's through fishing that I stay connected to him. I miss him greatly. Everything he taught me as a child, I value the wisdom he instilled in me and everyone who knew him. I now have a nephew to teach, and I take great care in establishing our family values as well as our love of the outdoors. I cherish these times of being an aunt and mentor.

Describe the moment when you knew that fishing was more than just about the thrill of the catch but rather a way of life. what's the most entertaining thing you have ever been told when you tell someone what you do?

I recall waiting to board a float plane that would take my team and me to an off-the-grid lodge.

I found myself desiring to explore the landscape, watch the various species of birds, and observe the wildlife in addition to fishing. I've always had a camera to snap pictures of my surroundings since I was a child. The camera captures the moments I get to witness firsthand and allows me to share them with others. Fishing takes me on an all-encompassing trip. The capture of the fish is the cherry on top, but it's everything else about the trip to the lake or river that really completes it for me.

When I explain what I do, the most amusing thing I often hear is "may I carry your bags?! "Do you require assistance?"

When you've had a successful day of fishing on the water, tell us how you celebrate it off of the water? Do you enjoy cooking what you catch? what is your favorite fish recipe? do you enjoy sharing your fishing feasts with others? do you have any stories about cooking your catch for other people?

During fishing trips, we frequently eat a delicious shore lunch or dinner with corn on the cob, beans, steamed vegetables, stir fry, and homemade bannock. Yes, we normally have a number of people to sit with while we enjoy the fruits of our labor and share fishing stories. Everything tastes amazing on fishing adventures; the fresh air and time spent on the water definitely work up an appetite!

If I'm fishing close to home, I'll spend the time cleaning the boat and cranking up the music while dinner cooks. That may seem simple but sitting in my boat organizing tackle and cleaning it up is one of my favorite pastimes! I get a lot of satisfaction out of it.

My favorite method is to coat the fillets in Aunt Jemima pancake mix, season with salt and pepper, fry, and then sprinkle with Franks hot sauce!

When you think about the future of fishing - what would you like to influence the most? (i.e. clean water ways, etc.)

Fishing is a passion and a terrific way to take in the fresh air and thrive in mother nature.

I wish to persuade others to "live in the moment." Fishing is an activity that requires you to be alert and aware of your surroundings. And when you are present, your mind is free of thoughts from the past or the future. Developing a calm sense of self. Other influences include cleaning up after yourself, catching and releasing, and paying it forward. Teach the next generation the joys of fishing and being on the water.

If you could go fishing (or teach fishing) with any celebratory - who would it be and why? any celebrity?

I'd probably pick Keanu Reeves, he seems to chill and easy to be around with a great appreciation for the people around him.

What's your favorite memory with Alumacraft?

I have many fond memories, but my favorites involve my nephew honing his fishing abilities in my boat. I've seen him develop into a young angler. He has no idea how lucky we are to have such a wonderful boat to fish from. My only boat when I was a child was an old and leaky 14-footer.

Every time we go out to fish in my boat, I teach him more, and seeing his enthusiasm and how much he wants to be part in the entire process, from loading up the boat, launching, and finding excellent water, makes my heart fill with joy.

In prime fishing season - how many hours do you spend (on average) on the water? what tools / gear / accessories (etc.) help you out the most during your days on the water?

During peak periods, I spend 4 to 6 days a week on the water, keeping my boat organized with 4 fly rods and 4 gear rods, and during big water salmon season, I put my down riggers on.

I keep a bunch of equipment on a handy over-sized carabiner so they're constantly in sight, and I have silicon fly patches that cling to my boat's dash - so some flies are always available and organized.

There are also side panel pouches for pliers, scissors, and nippers that mount in the boat's railing.

In full sun, I frequently utilize the boat Bimini top to keep us cool.

What advice would you have for someone who is just starting to discover the passion of fishing?

Keep true to yourself, learn from pros, find mentors to fish with, and remember to enjoy all of the moments and days you fish - it's not about catching fish, it's about being outside and experiencing the bliss and freedom that comes from small or grand adventures in nature. There will also be times of hard lessons, disappointments in travels, trips gone wrong - just as you'll have great times, you'll also have not so great times. Both build character and you'll be wiser and better for it.

It's impossible not to become preoccupied with catching cool fish when you're younger, but as we get older, we begin to appreciate the surroundings and the simple pleasures of where fishing takes us.

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