Back in Bozeman

by Fire Girl Jess on October 5, 2015


Back in Bozeman. Kind of weird; I’ve lived in this town off-and-on for six or seven years, and every time I come back something else has changed. Town’s growing up. My favorite old gas station now is revamped and has neon signs, there are more stoplights than I remember, and I’m seeing more “foreign” (not Montana) plates than ever before.

Today's desk.

Today’s desk.

But I took a drive up Hyalite Canyon this afternoon only to discover the mountains and the rivers haven’t changed. I can still drive the canyon road with half concentration, the curves of the road embedded somewhere deep in my brain from when, years back, that was my archery practice terrain. The next couple days will be spent fishing and chasing grouse with my brother. Can’t ask for a better welcome home than that.

Was just shooting the iPhone this afternoon up the canyon, but couldn’t resist a few shots. Look for more to come soon.


Rain, Fish, and Vermont

by Fire Girl Jess on September 30, 2015

Vermont_Brown_TroutToday dawned so dark I thought my clocks were wrong. At 7AM it was dark enough I needed headlights, and the pouring rain created trenches of water prime for hydroplaning. It’s kind of oddly fitting for my final day at Orvis. I’m picking up a little U-Haul trailer this afternoon, loading out in the rain (probably wearing waders, if the skies stay this wet), crashing in a hammock tonight, and pointing the Subaru West early tomorrow morning. It’s a bittersweet leave-taking; I’ve been lucky enough to work with some awesome folks here in Vermont and will miss that more than anything.

But looking forward to getting back West. Already making plans to fish early next week; trading in the 3-wt. for a switch rod and little brook trout for big brownies. Going Western. Going back to home turf. In one of those rather ironic little life moments, I went to a little local stream Monday for my final fishing session in the Northeast. I was hoping for some of those hungry little brookies that have salvaged so many rough days, and tied on a Parachute Red Ant just for something different. After a few minutes I had a take—one that felt different than the bouncy brookies. This fish fought better, too. Brought it to hand only to find it was my first Roaring Branch brown trout of the season, nicely colored up with a line of red dots on his dorsal fin.

And that was enough. I still had another hour on my lunch break, but somehow ending on a brown trout seemed fitting for my time in the Northeast. I put the rod away and went for a dirt road drive. Here’s to the next brown, pulled from a Montana river.

I’ll be out of pocket for a few days as I drive and then set up in Bozeman, but be sure to follow along on Instagram. The blog will be back soon enough.


The Final Vermont Chronicles Today on Chi Wulff

by Fire Girl Jess on September 27, 2015

JAM_NE-4I put off writing today’s post on Chi Wulff as long as I could. I really didn’t know where to start.

I finish at Orvis this week, then load my life up into a trailer and drive back to Montana. The goal is to be back in Bozeman by the weekend, hopefully unloading quickly and then heading for the river with a box of streamers and the camera.

Very mixed feelings leaving the Northeast. Unexpectedly, I’ve grown to like it here. I’ve got a small group of friends, some new kinds of fishing, and it’s so different from my Western “normal” that it’s a bit like living in a foreign country. You know how sometimes you leave a place, smiling and saying, “See you somewhere along the road” but deep inside you think you’ll really never see that person again? Leaving Orvis and Vermont isn’t like that. The fly-fishing industry is a small one, and I look forward to running into former coworkers at trade shows, photo shoots, and random places along the way. That’s kind of the beauty of it.

So let’s not say goodbye, but rather, “See you on the flip side.”

Huge thanks to everyone who has supported my work during these two years on the East Coast. I’ve learned a lot, listened a lot, and explored a lot. Met some incredible people, and had opportunities I’d never dreamed of. Here’s to the next adventure(s)… I have a feeling they are going to be doozies.

And look for the next Sunday series on Chi Wulff. Planning to come up with a name during the 2,300 miles between Manchester and Bozeman.



by Fire Girl Jess on September 20, 2015

The past few weeks have brought a few surprises. Sometimes opportunities arise that—while it would be pretty damn nice to keep things as they are—you just can’t ignore. Because new adventures mean new skill sets to gain, new people to meet, new places to see. And I guess I have a track record of not settling down anyway.

You can read the full announcement this morning on Chi Wulff, but in short, I’m leaving Orvis. It’s been a gut-wrenching decision. I’ve learned so much from so many incredible people here, and have made friends that will last a lifetime. Against all odds, life in little ol’ Manchester has grown on me, and there are some pretty awesome things underway at the company right now. Let’s just say it’s not “goodbye” but rather “see you later.”

As some of you know, I’ve accepted a role at the American Fly Fishing Trade Association (AFFTA) as Communications Director. A day after that, I was approached by the good guys at Yellow Dog Fly Fishing to come on board in a writing / photography role. Yellow Dog is an industry leader in fly-fishing travel, and a company I’ve eyeballed for some time.

So the answer was pretty simple. Yeah, let’s do this.

I’ll be relocating to Bozeman in early October. The Montanan in me says this is just in time for good streamer fishing and photographing that mysterious transition between autumn and winter.

My freelance business continues to be the priority, and I’m looking forward to the freedom of not being attached to one of the industry manufacturers. I’ll be actively looking to grow my clientele and partnership base, and there’s some pretty exciting stuff in the pipeline. Stay tuned.

Thanks to everyone who takes the time to read the odd drivel I post on here now and again. One chapter is closing, another is opening, and who knows what’s just around the corner.


Kio Kio Economy in The Fly Fish Journal

by Fire Girl Jess on September 14, 2015

TFFJ_AnnaIncredibly excited to see the first images from my French Polynesia trip with Costa and IndiFly this past May come to print. It was the trip of a lifetime… the stuff you’d expect to read about in a book or see in a movie. Expansive flats that had barely seen sport fishing. Kids that had never seen Americans. We threw spears with the locals, stomped away sharks on the flats, and canvassed the little atoll of Anaa for bonefish, bluefin trevally, and a host of other species. An incredible, capable team in an incredible, wild, beautiful place—I couldn’t have asked for a better assignment.

More images will be coming out soon in Costa’s dealer catalog, on social media, and in a few carefully-chosen magazines around the globe. I’ve yet to be able to track down a copy of The Fly Fish Journal article yet here in Vermont, but was able to read writer Joel Clement’s manuscript before print, and was thrilled with his evocative, intimate writing. Huge thanks to the crew at IndiFly and Costa Del Mar for having me on the trip, and to The Fly Fish Journal for running the feature.


Remembrance, and New Perspectives

by Fire Girl Jess on September 11, 2015

McGlothlin_NYC-1Growing up in Montana, New York City seemed a world away. It kind of was. September 11 hit hard even in our little corner of the world; I remember riding to school through little downtown Kalispell and listening to the radio, not really understanding what I was hearing. Two days later found me at a class retreat in Glacier National Park, forgoing my classmates in favor of joining a group of wildland firefighters at their trucks as we listened to then-President Bush address the nation. (I got written up for leaving the group, but it was damn worth it.) The Moose Fire had roared that summer—tearing through over 71,000 acres in Glacier—and the black char surrounding us, the heavy smoke in the air, the ashes covering the buildings, made what was happening on the other side of the country eerily surreal. The somber, soot-streaked faces of the wildland crews spoke to the gravity of the situation far more eloquently than my hovering schoolteacher ever could.

History was changed. We’ve all had friends go to war. Friends not come back. I’ve been honored to work alongside our military on a couple projects and can honestly say our men and women in uniform—military, police, firefighters—are some of the best people I’ve ever met. I’ll forever leap at the chance to work with them, and forever stand in awe of their service.

This past summer I found myself in NYC for a personal photography project, and wove my way to the site of 9/11. Overwhelmed by the city, the crush of people and the strange concrete land, I just sat for a while. Realized that now, for more than half my life, we’ve been a nation at war due to the events that happened in that place. The thought was kind of staggering.

Eventually I picked up the camera and started working. The people surrounding me were a strange mix of quiet respect, unknowing tourist chatter, and New York natives who buzzed by silently. Eventually a friendly policeman stopped by and asked about my camera; I eventually produced my press card and explained while I was working press, I wasn’t “working.” We chatted idly for a while—he enjoyed photography as a hobby—and then he went on his way, moving seamlessly into the crowd. I took a few more shots and then sat crosslegged on a bench… time for more thinking. Eventually I made my way down to Battery Park and the water. Somehow water is a perpetual panacea, be it the Gallatin back home in Montana, or the dark waters of New York Harbor.

Sometimes that’s the best way… think through it all and hope, at the end, something makes sense.

Take a quiet moment today and give thanks for the men and women out there fighting on the front lines, be it in your own small town or on the other side of the world.



New Stock Photo Representation—Aurora Photos

by Fire Girl Jess on September 7, 2015

imagesI’m stoked to announce I’ve teamed up with Aurora Photos for stock imagery representation. The Aurora team is diverse and carefully curated; excited to grow my stock presence with the help of their awesome team!

Aurora specializes in outdoor, travel, lifestyle, and active living images—photos of people getting out and “getting after it.” And after looking around at a host of other agencies, this just felt like the right fit.

I’ll still be managing many of my clients, but Aurora’s reach in the industry is stellar, and I’m excited to be part of the gang!