Last updated on July 3rd, 2019 at 07:18 pm
Christine Liu McLaughlin, a shareholder at Milwaukee-based law firm Godfrey & Kahn S.C., started fly fishing with her parents when she was in high school.
What started out as just a hobby has become a family tradition that McLaughlin has shared with her husband and three children.
“It’s a very relaxing sport,” McLaughlin said. “It’s also an intellectual sport. You have to learn about nature, about the flow of water and where the fish are going to be. It’s constantly changing and it’s something I’ve enjoyed sharing with my family.”
McLaughlin started fly fishing with her parents.
“My parents bought a piece of land near the area in Idaho where they used to attend fly fishing camps every year,” she said.
They built a small fly fishing cabin on the river near a place called Henry’s Fork.
“That’s when I fell in love with the sport,” McLaughlin said. “I’d spend the summers in the cabin and would compete for fly fishing territory with some of the fisherman that had been doing it for years.”
McLaughlin, one of only a few women interested in the sport at that time, would put her hair up under her baseball cap so the fisherman wouldn’t know who she was.
“As long as you knew what you were doing the other fisherman would make room for you,” she said. “Once they started making room for me, I really became hooked.”
McLaughlin still wears the same cap. It has all her favorite flies on it.
She introduced her husband to the sport shortly after they met and the two have traveled to Idaho, Vermont and Ireland to fly fish. They’ve also introduced their three boys, ages 12, 9 and 7, to the sport and try to continue the family tradition.
“We haven’t been able to get out our rods yet, but we were just talking about how we need to get back to Vermont,” McLaughlin said. “My kids are going to summer camp in June and they are packing their rods. I just love how it’s never the same whenever you go back to it. It’s constantly changing and it’s something you can do for hours without ever getting bored if you have the time.”