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December 20, 2019
Jen Ripple is the Owner and Editor-in-Chief of DUN Magazine, an international fly fishing lifestyle magazine geared toward the female angling population. She travels nationwide to seminars and spends time teaching fly casting and fly tying events for women all while being on the Board of Directors for AFFTA and Fly Fishers International. It’s clear Jen is heavily dedicated and passionate about the work she does within the industry. I was lucky enough to get the chance to sit down with her at this years’ IFTD in Denver, CO to learn more about her past, present and future endeavors within the sport.
I was glad I could catch Jen at the show because she had a busy schedule ahead of her for the next couple of weeks. She was heading out on the Redfish Roadie Road trip which consisted of traveling from Homosassa, FL all the way up to New Orleans, LA with a couple of stops in between at Naples and Stuart. The goal of the trip was to fish and meet up with as many women as they could while on the road. Jen explained it was getting recognition nationwide, and she was stoked for the trip. There was a great recap video posted showing what a success the trip turned out to be.
Upon returning to Tennessee after the road trip, I asked if she still plans to be fishing the rest of the year, and the answer was obviously yes. “Crappie fishing in Tennessee is huge right now.” This got us talking about the fly fishing in Tennessee, because I had never been. She told me a great story about how she found the perfect fishing hole to fish for gar there. This was something I was intrigued in, as I have never fished for gar in my life. She said it was her new favorite place to fish in Tennessee because there are record size gar there and no one knows about it. She appropriately named this fishing hole the GARden. “The key to catching gar is using a rope fly.” This is just a piece of nylon rope tied to a hook that gets tangled in the gar’s teeth (you can use a hook, or no hook at all). “Gar’s scales used to be used on the bottom of snowplows because their scales are so tough.” I found this fascinating that a fish with scales that tough can only be caught using rope. Who would have thought?
I was also able to talk about her heavy influence on women and fly fishing. For the upcoming year, she already has two women’s trips planned for Montana and Mexico. “Everyone has been asking for women’s trips,” she says. Throughout the year, she will speak at banquets regarding the history of women in fly fishing and participate in various teaching events to help spread knowledge of the sport. She was extremely knowledgeable as I asked for a little history lesson myself. I had no clue that the first fly fishing book ever written was by a woman in the 15th century. A nun who enjoyed to fish needed to get it sanctioned by the church in order to be able to do it. The way of getting it sanctioned was to have the priest accept a document outlining the activity. This document which I went back and researched is called “A Treatise of Fly Fishing with an Angle.” Certain fly patterns and techniques are attributed to women as well showing that they have always been involved in the sport more than most think.
Of course, I had to ask Jen how she liked her River Quiver, and she had nothing but great things to say. “I love it. I never have to store my rods in the back of my car anymore.” It can get a bit dicey keeping rods rigged inside a vehicle as we all know which is why we are thrilled to hear Jen is using the River Quiver as her fly rod roof rack of choice.
Jen has been a huge influence in helping provide a space for women to get into this wonderful sport. The clinics, classes, trips, DUN Magazine, and her involvement within the community help drive this sport forward in such a positive manner. I highly suggest anyone to pick up a copy of DUN Magazine; it is one of the most professional fly fishing publications out there. Keep up the great work, Jen.
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