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ABOUT US

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Why Start Fly Fishing Fail?

Let me tell you all the ways I have failed. As a Mom. An anesthesiologist. An angler. A wife. And in trying to run a software company. Failing sucks balls. It hurts. It’s scary. And OH MY GOSH is it embarrassing.

 

This company stands for all the people who are failing. Who have failed. And those who will fail. You are not alone. Winston and I love you. And this Fly Fishing Fail community supports you.

 

Fly fishing has humbled me, healed me, and taught me you have to fail to learn. Want to be a great angler? You have to fail first. Want to be a good dog mom to one of Montana’s finest gun dogs, when you have absolutely no clue how to shoot a bird? You have to fail first. Failure is essential to growth.

 

I want you to laugh at my failures, and learn with me as I try to get through the ups and downs of life and fly fishing! I promise you, the best of life comes after failure. And if you laugh through the missteps and mistakes, it makes it hurt a little less.

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"A good laugh heals a lot of hurts."

- Madeleine L’Engle

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Our Mission
We Support Failure.

All the best things in life come after failure. We all make mistakes. And we celebrate them here. You can’t grow without failing.

 

We Laugh & Learn.

Laughter is great medicine. It’s way more fun to laugh at your mistakes in life, and then learn from them. But it's OK to cry too!

We believe in good gear that does good in the world.
You don't need a ton of stuff to be happy. Less is more. If you're gonna buy it, put your money towards quality products that last.

Meet Ashley

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I hit curbs when I drive. Sometimes I forget to floss at night, but I tell my dentist I floss twice a day. I failed organic chemistry at Cornell. I got a D on my parasitology exam in veterinary school at Illinois.

 

I’m a mom fail. I left my husband and 3 kids. They live 1200 miles from me with their awesome Dad and supportive extended family. I divorced my husband, and I’m still trying to figure out how to build a healthy relationship with my kids (and their Dad).

 

I have small boobs. And big front teeth. My thighs jiggle. I don’t understand, North, South, East and West. But I get right, left, up and down on maps. And for some reason, I always think going right is North when I’m hiking.

 

Bipolar 1 is my superpower. Therapy, psychiatry, hospitalization and medication saved my life. The kindness and support of total strangers also kept me going when I was living out of my car the summer of 2022. My other superpower is talking. Everyone I meet has a story to tell, and has taught me something. I can talk to anyone, anywhere, anytime.  

 

As for fishing - I’ve never caught a fish without a guide, but lord knows I’ve tried. But you know what? Fishing isn’t about catching a big fish, or even a tiny one. It’s about standing in the river and finding your inner peace. It’s about meeting amazing people who also love the river. And who doesn’t love a good fishing story?!

 

It’s about realizing life is a journey. It’s about falling into the river and getting back up. And jumping for joy when you’ve got a FISH ON!

 

Stay wild and free friends!

 

ash

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Weird Things About Me

I have a dead duck in my freezer that I want to taxidermy.

What Inspires Me

The tenacious, passionate and brilliant people I work with at the world’s best veterinary hospital, Bridger Veterinary Specialists in Bozeman, Montana and Sentinel Veterinary Specialists in Missoula, Montana.

"Have I gone mad?"

- The Mad Hatter

"I'm afraid so. You're entirely bonkers.

But I'll tell you a secret. All the best people are."

- Alice

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Ashley's Day Job

I am a professional fishing guide. Sike! I wish! No fly shop will hire me. Not yet at least!

 

To pay the bills, I work as an anesthesiologist. A veterinary anesthesiologist? Yup! That’s me. I’m one of 298 board-certified veterinary anesthesiologists in North America.

 

What does that mean? I went to veterinary school, and fell so madly in love with pain management and high-risk anesthesia that I did a 3 year anesthesiology residency and a 1 year internship in emergency medicine after veterinary school. Helping animals get through complex surgeries is my jam. I also love making sure patients with complex pain are pain-free while they are in the intensive care unit.

 

I am lucky that I am the anesthesiologist at two of the best veterinary hospitals in the world. Bridger Veterinary Specialists in Bozeman, Montana and Sentinel Veterinary Specialists in Missoula, MT. Does your dog need a hip replacement? Our surgeons do that. Does your dog need chemotherapy or radiation therapy? Our oncology team does that! Spinal surgery? Yep, we got that too.

 

We have the most amazing veterinary team I’ve ever worked with. Our doctors and staff are brilliant rebels, who aren’t afraid to fix the unfixable. They push the frontiers of medicine further than any group I’ve worked with.

 

Before working in Montana, I was a boring professor at the University of Illinois College of Veterinary Medicine. It’s here that I fell in love with creating engineer-veterinary teams to solve problems with software. This led me to co-found Stratocyte.com, a cloud based software that helps make veterinary care accessible to the pets and people who need it the most around the world. I also love working dogs, particularly the veterinary care of military and police dogs.

"The practice of medicine is an art, not a trade; a calling in which your heart will be exercised equally with your head."

-William Osler

Meet Winston

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I eat trash. My absolute favorite thing to eat is toilet paper rolls. I go in the bathroom when mom is not looking, and pull the roll off the hanger.

 

Bird? Where are the birds? Must find the bird. I am one of the best gun dogs in Montana. This means I am really good at running to get your bird after you shoot it. I went to bird dog school for a long time, and I used to work full-time for an outfitter. I lived in a kennel, and I got to hunt all the time! Life was amazing! And then one day, I broke my leg falling out of a truck. It hurt so bad. And I felt like a failure because I couldn’t do my job anymore.

 

One amazing veterinarian in Montana drove me to Bridger Veterinary Specialists in Bozeman, MT hoping one of the surgeons there could save my life and my bad leg. It took 18 metal pins, 2 months, and a lot of love from the doctors and staff at the hospital, and now my leg is perfect. Yippee! Thank you Bridger Veterinary Specialists!

 

When mom took me home, I was so confused. A house is different from a kennel. Interesting concept. I think I like it. Especially those couch things. Mom was also confused when she picked me up. She didn’t know my vocabulary, or how to work a beeper collar, and she didn’t understand what I was trained to do. I wasn’t sure our relationship was going to work. So I sent her to a good gun dog trainer. And poof! After that, she understood me, and could talk to me. Oh silly humans!

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Winston's Recovery
Weird Things About Me

I like to sleep on my back with all 4 feet up in the air.

What Inspires Me

When I find a flock of hens in the Montana plains.

"Dogs do speak, but only to those who know how to listen." -Orphan Pamuk

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Winston's Day Job

Everyone in my family has always been a professional bird dog. But Mom can’t shoot a bird to save her life. Ugh… When she took me home, I wasn’t quite sure what my job was. It was SO awkward! Turns out, mom had a job for me. My job is to keep her safe. Sometimes she gets lonely at night, and I can tell her mood shifts. So I go lay on her and remind her that she is safe. And in the morning, I lick her in the face until she gets out of bed at 6 am, feeds me, and takes me on a run. It is a ruff job, but someone has to do it!

 

Mom and I are always together. I go to work with her everyday. I lay under her desk. I am working on not going into the office trash can, but sometimes I fail at that. Paper towels and paper plates are so tempting! Everyday I see many dogs come in and out of the operating room who are a bit broken like I used to be, and I remind them that they will get better if they let these people help them.

 

My favorite thing to do is to meet people. This makes me so happy. I just want to wag my tail all day when I see people. They are all friendly and pet me. I hope I get to meet you soon! 

 

Love,

Winston

"Dogs are like that, I guess.They know how to fix you, without ever saying a word."

- Caroline George

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