Growing up in Tennessee, my mother loved the outdoors and introduced us at an early age. We would chase trout, camp and hike the beautiful, Great Smoky Mountains almost every weekend. Fly fishing caught my attention in 1996 on the Deschutes River and in 2001 Marty Sheppard (my husband and rod catty) introduced me to spey casting, and connecting with steelhead. This has led me down a path of chasing steelhead, guiding and working to conserve the public lands and rivers I love.
Marty, my husband and I purchased Little Creek Outfitters in 2003 and that’s when I started guiding and running the camp boat on multi day trips. It took longer to build my confidence as a steelhead guide and started guiding steelhead in 2008 and teaching spey casting. I’ve competed in the distance competition, Spey-O-Rama 5 times, winning it twice and currently hold the record for woman’ longest spey cast with a two handed rod, at 144 feet. My love for wild steelhead and our sport has me dedicating time as a river steward for the Native Fish Society and supporter of Casting for Recovery and Deschutes River Alliance.
I also dedicate time on the Conservation Committee for the International Women’s FlyFishers I’m a full time mother and work full time as the Oregon Field Representative for the conservation group, the Theodore Roosevelt Conservation Partnership. These days, most my free time is spent getting our daughter Tegan outdoors so she grows up loving the natural world around us.
When I come up for air, I can be found running after chukar on a desert break with my pointers or standing in a river chasing steelhead. I’m a mother and sportsmen at heart.
twitter – @mia_msheppard