Hilary started her fly-fishing career as a teenaged guide in West Glacier, Montana. She guided through college, then took her journalism degree to Portland, Oregon where she worked as a television news anchor and reporter. She eventually returned to Montana to co-own and operate Outside Media and Trout TV for nearly a decade. Today, she's still guiding on the Flathead River and the Middle Fork of the Salmon River and owns and runs a fly shop called Lary's Fly & Supply in her hometown of Columbia Falls, Montana. She volunteers as a fly fishing instructor for Casting for Recovery, serves as a national board member of Backcountry Hunters and Anglers, is a climate activist with Protect Our Winters and writes for a number of outdoor industry publications. She loves hanging out with her three-legged yellow lab and two teen daughters, especially when they volunteer on the oars.
What conservation issue to people need to know about in your backyard
The most pressing, and overarching conservation issue in my area is climate change. Where I live, it's top of mind, since it's literally in our back yard, so most people have moved far beyond awareness and are working hard on climate action. Watching glaciers disappear before our eyes, then dealing with the affects of it, like looming extinction to important stoneflies, helps us stay motivated.
What Fishpond products do you always have with you
I guide from a raft and a skiff, so my Cutbank Gear Back is always in my boat, just to the left of my knees, where I can easily access everything I need. I also always have my Fishpond Nomad boat net, Piopod for microtrash and Large Sushi Roll for streamers. For wading, I use the Summit Sling exclusively. One gear hack I suggest to everyone is to attach the Quickshot Rod Holders to your raft frame to secure extra fly rods in place if you don't have permanent rod holders. Most rafts don't have them, so this is a quick and easy way to secure them so they don't go bouncing around and getting microfractures when they tap on the frame in the rapids.
You walk into a gas station--what two items do you come out with?
Modelo and popcorn.
What makes for a #perfectday in your eyes?
A #perfectday for me starts at sunrise in the summertime with coffee and quiet as I load my boat for a day off on the water with my loved ones. Then, it's a wild time with my dog swimming, my daughters rowing and singing riff-offs, my boyfriend making sandwiches, my sister and brother in law catching monster trout and my besties, my brother and his boyfriend in a happy regatta on the Flathead. It wraps up at my parents' house for a BBQ. A #perfectday for me is one shared with my family and friends outside.
Who are your heroes or mentors?
My heroes and mentors are those who teach through example. My parents and siblings have always done this and continue to guide me by the way they live their own lives. I also look up to Neville Longbottom because sometimes the underdog is the biggest badass.
What is a quote/one-liner?
We are all connected.
Outside Media Owner and PR Director, Trout TV Owner and Co-Host, Fly Fishing Guide at Glacier Anglers
Hilary grew up at the west entrance of Glacier National Park in Montana. Even at a young age, she felt more connected to the area’s wild rivers, lakes and creeks than to its mountains or forests. And the Flathead River’s native westslope cutthroat trout enchanted her more than grizzly bears or mountain goats. When a boy down the road taught her how to fly fish in seventh grade, she vowed to always be near rivers, no matter what. She started guiding whitewater rafting and fly fishing trips as a teenager and continued through college. After getting a degree in broadcast journalism from the University of Montana, Hilary worked as a television news anchor and reporter in Missoula, Montana and Portland, Oregon for more than a decade before moving back home to Glacier Country for good with her husband and young daughters. Today Hilary is co-host of the network television fly fishing show, Trout TV, a program produced by the marketing firm she owns and operates alongside her husband, Shane. The marketing company, Outside Media, also represents fly fishing brands including Montana Fly Company, Glacier Anglers and Tordrillo Mountain Lodge as well as other key ski and outdoor industry brands including Salomon, Suunto, Alta Ski Area and Easton Mountain Products. Through her outdoor industry occupation, Trout TV and proximity to Glacier National Park, Hilary has been exposed to conservation issues that have driven her to pursue connections with people and companies dedicated to habitat restoration and environmental sustainability. She is also passionate about the nonprofit organizations Project Healing Waters and Casting for Recovery. And she enjoys being a volunteer instructor for Glacier Anglers’ Fun on the Fly youth retreat. Hilary enjoys skiing with her daughters, trail running in the woods and being bellied up to the brewery in her beloved hometown of Columbia Falls, Montana.
• Fish Oil
• Chilling in Northwest Montana
Twitter: @outsidehilary @trouttv
Facebook: Trout TV