Bristol Bay, AK and Coastal Oregon
Kate grew up in the Shenandoah Valley of Virginia but the Wild West called her from a young age. Immersed in the wilderness of Washington, she found her calling as a salmon fisherman and has since pursued anadromous fish religiously. Fishing brought Kate and her husband, Justin Crump, together and is a deep part of their lifestyle and bond. In 2008, Kate began guiding in Bristol Bay, AK for all five species of salmon, rainbow trout, char and dolly varden, as well as grayling . In 2010, Kate and Justin began guiding winter steelhead trips in Oregon and have built a company called Frigate Travel specializing in all inclusive guide experiences in Oregon and Alaska, as well as travel trips to places like Christmas Island. Their adventures almost always include their yellow lab, Kada, unless it’s raining in which case Kada sleeps on the couch where it’s warm and dry.
What conservation issue do people need to know about in your back yard?
The looming threat of a Canadian company building the largest open pit copper and gold mine has been plaguing the people of Bristol Bay, Alaska for years. Despite our opposition to such irresponsible development in the headwaters of the largest sockeye salmon runs left in the world, we still struggle to be heard in the legislature. This is one of the last places left with healthy sustainable runs of all species of salmon supporting a thriving commercial, sport-fishing and subsistence economies and cultures. On Oregon’s north coast, we are ever frustrated with over-harvesting by timber companies, their unconscionable decisions to aerially spray toxic chemicals in watersheds, and the destruction they leave behind for the state and environmental groups to repair for the health of our rivers, drinking water, fisheries, and wildlife.
What Fishpond products do you always have with you?
I carry the pio pod where ever I go and try to stuff trash inside of it regularly! I also really love my waterproof backpacks, hip packs, and boat bags by Fishpond. Having waterproof storage is essential in the places we guide!
You walk into a gas station – what two items do you come out with?
I try not to buy single use plastics anymore, so I’d likely go for a six pack of Rainier beer andsome Smartfood white cheddar popcorn. Unless they have jalapeno poppers, then I’ll definitely pull those from the hot case.
What makes for a #perfectday in your eyes?
This is a hard question to answer. I’m pretty fortunate to have experiences in beautifully wild places like Bristol Bay and coastal Oregon and I try very hard to remember to stay grateful and present. I really enjoy being with people on the water who strive to relish the experience of the river be it taking time to watch bears feeding, eagles in trees, or even just letting the water flow by. I think a good day is one where I felt the wonder of the natural world in some way or another, like it felt magical to exist.
Who are your heroes or mentors?
As Willie says, My heroes have always been cowboys. So many people have lent me their hand along the way and I am so grateful for their generosity and kindness. I wouldn’t be the person I am today without the support of them. That being said, you know those dreams that feel more real than reality? I dreamed I was Kimmie Werner the other night and it was exhilarating to experience what it was like to be a fish...to so naturally see the reverse side of our world.
Favorite quote or one liner?
Love is all you need.