On Instagram, I follow some amazing anglers. So, when I heard great things about Abbie Schuster, I started following her posts. She at times posts about her own adventures, or those of her very happy clients while fishing the Vineyard, Maine, or W. Mass. So, if you’re looking for a fishing guide, contact Abbie. Details on her company, Kismet Outfitters, are here.
Abbie, thank you for being willing to do this interview. See you on the water!
Tell us a little bit about yourself. Where were you born and raised? Your family?
I have always had a strong sense for adventure and deep love for nature. Fly fishing is an ideal way for me to fulfill my love for the outdoors. My dad taught me the art of fly fishing when I was very young. We would wake up before the sunrise, load up the kayaks and head out to catch stripers and blues in Long Island Sound or off Martha’s Vineyard.
Spending the mornings watching the sunrise while holding a striper, I realized that my dad was giving me a lifelong gift. My passion led me to many different rivers and streams throughout the east coast. I quickly became even more obsessed with fly-fishing while attending the University of Montana. When not in class, I was always on the river, which led me to guiding and ultimately owning my own outfitter based out of Portland, ME and Martha’s Vineyard.
How did you get into fly fishing?
I was lucky enough to grow up in a fly fishing family! We would fish the Farmington River, Martha’s Vineyard and Long Island Sound any possible chance! Some of my favorite memories are striper fishing off my dad’s shoulders when I was too small to wade. Usually it turned out to be just fine, but there were a few times where we fell in….!
Where are you guiding these days?
Kismet Outfitters guides out of Martha’s Vineyard, Maine and Western Mass.
Your favorite fly-fishing moment?
Oh there are just so many! My favorite moments are always when a client catches their first fish on a fly rod. The reaction and pure joy is contagious and makes me love my job even more.
What is the best way to improve as a fly fisherman?
Practice, practice, practice! Just getting out and familiarizing yourself with the river or water can be very beneficial.
I always tell people is that this is a life-long sport, so don’t stress and concentrate on one aspect at a time, and it will all come together. The fish are just a small part of the beauty of fly fishing. Being outside in nature, listening to the river, and casting are so soothing that a fish is just icing on the cake.
What is your favorite style of fly fishing?
What is your go-to rig? Rod/reel, fly line, leader, tippet, etc.?
8 weight Scott Meridian, intermediate line, Cheeky Limitless reel and 20+ lb test tippet.
What is the best way to learn fly fishing?
The best way to learn to fly fish is to take a casting lesson, school or guided trip. Once the basics are covered, keep practicing. Many of my clients take a casting lesson at the beginning of every season so bad habits are not formed!
Your Top 3 must-have flies?
Deceiver in chartreuse for stripers, olive streamers for trout and pink epoxy.
Your favorite presentation and/or technique when nothing else is working?
If nothing else is working, I love using streamers! Usually that is the best chance at the big fish!