by Melissa Norris

Nowhere is sport fishing more common among women than in Alaska, so it shouldn’t be a surprise that there are also some well-known, successful female fishing guides in our great state. One outstanding example is Nanci Morris-Lyon, owner of Bear Trail Lodge on the Naknek. 


The Naknek River was featured across the pages of our December issue of Fish Alaska magazine, highlighting the depth and diversity of this outstanding fishery. As we worked on the issue, it didn’t take long to realize that there are four exceptional female fishing guides on this one river. 


The longest-guiding woman on the Naknek is Nanci Morris-Lyon with over 32 years of experience hauling sport anglers to the fish, and 30 of those years are on the Naknek. Next by length of guide service is Patricia Edel of Blue Fly, who has guided on the Naknek for 18 years with 21 years total. Kate Taylor, who also guides steelhead anglers in Oregon, has been on the Naknek for nine years. Kate got her start working at Bear Trail under Nanci’s tutelage, as did Heidi Wild, who has been guiding on the Naknek for three years.


Wanting to share their stories, I presented each of the four ladies with a set of questions, and here are their answers:


Nanci Morris Lyon - Bear Trail Lodge

Patricia Edel - Blue Fly

Kate Taylor - Frigate Adventure Travel

Heidi Wild - Bear Trail Lodge