Ms. V

It's been almost four years since my last post dedicated to the lovely April Vokey. Since that time, she and I have come a long way, in both our friendship and our personal lives. I've known Ape for almost nine years (ahhh! that makes me feel old), and never did it occur to me when I saw her first come through the door of Michael & Young how important she would become in my life. Assertive, with her long blond hair and hot pink high heels, she baffled me on our first introduction.

Ape fishing the Vedder at last light. Spring of 2005 (I think)

Nothing like having someone run from the bar above you to help finally land a beautiful wild steelhead. April Vokey photo
At that time I knew hardly any women that fly fished, and none that were younger than I was, and definitely none that looked like April. Talented, passionate, and beautiful, Ape is one of the most important people in my life today. We have had our issues, but with time and effort on both our parts, we were able to get past the unnecessary drama and create a friendship that is incredibly special and unbreakable. Ape has been a rock during my worst moments, and I know that if I'm in need I can call her and she will be there for me, no matter what.
Fighting my first sturgeon...I had no idea what I was in for. I think I'm giggling and grimacing in pain at the same time. April Vokey photo

Speaking of running, Ape flew over these car sized boulders to take this shot. April Vokey photo
I'll never forget the day I received a call at work. My call display showed that it was Ape, and I answered with a bright "Hey, how's it going?" The response was a quiet, shocked "Not great. I almost died last night." My panicky questions were answered with the news that she had been involved in a head on collision that quite easily could have taken her life. We were at a very rough point in our friendship at the time, and yet, drugged and broken, she had called me. Watching her through her recovery and knowing how much she still deals with because of the accident, I have to say I have never seen so much positivity and perseverance, not only to  recover her health but to become a better person to herself and her loved ones.
Within a few weeks of her car accident Ape was crushing fish on the lakes. This one was around 12lbs, and the only fish caught that day.

Enjoying the sunshine and a beer after catching an invisible fish "this big!" on the Sauk with K8.

Spey casting practice with Bruce Kruk and Greg Wolf on the Columbia.
Many of my best fishing memories include April, including when I finally landed my first winter steelhead on the Vedder, and my first Thompson steelhead without Aaron. We were the female element with a group of friends on a rained out weekend on the Skagit, the pair of crazy Canucks fans in the bar in Key West, the idiots who drove 22 hours to Idaho to fish for 2 days in the Casting 4 A Cure event. She was there for one of my best days of steelheading ever on the Bulkley, and took me out to hook my first sturgeon.
Loading up the boats on the Hoh.

 "Endless rain and the Skagit at 65,000 CFS = a bunch of friends stuck in the cabins for five days = a lot of beer = Mike Mills skinny dipping in the Skagit River while the rest of us watch and laugh from the warmth of the rigs at the boat launch.....awesome!" quote from Chris Andersen

No one can pose in waders like Ape.
You might find it strange to hear that we rarely talk on the phone. Neither of us are "phone" people, we do much, much better one on one. Ape's got an incredibly busy schedule, with hosted trips, schools and seminars all over the world, and personal trips and summers guiding on the Dean. We're lucky to see each other a couple times a year.
Ape and Colby, somewhere in Montana, en route to Idaho.

Her first brown, and on the dry, at the Casting 4 A Cure event on the South Fork of the Snake.

Bulkley River, 2010
She and I have very, very different personalities: Ape is fiery, self motivated and outspoken, an extrovert who says what she means and has an insane work ethic. She doesn't take shit from anyone, and will defend her beliefs and her loved ones with fierce passion. I'm sweet and quiet, the introvert, admittedly a little lazy, with a desire to please and an aversion to conflict.
Apparently our laughs and chatter could be heard across the river. Only Ape can get me to out of my quiet zone while fishing. Annette Lauder photo

Oh look, still laughing... Annette Lauder photo

Fish on! Fantastic day on the Bulkley.
I think we balance each other out, as we can talk about absolutely anything, and have for days in a row. We spent 24 hours a day together on our seven day trip to the Florida Keys, and it was one of the best trips of my life. Relationships, business, family, men, sex, fishing, you name it, we've discussed it. It's a privilege to have someone in my life who I can be utterly honest with. Ape compliments me, hugs me when I need comforting and kicks my ass when I need a push. One of the best parts about a great friendship is having someone who believes in you; its an incredible gift to have someone who makes you believe in yourself, and I never feel better about myself than when I'm with April.
Best trip ever (despite hardly catching anything) in the Florida Keys.

My first tarpon, so happy to have Ape there with me. April Vokey photo
Business owner, guide, professional fly angler, conservationist, tv host, columnist, instructor, fly tier...a list of dynamic descriptions for an amazing woman I choose to simply call my friend.



April Vokey said...

Adrienne Comeau, you sexy, sweet, kind, loveable, giggly, talented, beautiful, hilarious, patient, spey-casting woman... there are no words to express the warmth in my heart for you.
The things we have done and seen together... you are my sister from another mother. I will always kick your ass when you need it and I love it that you return the favour. Over the years I have seen just how special you are to the world; to me. I love you and just speaking your name puts me in a butterfly-stomach-flying giddy. I love you Ade... more than you know and I am thankful for every single quarrel, hug, moment and fish... they have brought me closer to you than I have ever could have have hoped for.
See you soon! God bless limited phone time and days spent together in person... karaoke maybe? ;)
Thank you... you everything.

SheLovesFlyFishing.com said...

I haven't had a #flyfishing post make me this happy in a long time! Well done, ladies!

Ashley Rae said...

Great post Adriennne!
It's refreshing to see such a strong female friendship in the fishing industry where it seems everyone forces competitiveness amongst women!
I have met April and she is great! It was easy to see that in just a few hours, and she has a wonderful impact on the industry, and the future of it.
I don't fly fish as much as you gals, but I really hope for the opportunity to meet you as well someday :)

L.M. Schweitzer said...

That is true friendship right there between two amazing women. A truly unbreakable bond that you share. Beautiful story, Adrienne. I love both of you!

mia said...

Awesome post Adrienne, so cool to have a friendship like this and it is refreashing like Ashley state! Keep it alive!!!

Kate Taylor said...

Such a sweet post Ade!