2019 Best of the Boat fly fisherwoman: Sancy Shaw

Brett Shaw said his wife Sancy never liked to be cold, so he knew she loved fly-fishing after she booked a trip in the middle of the winter to go fish the Miracle Mile stretch of the North Platte River a few years ago. Sancy loved to share her passion for the sport with Brett, her children and her students a the North Routt Community Charter School where she was a teacher.
Photo courtesy of Brett Shaw

For Sancy Shaw, fly-fishing was a reason to get excited, a chance to connect with her family and friends and an opportunity to enjoy God’s creation, says her husband, Brett.

“She loved to fly-fish,” he says. “It was a place where she could find time for herself, reflect and pray.”

Shaw says his late wife fell in love with fly-fishing after taking a women’s fishing clinic with a friend three years ago. She was hooked from the first time she picked up a rod.

“She geeked-out about all the gear, tying knots and learning about the sport,” Shaw says. “She loved to shop for hats, waders, flies and rods.”

Shaw, also an avid angler, says fly-fishing and the river were more than a way to pass the time for Sancy; they also impacted her family and her work. “She brought her passion for it to the classroom,” says Brandon LaChance, principal of the North Routt Community Charter School. “She was really good about spreading that passion to other people.”

That love led Sancy to start the River Watch and fly-fishing enrichment programs at the North Routt Charter School. She worked with Trout Unlimited in Routt County to earn grants allowing the school to purchase 12 fly-fishing outfits that included rods, reels and other gear so students could fly-fish as part of school.

In winter the program shifted to River Watch, where Sancy and her students would gather river flows and other information about the Elk River and its tributaries. They’d then send that information into a state agency that would quantify the data and use it to drive legislation and water discussions.

“Sancy was able to use her passion for fishing and the river and turn it into an education for our students,” LaChance says.

2019 Best of the Boat winners

Click here to see the complete list of winners from 2019’s Best of the Boat.

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