Joan Swartz – President
I grew up in Atlanta, GA and spent my youth camping and fishing in the North Georgia mountains with my family. My mother was an early advocate for women fly fishing and a founding member of Georgia Women Fly Fishers, and to this day remains my role model for being a leader.
Joan is a retired IT consultant and had the opportunity to work and live in several international locales including London, Paris and Bruges, Belgium before heading back to Pittsburgh, PA and then settling in Austin in 2005. Since retiring, Joan has taken her time and talents to several local non-profits and schools as a volunteer and board member.
Joan is passionate about leaving the world a better place than she found and is always looking for opportunities to share her love for the outdoors and fishing with others. She is a volunteer fly fishing instructor and river helper for Casting for Recovery retreats, a Texas Parks and Wildlife Aquatics Education instructor and is a graduate of Sweetwater Travel’s guide school.
While a self-admitted “trout snob” for over 40 years, Joan has been having a blast since rejoining TWFF in 2020 learning to fish for every warmwater and saltwater species she can chase!
When not fishing and tying flies, Joan can be found spending time with her husband, Peter, and her 2 teenage boys; fostering neonatal kittens for Austin Pets Alive; playing electric bass with The Velvet Joanz and 3 Short and creating culinary delights and failures in the kitchen.
Dani Rose – First Vice President (Fundraising)
“I started conventional fishing with my grandfather since as early as I can remember. Those fishing memories with him are treasured. I had seen fly fishing and always wanted to try it. A planned business trip to Estates Park several years ago gave me an opportunity to pursue it. I was frustrated, perplexed, and confused with casting and all the terminology, but I loved it. This was something that would provide continued growth opportunities for the rest of my life. My adult daughters are now my fishing buddies and I hope to impart those cherished memories to them that my grandfather did to me.
I am committed to diversity and inclusion, on and off the water. I recently relocated to the DFW metroplex from Houston.”
Katie Cowen – Second Vice President (Membership)
I am originally from Brownsville, Texas and lived between there and South Padre Island for most of my childhood. My mom worked for a marina for several years when I was a child, and it was there that I developed an absolute love of fishing as I would wait there at work with here every day after school, and she was a workaholic, so a lot of late afternoons and early evenings during those years were spent with my mom in the office and me out on the docks with a fishing pole. Eventually, I moved further inland and took up fly fishing a few years ago to make freshwater fishing more enjoyable. I had no connection to fly fishing at the time and no one to teach me, but I found someone local who gave lessons, bought a rod to start getting out on the water…and then another…and I just haven’t stopped or looked back since then. I will not say that I am an expert by any means, but I absolutely love fly fishing and do so whenever I am able in whatever water I can find. I am also an avid tyer and love fly tying almost as much as I love fly fishing.
I have lived throughout Texas and currently live in the DFW area with my 2 teen daughters who I must have raised completely wrong because they do not love fly fishing, but they humor me in my love for it so that makes everything ok. In addition to my outdoor fishing hobby, I also love the outdoors generally and enjoy camping, hiking, kayaking, and anything else that can take me outside in nature for extended periods of time. I also love to travel for both work and pleasure and try to fish wherever I can when I am out and about.
I love the camaraderie and connections that I’ve made through TWFF and I am thrilled to be able to help the organization in any way that I can.
Britta Hebert – Treasurer
“I grew up in a farming area in Acampo, California surrounded by vineyards. I attended high school in Lodi, CA which you may recognize now by all its excellent wines we can enjoy today! I played a lot at the Mokulemne river in the summers as a child, but never fished as it was not something that anyone in my family ever did. I went to college at the United States Air Force Academy in Colorado Springs, and then travelled to over 30 countries on 6 continents in my 11-year Air Force stint as a KC-135 navigator. Had I known about fly fishing back then, what neat areas I could have fished!
After the Air Force, I ended up back in San Antonio, Texas where my husband Greg and I have lived since 2001. During a visit back home, my sister treated Greg and I to an introductory fly fishing class, and I was hooked! I joined TWFF in 2010 and have enjoyed being part of the club as a member, a trustee, and now as the treasurer. I’ve seen more of Texas than I ever imagined thanks to fly fishing, and more importantly, I’ve made many fabulous friends along the way! Thank you, TWFF!”
Linda Leal – Secretary
I took up fly fishing in 2016, although I have fished since I was a child. My husband, Doug, and I live in Bryan, Texas, and have both recently retired. I joined Texas Women Fly Fishers after visiting their booth in Athens in 2017. We fish locally at friends’ tanks and ponds. We also get to fish in Kenai, Alaska, and Springfield, Oregon each summer when visiting family. This photo was taken at our 2019 Guadalupe River outing. This beast took almost 10 minutes to land. What an honor it was to land this beauty and then release him to fight another day!
I am learning so much at the TWFF outings and look forward to many years with the group. What an amazing and talented group of women!
Juanita Escamilla – Trustee: Outreach and Engagement
I grew up on the South Texas Gulf Coast in Corpus Christi. My first memory of fishing is with my dad; we would fish along the jetties in the evenings near the Naval Air Station. During these outdoor adventures with my dad I enjoyed the exploration of new places, especially the water. Looking back, I understand that my dad loved fishing for the solitude it provided, and we did more fishing than catching. Solitude and peace are a few reasons that drew me to fly fishing. Each time I step into the water, I can’t help but feel cathartic in the moment, being mindful to look around me, and take in the surroundings, sounds, smell, and feel of the water.
I joined Texas Women Fly Fishers, January 2018, on my first outing on the Guadalupe River. I knew nothing of fly fishing, having never picked up a fly rod and quickly understood you do not call a fly rod a fishing pole (you can laugh here). I was filled with confidence that I was going to catch a fish that first outing, the confidence coming from all the Texas Women Fly Fishers members I had just met the morning of the outing. I was blown away by my encounters. Women I had never met before showed me how to set up my rod and reel, how to cast, how to put on my leader, and how to set up a trout rig. No, I did not catch a fish my first time on the water, that would not happen until months later, but I knew I had to be a part of this fishing club.
As the Trustee of Outreach I look forward to contributing to the mission of Texas Women Fly Fishers by finding and creating opportunities that encourage, educate, and mentor more female anglers.
When not fishing, I enjoy cuddling with my two cats Allie and Zoe, cooking, lifting weights, fly tying, playing golf, and exploring new restaurants and cocktail bars in Austin, Texas with my wife Julie. In my professional life I work as a Clinical Dietitian for Ascension Hospital.
Kim Sorenson – Trustee: Conservation & Stewardship
Born and raised in Oregon, and I grew up fishing for rainbow trout with my dad on mountain lakes. In 2008 I bought a 5wt fly rod in hopes that it would take me to the water and help me make new memories. My first adventure was in Colorado with a good friend who taught me to cast and helped me target rainbows and brook trout. I enjoy kayak fishing and targeting warm water species. This summer I purchased a glass 4wt and loaded it with 3lb line with hopes of having even more fun catching sunfish and chasing Guadalupe bass. I am an avid outdoorswoman who loves fishing, kayaking, and spending time in my RV exploring the hill country. I work as the Texas Parks and Wildlife Boater Education Manager promoting water safety, boating safety and conservation.
Kiera Quam – Trustee: Education
Retired after 34 years in public and private education at the elementary, middle and college levels, based out of the DFW area, Keira Quam is currently the North Texas Aquatic Education Training Specialist with Texas Parks and Wildlife Department and the TPWD Liaison for Texas Council Fly Fishers International board, hosting the monthly president’s meetings. She teaches kayak fishing, provides TPWD’s free instructor certification workshops across the state for volunteers to teach in their communities using the agency’s conventional and fly fishing curriculum. She supports fly fishing clubs state-wide as well as an endless list of community partners across the state who provide opportunities for others to learn more about fishing and conservation and attends club meetings and fishing events when possible. She is the editor of the TPWD Reel Lines newsletter that shares ideas for educating others about fishing. She has a membership in multiple clubs across Texas including Texas Women’s Fly Fishers where she learned to fly fish during her Outdoor Education teaching years. She was recognized with the TPWD Employee Recognition Award for “Community Outreach” for her efforts as well as the Steve Campbell Outstanding Aquatic Educator Award by the Aquatic Resources Education Association (AREA) this past year.
Cathy Case – Trustee at Large
“Just love to fish, love to Dutch Oven Cook, and love to travel to places to fish. I have been an outdoorswoman for over 40 years. Fly fishing became a passion along with fly tying years ago. I retired and moved to Texas in 2014 near Ray Roberts lake. I have a great fishing boat and a kayak and enjoy sharing with anyone who wants to get out on the water.
The first club I joined here was the Red River Fly Fishers, and through them, I found TWFF and Dallas Fly Fishers. I believe in the power of volunteering and giving my knowledge and help to others. There are so many of us that want to get out and enjoy the outdoors with other like-minded women. I see TWFF as a great fit for me.”
Patsy Williams– Outings Coordinator
Angela Gaston – Merchandising
Joan Swartz – Social Media
Lindsey Reyes – Webmaster
To view a list of the ladies who have served as officers and board members of our club over the years, download by clicking the button below.
Thank you ladies for your vision and your generosity. We would not be what we are today if it weren’t for your efforts, your faith, and your passion for the sport of fly fishing. We are grateful for all you have done for TWFF.