Peg Keller is a grand and glorious angler. She can cast right-handed and left-handed, and longer and straighter than any woman I know well. She has an adventurer's love of surprise and so much experience on the water that even unexpected interruptions - like getting stranded together in Russia and driving miles through the Patagonian bush to catch a plane - are just part of the fun.
Peg invited me to join the CCF on a fishing trip to Montana's Paradise Valley. She drew me in with her passionate support for the organization's projects and mission, and she remains one the most informed, articulate and enthusiastic TU supporters I know.
One thing that's always impressed me is your seriousness of purpose. You're out on the water to catch fish, not waste time. Were you always so determined?
When Bob and I were married - after courting at our fishing club - he mentioned that he would be going fishing on several dates. He asked me to come, but wanted to know 'what will you do with your time?' My quick answer was that I was going to learn to fish. Me, left at home, no way! That was the beginning of a wonderful spree of traveling to fish in many parts of the world. How lucky I was and am.
How did you go from being a fly-fisher to being such an ardent conservationist?
My dad was a great lover of nature and his surroundings, so some of that knowledge rubbed off on me. For me, fishing is the bonus one receives from a deep commitment to learning how to protect and conserve our precious water resources.
You've brought so many of your friends to the CCF. What more can we do to bring women into TU?
Suggest and encourage a wider variety of trips [to TU project sites]. Offer to host a trip, invite non-members to join and, when asked, assist TU with fund-raising.
You've been raising money for TU's projects for more than 20 years. What keeps you going?
I always marvel at the wonderful, caring jobs TU's grassroots volunteers do in making their projects such a success.
Gay Barclay is a longtime CCF Board member and TU supporter. Also an avid angler, you can find her traveling the world looking for her next big catch.