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Fabel on the Fly

By on November 1, 2017
BRIDGET-main

Bridget Fabel is Living the Outdoor Life:

Growing up on a 70-acre Christmas tree farm in New Jersey, my family and I spent more time outdoors than indoors. That lesson has stuck with me my whole life. When I was four-years-old, my dad took me fishing to keep me entertained. He taught me how to bait a hook, how to cast, and how to reel-in my first fish. I loved every moment. He didn’t realize he was getting me hooked on something that would become my life’s obsession. 

Our vacations consisted of visiting family in the Florida Keys, the fishing capital of the world. So growing up, I spent lots of time ocean fishing, day and night. It seemed as though everywhere I turned, fishing was there.

After high school, I wanted to move West, but everyone I talked to made it seem like that was impossible. The thought of moving to a state where you don’t know anyone and starting over with next to nothing is scary. When I was 20, I finally decided to go for it. I saved money to go on a Utah snowboarding trip with friends. As soon as I arrived, something clicked. While snowboarding, I looked at the mountain and instantly thought, “Utah is where I want to live.” Upon returning to New Jersey, I told my parents that I was finally going to move West. They were skeptical, but supportive.

That summer, I worked two jobs and saved $2,500. At the time, I thought it was a lot, but the money went fast. I turned in the car I was leasing in Jersey and bought a one-way ticket to Utah. I needed wheels, so the first thing I did was buy a ‘99 Jeep Cherokee Sport. And just like that, the hard-earned $2,500 was gone. I started working small jobs on the mountain and in the city. I found a live-in nanny position that enabled me to live rent-free in exchange for babysitting awesome twins. After doing that for a year, I was able to settle into my new surroundings. It’s really weird not knowing a single person and being 2,400 miles from the small town where you’ve lived your whole life.

Doing What I Love

My forte is fly-fishing, and I was offered a job as a fly fishing guide in my favorite mountain range. “Home” was a small tent that kept me close to the lakes and rivers for my guide service. Living out of a tent wasn’t ideal, so I went looking for something better. Some nights were stormy, windy and brutal, so I knew a small trailer would provide much better  protection from wildlife and weather. I found a 10-foot, 1971 vintage trailer for $300 that was livable, but very worn inside. It didn’t have electricity or running water, but was definitely an upgrade from a tent. This past spring, I remodeled the inside into my dream camper. It’s decorated with elk and deer sheds, vintage fly reels, and cabin-like décor. It’s the perfect little home for my fishing buddy, Brookie (like the trout), a five-month-old cat, and me.

My Scenic Routine

The summer of 2017 was the best of my life. I lived in the remodeled hunting trailer fulltime and fly-guided every day that I could. My typical day involves waking up at sunrise and cooking some oatmeal outside on a little propane burner overlooking the canyon. I head out to guide or fish early in the morning and typically hit anywhere from one to four different lakes and rivers a day. I hunt in the same unit I fish, so living there all summer enabled me to scout for deer when I wasn’t fishing. Most evenings are spent looking for deer, and that worked in my favor. This past September, I harvested an incredible mule deer with my bow, after solo hunting and sleeping in my blind for five nights.

Looking back four years, I can definitely say that moving to the Utah mountains was the best decision I’ve ever made. I always longed to live in the mountains, and I’m glad I chased my dreams. Immersing myself in the outdoors has taught me so much about myself and about life, living my dreams and chasing my goals. Watch for future stories about my hunting and fishing adventures in upcoming issues of RoadKing and follow along with me @bridget_fabel on Instagram. Thank you drivers!

FIND MORE FABEL:

Readers can visit my website at www.fabellifestyle.com to read my blog, learn more about me and to check out my fly-line bracelets I make personally to help support my passion for the outdoors. There are also links to my social media. I look forward to sharing more stories from the mountains, lakes and rivers of Utah!

Want to follow Bridget on her next outdoor adventure? Look her up on Instagram: @bridget_fabel

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2 Comments

  1. Liz Harnett

    November 1, 2017 at 9:30 am

    WOW, Beautiful girl and beautiful inspirational story. Go catch your dreams, it is possible. Great role model for young girls. Bridget’s passion for the outdoors is contagious, as well as her smile.

  2. Elizabeth Fabel

    November 5, 2017 at 5:24 pm

    Beautiful Great inspiration and role model for young girls!

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