West Virginia Woman Breaks Three Fly Fishing World Records

by Josh Lanier

Michelle Fleming and her husband, Curtis, dedicated their recent Alaska fly fishing trip to a friend who passed away just before they left their home in West Virginia. And now they’re coming back with three world records.

Michelle set three international Game Fishing Association records for pink salmon, arctic grayling, and dolly varden, WDTV said.

She dedicated the catches her friend Sonya Moore-Coats. She has set a previous record to honor her late sister who died in 2016 of cancer.

“The sun was shining there was barely any clouds in the sky. I just knew that in their honor. I was catching it for them,” she said.

Michelle Fleming’s sister died of cancer in 2016, but Moore-Coats passed only days before the catches of complications of COVID-19. In fact, Michelle and Curtis attended her funeral the day they flew to Alaska last year. Moore-Coats, who worked as the office manager for Fleming’s company and handled the logistics for the trip.

They almost didn’t go, but the couple knew Moore-Coats had worked hard on putting the trip together.

“We almost canceled it, but we knew she wouldn’t have wanted that,” Curtis said. “It’s what she would have wanted us to do and everything had been planned to perfection.”

See These Fly Fishing Feats on ‘Fly Rod Chronicles’

Curtis hosts the fly-fishing show Fly Rod Chronicles with Curtis Fleming that streams on a number of streaming services including AppleTV, Hulu, and Amazon Prime. They show recently signed a deal to air on the Discovery Channel.

People can watch Michelle reel in the records on the show. That is thanks for Moore-Coats, Curtis said.

“(Joan) had so many plans on making the announcement and telling everybody. She orchestrated everything – the phone calls, linking everything together and the final inking of the papers. She had all the paperwork ready. All I had to do was sign it,” Curtis Fleming said. “She did all that and didn’t get to be part of it.”

The show was filming at the Katmai Trophy Lodge in King Salmon, Alaska when they made the catches.