Meet Our Board
With an undeniable passion for life, Tori Walburn is sure to brighten up anyone's day with her dynamic and animated spirit.
By day, Tori rocks a Blazer working along side one of Atlanta’s top Real Estate Agents but once the weekend hits, you can catch the reflection of her smile and wading boots in any blue line north of Jones Bridge.
Over the past five years her passion for fly fishing has only grown leading to the purchase of her beloved Hyde Drift boat and a new found love of rowing her fishing buddies down the Chattahoochee.
Her excitement and dedication for fly fishing grows with every tug on the line!
I’ve been fishing since I was 5 years old, but it wasn’t until after I moved to North GA that I discovered fly fishing.
I joined the Georgia Women Fly Fishers with the intent of getting outside more and to resurrect my old passion for fishing. I learned very quickly that fly fishing takes a lot of patience and determination; I’ve had my share of humbling experiences on the water, but the tug keeps me coming back for more. I respect the science and intricacies of fly fishing and being outside is the cherry on top. Streamer fishing is my go-to but I also regularly practice nymphing techniques – Euro nymphing is next on my to-do list.
Outside of fishing, I work as a Data Visualization Developer at Emory University and I’m a Fur Mom to my chocolate lab, Chip.
A native Atlantan, Megan learned how to cast when her childhood minister, PRUMC's Don Harp, put a fly rod in her hand in front of a mosquito-infested pond in south Georgia. It wasn't until 15 years later that she heard the zingggg of her reel and landed her first fish - a bonefish on the flats of Belize.
Megan's first years as an angler were spent in the salt, but she picked up freshwater fishing five years ago - about the time she joined GWFF as a member. Recently, memorable freshwater trips include hiking and fishing for bull trout throughout in the Bob Marshall Wilderness and floating the Missouri River in search of the big browns. An educator, Megan is most passionate about her volunteer work with Casting for Recovery - Georgia and more recently as a guide for All Kids Fish in Helen.
Social Media Coordinator
Growing up in the hills of Northern Georgia has provided me with an abundance of fishing opportunities. When I was 6 years old I caught my first trout at a ‘kid’s fish day’ that was organized at Amicalola Falls State Park. I’ll never forget the smell of canned corn, sticky hands, the thrill of my reel zinging, and the bend in my Zebco Snoopy fishing pole. My Grandpa snapped a picture. It was childhood spin fishing for trout that hooked me first.
From there, the desire to catch fish only grew to occupy more space in my heart. Soon after I graduated college in 2015 I went out and purchased my first fly fishing combo- the Orvis Encounter II. Something about the stillness of the water, and the beauty of using flies that imitate real bugs piqued my interest in fly fishing. The casting metronome looked like a peaceful rhythm for my unquiet soul. Through online blogs and YouTube I learned the basics of casting, but it wasn’t until I hit the woods with a close friend that I really learned how to use my instincts to fly fish.
These days you can find me on the small streams, ambushing Brook Trout or getting stung by hornets. It’s a joy and an honor to serve this group of women, and help ignite the same excitement for fishing in the hearts of others!"
Social Media and Outreach Coordinator
I started fly fishing in late 2020 as a way to cope with grief and find solitude in nature. I had no idea what I was doing but gradually learned the ins and outs by spending time on the water, watching hours of YouTube tutorials, and harassing the folks at my local fly shop. It was through the fly shop that I learned about Georgia Women Fly Fishers! Upon joining I was immediately welcomed with warmth and reassurance. I knew that I still had a lot to learn (and still do), but these women would be there to help fill in the gaps. Fly fishing helped me connect with a part of myself that I didn't know existed. It is immensely rewarding and I'm so grateful that I had the opportunity to begin this journey. Accessibility and self-doubt are often the largest barriers to entry, especially in a sport like fly fishing. My goal is to knock down those barriers and to encourage folks to be okay with being a beginner at something. Fly fishing is for everyone and I'm proud to be a small part of an organization that shares those values.
As a child growing up in New Orleans everyone fished. Once I moved to Atlanta, I took up sailing on Lake Lanier where I was very active with Barefoot Sailing Club. Sailing was a hobby that I thoroughly enjoyed but all good things come to an end. I wanted a new challenge.
Had I lived closer to the coast, I think I would have ended up with a fishing boat so I could fill the cooler with my catch. Since that wasn’t an answer, I thought I would try fly fishing. I knew an old sailing friend was a member of GWFF and GWFF offered classes. I enrolled, knowing nothing, and loved it from the moment we entered the Hooch at Paces Mill. That was 2016. Recently, I’ve done some saltwater fly fishing and I am hooked more than any fish caught.
MARY PARKER FORBUS
I started fishing at an early age at my Grandparent's farm pond with a spinner rod and bucket of crickets. When I met my now husband - he introduced me to fly fishing. I immediately became hooked (pun intended). I like the calmness of being on the river - disconnected from what's going on in the world. When fishing you have to be focused on that and your mind can't be thinking about anything else. I joined GWFF to connect with other women who share the same mutual passion for fly fishing!
As a New Orleans native, I'm a true believer in the saying Laissez les bons temps rouler - "Let the good time roll!" I grew up fishing here and there with family and friends in the brackish waters of Louisiana. After moving to Atlanta 2016, I wanted to find a way to get back to nature, get my fish on and meet some like minded people. As a GWFF member I'm excited to learn all things fly fishing and share my love of the sport to others. My "church" time is found in nature and this sport brings out the best in hiking, camping, fishing and enjoying some peace and serenity.
In the real world, I am an environmental consultant, wife and mom to our border collie Ruby and cockatiel Scout!
Cathy Valancius is a fly angler living in Rome,
Georgia. She grew up in Pennsylvania and went to Penn State for her BS, and University the Sciences for a masters in Pharmacology and Toxicology. Cathy worked in drug research for the better part of a
decade before turning a new page as a mom and homeschooling parent.
Cathy began fishing with her kids at the beginning of the Covid pandemic. On the recommendation of a friend, she bought a fly rod and started teaching herself to fish. Over the past two years she has found a genuine passion for fishing, fly tying and
stream conservation. Currently, she is treasurer of Trout Unlimited - Coosa Valley Chapter, a water quality monitor for Science on the Fly, and a member of GA Women Flyfishers.