Pat RonnenbergPat’s fishing adventure began in 1957 on the Upper Provo at Pine Springs with her older brother Mike when she was seven years old. He was 14, old enough to use a fly rod; she wasn’t, but she aspired to it as she aspired to anything he did.

Then, she forgot all about fishing until she met her second husband, and they moved to Jackson, Wyoming in 1988. He made it clear that she was going to learn to fly fish, or his Sacred Saturday Ritual would be enjoyed without her company. She wisely decided to join him, whereupon he gifted her a 5-weight Winston rod, and her fly fishing life began.

Pat joined the local chapter of Trout Unlimited (“TU”), tied flies with Jimmy Jones, Howard Cole, Pete Wiswell, and Guy Turck, fished the waters of Yellowstone and nearby locations in Idaho, Montana, and Wyoming, and never looked back. During those years, she was mentored by many fine guides and shop owners, including Big Stu Handy, Terry Collier, and Doug and Michelle Roberts on the Green River.

In 2005, Pat moved back to Park City, Utah. Fly fishing had penetrated her bones by that time, but she hadn’t had time to pursue it to her satisfaction. When she retired in 2008, she began to fly fish in earnest. As part of her retirement, she thought “why not volunteer doing something I am passionate about?”


Pat humbly admits that she is not the greatest angler or fly tyer in the world, but everyone who fishes with her knows that it is her passion to make the world of Utah fly fishing a place where both fish and fishers can thrive.

Pat began her efforts by attending meetings of High Country Fly Fishers, TU Chapter 599 in Park City (“HCFF”). She volunteered with willow plantings and was subsequently asked to lead the club’s annual Women’s Fly Fishing Clinic. Soon afterward, she was asked to join the Board of Directors, which she did. She recognized that the women in the clinic learned a lot, and she created Women’s Fish Days, where each attendee gathered with others and fished with more experienced members of High Country. Pat still leads High Country’s Fish Days, which she changed during the pandemic from just newbies to include all skill levels as a way of offering participation to all members. Pat’s never counted, but she expects that her clinics and fish days have touched hundreds of people’s lives, changing many in very permanent ways. Although Pat has stepped aside from leading the club’s beginner clinics so that newer members could be assimilated into club leadership, she remains an instructor, teaching “how to fish a stream” during the clinic’s classroom session, and serving as a one-on-one mentor during the clinic’s casting and fishing sessions.

Pat Ronnenberg ImageWhile volunteering at an early Wasatch Intermountain Fly Tying and Fly Fishing Expo (the “Expo”), Pat met Jim Blevins, then starting out with Bonneville Fly Fishers (“BFF”), the charter chapter of the Fly Fishing International (“FFI”) in Utah. They fished and traveled together on weekend trips and when he became president of BFF, he asked her to be a member of the Board and to launch a Club Trips program that included both day and overnight trips. The program has changed little and has become extremely popular, helping to drive overall Club membership for BFF. She also served as temporary Club Secretary and rewrote the club’s bylaws, which were adopted by BFF locally and FFI National. Pat also helps host and judge the casting competition for BFF/FFI at the Expo and volunteers with HCFF.

Pat continually volunteers for conservation projects and has served as Conservation Chair for both HCFF and BFF, including leading multiple willow plantings with DWR and USFS; assisting with writing and executing a TU Embrace A Stream grant for planting 1,100 willows in two days, which ran during Covid; organizing and executing willow pole cuttings with the Central Utah Water Conservancy District; leading small clean-ups during every HCFF Fish Day; and participating in large clean-up events with Fish for Garbage.
Pat regularly serves as a stream helper/instructor with Casting for Recovery, Veterans’ groups, Park City Recreation youth fishing programs, trade shows, HCFF, BFF, etc.


Pat has developed a reputation over the years as a zealous and effective advocate for Utah fly fishing and conservation, and when Pat calls, people respond. It’s just too hard to say no to someone who puts in many more hours than you know you ever will. Pat will continue to serve in leadership with HCFF and BFF, this year developing a mentorship program for HCFF, where she will match up beginners and intermediates with advanced anglers. This is yet another big undertaking, but Pat will take it on with her usual gusto.
Pat is a tireless advocate of fly fishing and conservation. Through her efforts, countless women have gained confidence by enhancing their skills, and many of those women have gone on to mentor others. Pat’s enthusiasm, kindness, work ethic, and energy are infectious. It’s impossible to listen to her talk about fishing and not want to get out there alongside her.




Asked by Michelle Roberts, co-owner of Old Moe Guide Service to compete on an all-women’s team at High Desert Anglers/Dutch John Single Fly Event in 2022, Pat enthusiastically agreed, and, to everyone’s surprise, the first all-women’s team won. “Wow, what an achievement!” exclaimed Pat, who intends to be back to defend her title.

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