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Learning (and teaching) on the fly

Hannah Kramer connects to her late father - and her current students - through fly fishing


Story and photos by Kylie Henson

An angler, a teacher and a soon-to-be graduate; that is Hannah Kramer.

From a young age, Kramer knew she wanted to be a teacher. “I would force my sister to sit in ‘school’ for hours while I played teacher,” she said.

Since then, her passion for teaching has grown tremendously. She will graduate from Metropolitan State University of Denver with a degree in Special Education on May 11.



In the classroom at Alameda High School, Kramer collaborates with her students on Google Docs with their various assignments. Trading her fishing poles for her laptop, Kramer regulates the pace of the classroom by staying calm and accommodating each student’s learning style.



Although Kramer always knew she wanted to be a teacher, there were other events that happened along the way, allowing her to run her own road. Her experiences as a student have influenced her to be innovative in the way she teaches.

After her father died three years ago, she found herself sifting through his belongings.

“I came across a box of his fishing things and immediately felt a pull to it,” she said. 

Soon after, she started to teach herself how to fly fish. In a community where females are often underrepresented, Kramer has become an influential leader while working tirelessly to defy the stigma of being a woman in a male-dominated sport.



Over two hours, Kramer quickly tied at least five flies at her home in Wheat Ridge. Kramer makes each fly unique by using authentic pheasant feathers.



Kramer works on untangling her line while fly fishing on the Platte River in Denver. “Through fishing, I have mastered the art of patience,” she said, “which is absolutely necessary when teaching.”

As Kramer catches fish on the Platte River, she carefully handles them when she releases them back into the river. She has become a skilled fly fisherman through trials and tribulations.



While she has been working hard to finish her undergraduate degree, her teaching experiences have influenced the way she fishes.

“I have really been forced to check my privilege because of the population I work with,” she said. “I have learned to appreciate the small things, like the subtle sound of the stream or the cold water lapping against my ankles.” While fishing and teaching may seem disparate, Kramer has sought to connect the dots between her hobby and her career.