Meeting my angler

Allison Thrift Blog

Editor's Note: The writer's opinions and observations expressed here are her own, and do not necessarily reflect or represent the views, policies or positions of FLW. My name is Allison Thrift, and I'm the wife of Walmart FLW Tour pro Bryan Thrift. I'm excited to be writing this blog for FLW, and going forward I hope you enjoy our stories from the road - and of life off the road as well. For now, I wanted to share with you the story of how Bryan and I got together, and my first reaction to all the craziness that is the world of professional fishing. When Bryan and I met, in 2003, I was 19, and he was 23. At the time, I was really into bowling. Every Friday night our local bowling alley had black-light bowling, and considering that there wasn't much else to do in our small hometown, I went there just about every Friday night. The bowling alley also had karaoke, which I attempted a few times (and I'm SO thankful that video phones didn't exist then). I was friends with one of the guys, Craig, who worked the door, and one Friday night he asked me if I would be willing to meet one of his buddies that worked with him at his day job - it was Bryan. Craig explained that the guy was very sweet and wanted to meet a good girl, but that he also loved fishing. To me, he sounded great. I had grown up fishing with a cane pole and a bucket of worms at my great uncle's pond, so I thought I was good to go with this guy named Bryan. I told Craig that I would love to meet his friend, to which he responded, "No, I mean he REALLY loves to fish," as if to stress that Bryan was more than just a casual fisherman. I again assured Craig that I was fine with that and that I would be willing to meet him. "You don't get it! I mean, he REALLY LOVES to fish!" Craig exclaimed. "I've got it," I told him. But the truth is, as I came to find out later, I really had no idea. Bryan and Allison Thrift Bryan and I talked on the phone for a few days before we finally decided to get together on St Patrick's Day for a blind date at - where else - the bowling alley. I decided to get a little tan on my pale skin to impress him and ended up as red as a lobster. No worries though, I thought, because red doesn't show up in black light. I put on my cutest outfit and a pair of boots to match, and headed off for our rendezvous. When we met for the first time, I was not only untouchable because of my sunburn, but a good 4 inches taller than Bryan because of my boots. But again, no worries. Once the bowling shoes were on, we were the same height (He still doesn't like for me to wear boots around him). We hit it off immediately and even ended up tying in one of our games. That had to be a sign, right? After a few days, we decided to make it official and call ourselves boyfriend/girlfriend. It was then that I first began to realize just how much he loved his fishing. Funny, I specifically remember that just a few months before Bryan and I met, I heard that Brad Paisley song, "I'm Gonna Miss Her," and even asked aloud to myself, "Who in the world would choose FISHING over his wife or girlfriend?" I like to think God has a sense of humor because it wasn't long after that when I met Bryan. At the time, he was fishing every local tournament he could find, as well as the BFL tourneys. I was amazed at how much time he spent not only fishing, but also preparing to fish. Many of our evenings hanging out together were spent with me holding a spool of fishing line on a pencil while he re-spooled his reels. Romance at its finest, indeed. However, I also confess that I admired the passion and commitment he had for the sport he loved. That passion and commitment are part of who he was and who he still is, and those traits rolled over into our relationship. Even though the majority of his time was spent fishing, I came to realize that he loved me and that he was the only one for me. He explained that his ultimate goal was to become a professional bass fisherman. My first thought was, "What? That job exists?" It was then that he introduced me to FLW. Over the next few years, he worked his way up the ranks, so to speak, from small local tournaments, to larger regional tournaments, to being a co-angler in the Rayovac FLW Series tournaments, and eventually to being a Rayovac boater. We would keep up with all the weigh-ins, and I began to learn the names of the big players in the sport. I prayed that one day Bryan would achieve his dream and that his name would be among those big players. Bryan Thrift won his first Rayovac as a boater in 2006 on Lake Okeechobee. I was at the Rayovac FLW Series tournament on Lake Okeechobee in 2006 when he won as a pro in the series for the first time. I could hardly contain my excitement. All the hard work, the time and the commitment had paid off. That win was just the push Bryan needed to give the Walmart FLW Tour a try as a pro beginning the following year. That's when this whirlwind that has become our life really began. And I couldn't be happier to be a part of it. In the next few installments of this blog, I'll share with you what it was like for Bryan in his first years as a pro, and our first years as a married couple (Yes, we were actually able to find a weekend between tournaments to have a wedding.). I'll also share with you some stories from our time on the road this season, to help you understand better what goes on behind the scenes for the families of the Walmart FLW Tour.

Tags: blog  allison-thrift 

/tips/2015-03-18-expect-change-and-adapt-to-it

Expect Change and Adapt to It

Ish Monroe explains how to adapt to changing conditions and recommends to always fish your strengths in this weeks blog. READ MORE »

/tips/2015-03-17-so-you-want-to-be-a-co-angler-

So You Want to be a Co-Angler?

First and foremost, I know I’m fishing the tournament as a co-angler and I make sure that I not only stay out of my pro’s way, but I do what I can to assist him throughout the day. This starts at the ramp with assisting him with the launch where possible. READ MORE »

/tips/2015-03-16-a-30-piece-puzzle-with-four-pieces-missing

A 30-Piece Puzzle with Four Pieces Missing

The whole time I was down in Florida during the FLW Tour opener on Lake Toho I felt like I was trying to put together a 30-piece puzzle with four pieces missing. The weather was right, the water temperature was right, the thousands of acres of vegetation looked right, but one thing was wrong: the fish! READ MORE »

/tips/2015-03-12-a-clean-slate

A Clean Slate

The 2015 season opener of the Walmart FLW Tour wasn’t at Okeechobee, as in recent years, but at Lake Toho in central Florida. I was excited about the change, and even more pumped to start a fresh new season after blowing my motor on day one of the first event last year. READ MORE »

/tips/2015-02-27-toho-bound

Toho Bound

You have to understand that having home field advantage in fishing is the absolute worst. There are so many demons; you have too much information, you start fishing the lake’s history – it goes on and on and it’s very hard for a professional angler to mentally break that barrier. READ MORE »

/tips/2015-02-25-3-thoughts-on-toho

3 Thoughts on Toho

I was without power for three days after the first storm, but it snowed again this weekend and there is supposed to be more weather on the way. Suffice to say, I can’t get to Florida and Lake Toho fast enough. READ MORE »

/tips/2015-02-20-east-to-west

East to West

As a tournament angler, I realize that a primary aspect of my job is to be able to catch fish anywhere, in all types of fisheries, under a variety of conditions. READ MORE »

/tips/2015-02-12-from-swamp-pro-to-bass-pro

From Swamp Pro to Bass Pro

When most people hear the name “T-Roy Broussard,” they think of me as the Texan in the big green airboat on the reality television show Swamp People. Three years ago I was introduced to households across the world as a burly alligator hunter that made a living off of the land. READ MORE »

/tips/2015-01-29-here-we-go

Here We Go

The 2015 bass tournament season is officially underway and I am super-excited about the changing dynamics. There is no doubt that the economy is improving and the 250-boat field that fished the first Rayovac FLW Series event on Lake Okeechobee is testament to that. READ MORE »

/tips/2015-01-13-are-you-taking-care-of-business-

Are You Taking Care of Business?

My dad started taking me fishing when I was two. My very first job was at Hi’s Tackle Box and after that I spent a few years working for Fisherman’s Choice. I’ve been fortunate in that I’ve been able to spend my life doing what I love and enjoy doing. READ MORE »

/tips/2014-12-30-the-ebb-and-flow-of-sponsorships

The Ebb and Flow of Sponsorships

Many of the readers who follow FLW know me as one of the pros who fishes the Walmart FLW Tour. What many of you don’t know is that I also work in the industry. I get to see what happens behind the scenes more than the average fisherman or fellow fan does. I get to see the sponsor contracts, and the ins and outs of how business works. READ MORE »

/tips/2014-12-22-ish-monroe-travels-to-china

Ish Monroe Travels to China

Among the benefits of having sponsors are the unique opportunities that they provide to you. For instance, during this offseason I got to travel to China for the first time in my life to work with one of my main sponsors, River2Sea, designing and perfecting the Ish Monroe Series. I stopped in Hong Kong on my way there and back. It’s so high-tech and advanced; it’s amazing. READ MORE »

/tips/2014-12-12-5-must-have-knots

5 Must-Have Knots

Most anglers, pros included, look for any little edge to increase their catch, and that includes even the knots they tie to attach lures to their lines. With that in mind, picking the best knot to use with all of today’s lines can be a challenge. READ MORE »

/tips/2014-12-02-offseason-with-the-blaylocks

Offseason with the Blaylocks

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/tips/2014-11-24-how-to-approach-a-potential-sponsor

How to Approach a Potential Sponsor

For a lot of FLW anglers, it’s crunch time in regards to sewing up sponsorships for 2015. Whether you’re fishing at the high school or college level, in BFLs, the Rayovac FLW Series or on the Walmart FLW Tour, gaining some form of sponsorship is critical to enabling you to make a profit from competitive fishing. READ MORE »

/tips/2014-11-06-the-future-of-bass-fishing-is-in-good-hands

The Future of Bass Fishing is in Good Hands

It’s been a couple months since I fished my last FLW event, the Forrest Wood Cup in Columbia, S.C., where I got to watch history in the making. The championship weigh-in was very exciting as it featured the local favorite Anthony Gagliardi taking home the top prize with a 1-ounce margin of victory. READ MORE »

/tips/2014-10-23-changes-in-the-air

Changes in the Air

Another year gone, and another off-season flying by. I’m still trying to catch up on all the stuff around the house that I let go during the season. Chores like painting the garage or little fix-it-up jobs around the house and yard seem to never end. By the way, I am currently fighting it out with fire ants, and even though they seem to have won most of the battles so far, I guarantee they will not win the war. READ MORE »

/tips/2014-10-22-when-more-is-better-

When More is Better

Today’s Lowrance sonar/GPS combos are so powerful, even the entry-level units are waaaay more advanced than what was available just a few years ago before we had GPS, SideScan or DownScan. READ MORE »

/tips/2014-10-10-relaxed-but-reloading

Relaxed, But Reloading

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/tips/2014-09-26-the-realities-of-sponsorships

The Realities of Sponsorships

Right now a lot of tournament fishermen are trying to land sponsor deals for 2015. Consequently, I guess it’s pretty accurate to say that the No. 1 question any long-term pro angler gets asked this time of year is, “How do I get sponsors?” READ MORE »