Hometown: Helena, Montana
Occupation: Commercial Fishing Captain in Bristol Bay, Alaska
Montanan Tara Hines has always had a competitive spirit and a love for adventure. After growing up as a ski racer in Montana, Hines moved to Salt Lake City to attend Westminster College.
Hines ditched the Lower 48 for summers in the Ahklun Mountains of Alaska, where she captains her own 32-foot gillnetter, the Emerald Sea.
Hines has been commercial fishing for seven years, but recently completed her second summer harvesting sockeye salmon behind the helm of a vesel she bought with money made from tutoring high school students in Big Sky. By fishing all summer, she has afforded herself the opportunity to ski and travel during the winter. Once the fish are gone and the boat is put away for the season, Hines can be found exploring the Alps or pursuing her newfound love of skijoring in Montana.
How I got into skiing:
I grew up skiing at Great Divide Ski Area in Montana. We fondly call it "The Rock," as there's not a lot of snow there. My parents were Nordic racers. They put me into a ski program thinking that it would help my balance for Nordic skiing, but it backfired on them. I joined the ski team at Great Divide Ski Area and got committed pretty quickly.
What skiing has taught me:
I'm thankful for what skiing has taught me. It's shaped me into someone that's independent and someone who likes to experience new places and try new things. The community I have from skiing has helped me along the way and has showed me that you can do things on your own.
I competed in my first event last year. I had some friends I know from ski racing hook me up with some horses and I did pretty well. The next one I did I actually won. It's such a fun mixture of rodeo people with skiers and there's a lot of ex-racers who do it, too. People are very competitive, but supportive and encouraging. I like how fast and wild it is.
Why all the fish:
My mom's family is from Alaska, but the skiing community is actually how I got into fishing. There was a kid on my race team who's mom was a fisherwoman in Bristol Bay. She helped me get my first job there.
Where I find inspiration:
For me, I feel the most inspired when I'm the most challenged. If I can find a situation where I'm a bit uncomfortable, but can keep my head up and push through, that's where I feel the most inspired.