Fly Fishing is For Women Too
Are you a woman who has an interest in fly fishing but fears getting involved into a men only sport? For years, fly fishing has been considered by many to be an outdoor activity for males. Considering that the first known English book written on the subject was by a woman, Dame Juliana Berners, it seems odd that fly fishing has only recently attracted greater numbers of women to the sport.
It is true that the majority of fly anglers today are men, however I’m seeing more and more women try their hand at catching fish and learning to cast a fly rod. Women are discovering the peace and tranquility that can be had from wading in a river, matching the hatch and casting to rising fish.
Many manufacturers of fly fishing equipment are now producing gear made especially for women. Not in the sense of making a fashion statement on the river, but for better a better fit. There are even fly rods that are made with women in mind that have grips of a smaller diameter to fit the more typical smaller hands of women.
While there are growing numbers of women who enjoy fly fishing with their spouses and male friends, some are more comfortable learning the sport with other women. Many cities and districts now have women only fly fishing clubs where they can meet regularly, plan fly fishing outings, teach each other fly tying techniques and enjoy each other’s camaraderie. There are now many guides and fly fishing instructors among the fairer sex, too.
In 2006, a team of five women participated in the Canadian Fly Fishing Championships which took place on the Grand River near Fergus, Ontario and one woman, Sunny Vanderkloof of British Columbia, came in sixth in the competition out of 40 anglers.
One notable organization, Casting For Recovery, began in 1996 with the aim of providing free weekend trips to women that have suffered from breast cancer. These trips include professional instruction on not only fly casting, but identifying insects fish may be feeding on in order to select the best flies to bait the fish, equipment basics, and knot tying. Fly fishing is a perfect sport for those in recovery – the casting motion can be gentle and at the same time, strengthens weak soft tissue
Recently, I was speaking with a professional guide who told me that often women are far easier to teach the art of fly casting too. Whereas men will often have the idea that they need to use muscle over form, women can often pick up the rhythm of fly casting much more quickly than a male who has spent most of his fishing experience trying to cast their bait as far as possible using casting and spinning rods.
So if you’re a woman that has an interest in taking up fly fishing, get out there and find an instructor or a club in your area and give it a try. Most professional instructors and guides will be able to provide you with equipment that you’ll need. Don’t worry about spending money on gear until you discover if you will enjoy the sport and do more of it. Be sure to check out the Women’s Resources at About Fly Fishing.
About the Author
Follow along with Ian’s regular fly fishing activities at his blog.
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