February 14th, 2005

Ladies Only
By James Castwell

There is no way I can write this without peeing off some, if not a whole lot of, folks. Subjects like this are both subjective and objective, mostly the former and damn little of the latter. There has been some chatter on the bulletin board of late on this and I got my nose bruised there too. So, just what about girls fly fishing anyhow? Back a few years we let them vote. The results of that are not tabulated in all circles. Some suspect discrimination. See what I mean? Hard to play with this subject without trouble at every point.

More power to 'em, I say. Some would suggest they should have to pay more for a license as they tend to be better than men at getting the job done. Perhaps. Tenacity is one of their strong points. Give them a stream, a rising fish and a fly rod, my money is on the girls every time.

Us guys would, after a few 'perfect' casts, move on to a fish more suitable and worthy of our great abilities. Not some one-eyed, stuffed to the gills, obnoxious, stubborn unworthy dumb fish. Not so with 'her.' The crouches become lower, the gaze more intense, the casts smoother and more deliberate, over and over, and over... "Fish on!" Game, set and match.

I am speaking now of those few who actually do understand fly fishing. Here is where I go over my waders. Darn few do understand it. Darn few want to. Not that they are not capable, heck yes, most just do not want to do it. And that is alright. Just ducky with me. Not a slam if they do not want to stand in a swollen river, waist deep, waving a stick at some stupid fish. "Don't gotta, ain't gonna!" Archie used to say. (A guy from Michigan). No, now don't blame Archie either. If you are going to get mad, it's me you're after.

We ran a few casting classes out here a few years back, disaster mostly, the ones for "Ladies Only," that is. The ones who showed up wanted to learn how to fly cast because it looked so very artistic and graceful. Yes we served lunch, well no, it was catered. Big mistake. Fancy stuff. Chef done on site, gourmet. Better had we served buffalo chips. Few learned much, but... all had a wonderful time. Wanted to do it again next year.

Sometimes we get a female in one of our 'unisex' classes. There are two basic types, those who are doing it because their 'partner' has pushed them into it, and the ones who actually want to learn something. It does not take much to find out which are which. I zero in on the ones who really don't want to be there. I take them as far and as fast as I possibly can in casting. Often well beyond their 'partners' within less than an hour of work. The rest is up to them.

The dedicated ladies, of whom there are far too few, are a joy. Enthusiastic, willing, capable and sincere. With that attitude they make any instructor look good. So far I have not had one be able to out cast me on the first day, but am not sure I would like to meet them in a casting contest some day. Not true. Really, I would love it. Actually I would hope all who I may have helped along the way be able to cast far better than I was ever able to.

So, is that it? So much for girls in fly fishing? No, probably several books left to be written on it yet. But for here and now that is about it. I am sorry most seem to feel they are not considered more than a sleeping-bag warmer, and camp helper, and cook. Well, sorry, some are just that and they like it that way. More power to them. In fact, more power to all of them, no matter how, why, where, when and with whom.

So, with that said, let's make this formal.

"Girls, welcome to fly fishing, what the hell kept ya?" ~ JC

Till next week, remember . . .

Keepest Thynne Baakast Upeth

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