Never let it be said Fly Anglers OnLine
(FAOL) isn't willing to try something new.
Well, at least different.
Starting this Wednesday night, March 23rd,
Hostess Vicki Eagle Elk will host the first
ever Ladies Nite in our Chat Room. My
husband, JC or Castwell, jokingly suggested
it was a good way for the men to have their
wives understand the husbands need for a new
rod, or reel. And the joking is fine - and
who knows, that could work.
The real idea however, is that for whatever
reasons, some women prefer the company and
advice of other women. They would prefer
to ask questions from other women they think
can help them. Maybe the male dominated sports
world has treated them badly in a fly shop
(surprise) or some idiot has dismissed them as
'unworthy' in a fly casting class (I've heard
some real horror stories on that one). Or quite
possibly, dear husband has attempted to teach
wife how to cast. . .certainly good intentions,
but most of the time fruitless. Husbands shouldn't
teach wives how to drive either in my opinion!
There are 'women only' classes available in some
places, and the 'Women in the Outdoors' programs
offered by various states have been quite successful.
These usually are not geared to fly fishing, but
general outdoor programs including camping, fire
building, first aid, shooting sports and general
fishing. If you have an interest in improving your
outdoor skills these programs can be a terrific
So why don't more women fish? Fly fish?
I wish I had a nickel for every time I've been
asked that question. The answers aren't that
difficult. The lack of exposure to someone who
fishes or fly fishes in a young gals life is the
number one reason. If dad or grandfather fished,
chances are a young gal would be able to go if
she wanted. In my case both dad and grandfather
fished, but it was grandfather who was out and
about in the north woods, and I tagged along. I
had a bait casting rod, and picked worms from wet
lawns to use as bait.
What I didn't have was television, computer or
play station. I don't remember ever being - or
saying "I'm bored." I do remember spending a lot
of time outdoors. I had a bike at home, but not
up north. So I walked wherever I wanted to go.
That is what kids did. I did have other interests,
I played tennis, swam, painted watercolors, wrote
and read a lot.
Fortunately for me, grandfather did allow me to
learn how to fly fish when I was eleven. That
was the beginning, and I've never looked back.
My childhood was not uncommon for the time.
Individuality was encouraged. Independence
was encouraged. A kid did not expect to be
'entertained.' You made your own entertainment.
A far cry from today.
Growing up, teenage years, girls are overwhelmed
with images of the career girl, working wife,
and perfect super mom. Those images are not
heavy on the family in the outdoors, or women
as role models for outdoor sports. It just
doesn't happen. In today's world, families
are spread out across the country or world - so
what influence dad or grandfather might have is
If a woman is holding down a full-time job and
raising a family, her connections with the
outside world really are limited.
Add to that, women do have full-time jobs
(although I think raising kids IS a full
time job) and are still expected to be home
makers. I suspect it is a very rare marriage
where husband and wife equally share the house
responsibility and child raising. More often
than not, hubby gets to take off for a Saturday
or Sunday and go fishing - and at least while
the children in the family are small, it's
mom who stays home with the kids.
It is even worse for the single mom! What
break does she get from the kids? Mostly
going to work. Add to that, even if she gets
the urge and for some reason wants to try fishing,
or fly fishing - where is the 'spare' money to
do it going to come from? How is she going
Enter FAOL. We do have one of the very best
tutorials anywhere on learning how to fly fish.
It is called, Fly Fishing
101. We also have really good, simple
How To Cast - all the information on which
Knots to use, and
how to tie them is also here on FAOL. Fly
fishing physically is non-sexist. By that I
mean women are certainly physically capable
of doing what is required to cast properly.
Learning to wade a stream isn't any harder
for a woman than it is for a man. Learning
which flies to use to imitate the insects
takes a little time, but the basics aren't
difficult either. It is doable.
What we are offering with the Ladies Nite
is just a little encouragement for women
to be involved. If you (or your wife,
girlfriend, significant other) have an
interest in fly fishing - or perhaps really
a burning desire to learn, we can help.
Ladies who may be a little intimidated at
having some guy try and teach them can feel
free to ask questions and get answers.
That's the bottom line.
It's Ladies Nite! (No cover charge, drinks
half-price, byob, no floor show.) Bring your
questions - or just show up to give a little
support to other gals who want to fly fish.
Oh, and yes, men are welcome, but it's not
YOUR night. (At least while Vicki is hosting.)
If you would like to comment on this or any other article please feel free to
post your views on the FAOL Bulletin Board!