Wimmen. Who Needs 'Em?
By Ol' Red, Aurora, Colorado
Then why invite us to learn about fly fishing? Huh? Huh? Why nag and drag
us around against our wills to little flyshops and make us watch movies and
talk about the mountains and the streams and how pretty it all is? Huh?
I have a friend whose mother always says, "Men. You can't live with them,
you can't smother them with a pillow while they're sleeping."
Okay, everyone with testosterone who found that statement frightening, go
change your shorts. The rest of us knows what she means. And yes, two of
her husbands fly fished. One of them tried to get her into a pair of
waders. He's still paying hefty alimony for that little faux paux. Serves
If you don't want us there, don't con us into going. Just leave us alone
and if we really want to fly fish, we'll do it ourselves. And there's many
happy men on the river who are glad to see us and don't look at us as if
we've suddenly taken the shape and weight of an anchor. Serves you
right. So there.
Luckily, there are some women who know just how we feel. These few,
brave, valiant (and possibly heavily medicated) women were
groundbreakers. They knew before the rest of us what it felt like to
have a bra freeze, figured out the timing of waders and/or distance to
outhouses vs wader removal and tolerated the disparaging looks,
crummy bad-mouthed mumblings and heavy sighs of the other side
of our species.
Laugh if you will, but there truly is a sisterhood out there, and bubba,
we are it! Science proved it. Studies are still being done on men and
women. Simple studies. Scientists are tracking singular genes which
has made them conclude that all males can be put into ten separate
groups. What it means is, men, all of 'em, come from a baseline of
ten males. Not one, not two, but ten. Every male can be traced by
this single gene to one of these forebears, and to none of the others.
Women on the otherhand, have been found to carry one specific
gene. The line carries unbroken throughout history. It means women,
all of us, come from one woman who started the whole deal. Hey,
it's the Internet. Check it out for yourselves. If you can . . .
Which frankly, is a bit scary. We're all one woman. But we spend
our lives trying and fighting to achieve . . . well, I dunno what we're
trying to achieve. Maybe it's something as simple as recognition. It's
not the money. It's not the position and title. It's just wanting to be
looked at like another human being and not "oh, you're a woman are
you?" Other women around the world know what it's like and bond
with other women. Their men don't give them a choice. They're
considered the lowest rung on the ladder of everything in the world.
Of course they turn to their own! And we get it, but not half as bad
as those sisters out there. Maybe our men are more evolved. Maybe
we enforced a degree of evolution on them. Who knows. They're
just smarter than most out there, and they should act like it. At least
Of course, being with men who treat you like a student and not a
retarted one is pretty nice. But I've noticed, no matter how well a
man treats you when it comes to fly fishing, on the river, the old
sisterhood still stands. Women see another woman out there and
they're suddenly standing closer than you're supposed to,
and -- get this -- they aren't crowding each other or overcasting
the other's line. They're talking. About flyfishing. And sometimes,
the men gape. Because we sound like we really know what we're
talking about. And why? Maybe it's because we suddenly feel
this lack of need to be excellent immediately. Maybe it's because
"she's" been there and there's this quick comfort. Maybe we're
banding together against the enemy . . . hehehehe. We're recognized.
Immediately. "Hey, you're fly fishing. Cool!" Not, "Hey, you're a
woman and you're flyfishing. How very brave of you."
I think men think we're sort of mindless out in nature. We're oblivious
to the dangers and how slippery the rocks really are and what if a bear
comes out at you and oh, I'll bet she didn't bring anything in case it
Try to look at it our way guys. We know the rocks are slippery.
We take great care, even if we move a little faster than you. We
are paying a whole lot more attention to how fast the water's
moving and we even notice (sometimes faster than you) that
it's gotten higher. We know there are bears and bugs and wolves
and stuff out there. But, to be perfectly honest, we notice, but
we don't worry. If it comes, it comes. And you want to know
why? Back there, in the real world, we face predators and harsher
attitudes than the woodsy predators on a daily basis. We are
under constant pressures you either would not believe or brush
off as just us being "emotional" to things you see as "normal stuff."
But out here, on the river, with the wind sighing through the trees
and tying our lines into knots Alexander couldn't solve with a
sword . . . out here, the river sings to our emotional souls. Just,
I suspect, as it does to yours. Out here, the predators know the
rules and usually keep them. Sometimes they surprise you, but
their rules are ingrained and believe it or not, we know quite a
lot of them. We just don't tell you we know because we don't
want to talk over your lecture to us about what to watch out
for. Out here, we don't burn citronella candles to keep the bugs
away because it seems . . . I dunno, right for them to be here. Out
here, we aren't terrified of spiders. We like watching them skitter
over the rocks and we forget they're icky. Out here, everything
belongs, including us. Not because we know stuff you don't think
we do, but because we chose to be out here. We talked to ourselves
before we came. We told ourselves there's all kinds of dangers and
bugs and things that can get us put in the hospital. Out here, we
have chosen to belong, not been forced to "deal" with our surroundings.
Like back there in the other world. We take these surroundings joyfully
and become entranced. Peaceful even. We can breathe and not worry
about whose staring at our breasts when we do.
I don't flyfish to catch fish. In fact, I'm quite surprised when I do.
I'm out here to be. And if it rains, well, I'll happily look foolish and
stand there getting soaked. I love the rain. I run out into it when I'm
sitting at home! I revel in it! Thanks for taking me with you!
Please! If there's women out there with differing viewpoints or even
the same viewpoints, or if you've got something funny, write me or
write it down! Email
Ladyfisher with it! I'd really like to hear from
both sides. Thanks. ~
~ Ol' Red
Lighter Side Archive