Lighter Side

What is life if there is not laughter? Welcome to the lighter side of flyfishing! We welcome your stories here!
December 4th, 2000

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 him right.

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 more often.

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 rains.

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

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