Fishing has long been a sport sought after mostly by men. Few women participated in a sport that requires its participants to push sharp hooks through the back or lips of a cute little minnow (live and struggling for freedom) or threading a hook through a slimy worm or nightcrawler or smelly piece of cut bait. In the past the sport of fishing hasn't offered a lot of attraction to our ladies. Husbands have long tried to get their wives to see the attraction of their favorite past time, even offering to bait the hook, remove the fish, and even clean them at the end of a day on the water. Few have been successful in their attempts.
The fast growing popularity of fly fishing has changed a lot of this challenge and the sport has literally exploded with its attraction for women. A lot of major cities in the U.S. now harbor fly fishing clubs just for women. Atlanta Georgia's womens fly fishing club is a great example... full of independent anglers that are best described as avid, to say the least.
I've operated a fly fishing guide service in the mountains of western North Carolina for many years. In the past three or four years I've seen a huge increase in women enjoying the sport. Several of these ladies are so devoted they would scorn me for calling it a sport. It's viewed more of an art form, a way to become part of nature, and to some, a religion. Some of the best anglers I've guided in the past have most definitely been ladies.
Fly fishing requires a delicate presentation, from approaching a stream, casting and even landing a fish on fly fishing equipment. It is a clean sport... no worms or smelly cut bait, just clean and often beautiful flies used in some of the most beautiful surroundings in the world-from saltwater flats to rushing mountain streams, nothing is more peaceful or tranquil than fly fishing waters.
My guide service's business is comprised of approximately 60% fly fishing instruction, atleast 50% of which consist of women. As an instructor I would much rather teach a woman who has never touched a fishing rod of any kind than a man that is a professional bass fisherman.
The most misunderstood aspect of fly casting is that it takes great strength to make long casts. Nothing could be further from the truth. The most challenging aspect I have teaching men is to get them to stop over-powering the cast. Fly fishing requires timing, not strenght. Women are atleast 75% easier to teach the proper casting stroke than men because they seldom over-power the cast.
The perfect example of this is the "well known" name of Joan Wolff. Joan runs one of the most prestigious fly fishing schools in the world. Her late husband, Lee Wolff, was the most famous fly fisherman of the modern era. He died in 1991 at the age of 86 in a plane crash. Joan now carries on her famous husbands love.
Joan Wolff is known as the most proficient fly caster in the world, holding 17 national championships against mostly men. She has a record of casting a fly an incredible 161 ft! Joan is a dainty little lady that competes with strong, burly men and sends them home with their tails neatly tucked between their legs!! Joan's reason for fly fishing is this, "that you are in beautiful places and you are there because these fish only live in clean water and you can touch another living creature and feel its heartbeat, feel its life source and still release it and let it be free again."
She is definitely one of my heroes and my favorite quote of her is, "I am a very ordinary woman who has had a very extra ordinary life through the magic of fly fishing and I wish that for everyone."
Joan has written several wonderful books on fly fishing and runs Wolff School of Fly Fishing in Lew Beach, New York.
If you are looking for a new way to enjoy the great outdoors and all the peace that nature has to offer, I suggest trying your hand at this time-tested art form.
I am sure you will find yourself in love!!!!