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Actual Survey Question:
Why aren’t there more women in fly-fishing?


Actual Answers to this Question:
Because they are home making sandwiches.
Cause men drool at them.
No mirrors to check their make-up.
Because there are no toilets.
2 buzy cooking and cleaning.
Kids to raise.
They should be banned anyways- it’s the only peace we get.
They can’t pick out an outfit.
Same reason men don’t knit or make jewelry.
They don’t like cold water.
They don’t like to get their hands dirty.
They only like to tan.
They are too busy having affairs at home.
They can’t grasp the concepts that good.
I don’t want her to learn- for many reasons.
Cause they have dishes to do.

AND

In all my years of river fishing, I have never met a female angler on the banks.

I met a man on the side of the river recently. His dog sniffed my rear and then jumped into the water in front of me. With tennis shoes and a jolly step he quickly approached me,

“I’ve been watching you”, he said while out of breath.(That’s not creepy?)

How must I respond to this one- I’ll just say ‘why,’ “Oh why?”

photo courtesy of - Kyla Kulp

He responds, “In all my years of walking this green belt, I’ve never seen a woman fly fishing by herself.”

What should I say here? You’re welcome? Today is your lucky day? I’m here just for your amusement?

Instead I say honestly, “That is very unfortunate.”

He gave me a pep talk, like I was a lost tribe that he was encouraging to stick around, which was kind- but at the end of it all I said was, “Thanks, but I just want to fish really.”

When I returned home I ran into this lovely Q&A on Facebook listed above, along with a message from a woman who said we have to battle this gender thing out!

Wait Wait Wait ... Slow this crazy train down.

photo courtesy of - Kyla Kulp
photo courtesy of - Kyla Kulp
photo courtesy of - Kyla Kulp

I didn’t sign up for this; just because I have breasts, it does not mean the gender hot topic has anything to do with me, my fly rod and the fish I am pursuing. I don’t necessarily want to be lumped into a category of the ‘lost tribe’ or the ‘special group’ of fly fishers. I don’t want to deal with the loser who vents on social media or yells cowardly from their boat:

“Women are only in it for the show,” or “Women don’t belong on the river.”

Yes, I believe those men who say those things need a solid year of therapy and are more than likely uneducated or compensating for something in their lives; but I’m not going to waste my time trying to change their minds.

photo courtesy of - Kyla Kulp

I believe anglers who truly love the river, the fish and the time in nature, do not care about proving anyone wrong or investing any time in the ‘battle of the sexes.’

However, the more I ponder this topic and read these comments that are generally all over social media, the more frustrated I am for the good guys that get thrown in the mix. And I think about the potential beginner woman fly fisher who is just taking her first cast and is intimidated by the brow beatings and name callings. So as a natural problem solver, I cannot help having this issue be a part of my thoughts. I would like to shout out to the world:

“This is dumb” and “Let’s just fish” or “Don’t get caught up in the drama train.”

So this is my brief statement for you, for me, newbies, old-timers, those that have boobs or don’t, you with your strange superstitions, you with the waders that are from the 80’s or the ones who have the top of the line designer gear. To those who practice Tenkara religiously, to those who only fish San Juan Worms, for the dry fly snobs, to those who prefer to fish alone or those who only fish with their gangster posse ...

Dear Anyone Who Holds A Fly Rod,
Just like with any sport, club or family reunion, there will always be the turds of the group. There will always be a self-righteous uncle who is saying you are doing it wrong, that you don’t belong at the big table or that you need to focus on having only the best gear, capturing the photo ops and measuring your fish versus enjoying the moment. Don’t judge the rest of the family by the actions of the turd. They are the idiots, the trolls, the ones who generally are at home typing on a computer instead of vividly living a life in the water (if this is you, stop - you look and sound silly).

Focus. The moments from when your fly hits the water for the first time to when your last cast of the day is reeled in are the best of times. Those moments are worth the failed casts, the flies lost in trees and the times where you wish you were fishing alone so no one saw what you did. It will pay off. Enjoy.

Be in it for the good stuff - block out the negative comments that lurk in your mind, your ears or enter through your eyes. Separate yourself from those who do not truly love fly-fishing and may only be in it for the brosef time or the Instagram moments.

Women,
Do not believe that every fly fishing fellow is a jerk based off of what you have seen on social media. Do not be intimidated by fly fishing at all. As with anything in life, it is what YOU make of it, not what others tell you to do with it. Do not engage in the battle of the sexes, picking fights or trying to change old rickety, gross, men (but by all means, stand up for yourself). The naysayers are who they are and you are who you are - focus on fishing. Stop complaining about your mistreatment as well, for the amount of men who have invited women gladly into the sport is astounding. Don’t listen to the boys, be grateful for the men who have told those boys to be quiet, who do take their mamas to casting lessons and treat you like a friend on the river. Since I’m here, I will also say that maybe stop sexy posing in your string bikini with a fly rod and then getting peeved when men whistle at you

... just saying.

The reason there are not as many women in fly fishing is because they have not yet heard how life - changing it is and they need someone to lead them to the waters. Everyone deserves an opportunity to love the rivers, cast a fly and hug a trout.

Everyone does ...

Men,
Don’t stare at women on the river. Don’t treat them like delicate flowers either; treat them like a person who shares your love for the river.

No matter what level of fly-fisher you consider yourself or gender you have settled on, focus on fishing and less on dish-ing

(that was catchy).

In the end, we are more than fly fishers - we are cooks, authors, tax auditors, fathers, mothers, teachers, conservationists, pianists, therapists, librarians, plumbers ... with moms, dads, cousins, children, wives, husbands, neighbors to take care of ... who only really need moments with a universal common denominator among us:

A fly rod in our hands and the opportunity to reel a fish to our nets.

And,
“Help me,” says the fish who does not have a voice to utter; who might also laugh at those who make a bigger deal out of the “sport” of fly fishing than is for their own good. To those who pound their chests at their catch, yet do not put a single penny or care or second look back at the waters they tread through, there are more than fish watching you

(that was a threat, I’m watching you, you are never alone).

Just as in real life, stay focused on what is most important here:
fly-fishing.

Cheers,
Uncategorized, Who Just Wants to Fish, Drama-Free Zone Here

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