The other day a friend of ours, who happens to be female as well as quite a proficient fly-flinger, was told, “It’s really cool that you’re a woman and you fish.” While I’m sure that this drunken slob meant absolutely no harm by his comment, it got me thinking. Why is it so cool that a woman fishes?
Right now, the Marines are studying how effective women can be in battle. In that arena women are definitely at a disadvantage — the physics just aren’t in our female friends’ favor. A 100-pound woman carrying a 115-pound pack for miles over steep terrain leads to all kinds of physical ailments that I would certainly not be tough enough to endure. Fortunately for all of us, fly fishing is a lot easier than being a Marine. Swap the rifle for a much lighter rod, the 115-pound pack for what is basically a 5-pound purse (i.e. sling pack), and miles and miles walked on patrol to getting out of the car and stepping into the water. Seems like anybody can fly fish to me, let alone every woman I’ve ever met in my life. Let’s remember fellas, women give birth, in what seems to me a very painful process. Do we really believe as men, that fly fishing is something that only a few Navy Seal-like women can handle? That’s bullshit.
Over the many, many years of SCOF, we have had multiple women contributors, and even more approach us about contributing. My one rule has always been I don’t want a story about fly fishing as a woman. I’d much rather just see a fly fishing story written by a woman who knows what the hell she’s talking about. I think it’s time we stop transforming women who fly fish into unicorns. It’s insulting to women… and unicorns.The sexual revolution has made it to fly fishing, boys. Accept it. Every year there are more and more manufacturers making female-specific gear. I’m pretty sure these manufacturers aren’t betting on the transgender crowd to move 5000 units of waders. The demographics don’t lie. There are more women sharing our waters than any time in history. Don’t fret though fellas — more women fishing simply means it’s time we clean up our act a little, both from a personal hygiene standpoint and our boorish views on what women can and can’t do.
So the next time you see a woman on the water or at the bar looking fishy, the line you’re looking for is, “It’s really cool that you, as a human, fly fish.” We should and can do better fellas.
P.S. This is in no way saying that you need to take your wife/girlfriend fishing on a regular basis if she doesn’t already fish…just to be clear.