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Women Are Here To Fish

Posted November 28,2017
Justin Pickett
Gink & Gasoline
Photo by Louis Cahill

Photo by Louis Cahill

By Justin Pickett

I read a post on social media the other day that got me feeling all kinds of frustrated.

I literally wanted to pull my hair out after reading the remarks of the ignoramus who decided to peck this stupidity from the safety of his keyboard. This ding dong’s remark was in response to a photo of a nice rainbow trout caught by a female angler, which was posted to her Facebook page. The original post appears to have been taken down by the page administrator, but it went something like this:

“Now let’s see a video of your cast, drift, and you landing that fish.”

Now, like I said, there is likely some variance to the actual quote, but those are the “items” that this guy wanted filmed to verify to him that this female angler was competent enough to catch a trout all by herself. Seriously? He went on to defend his request, which just made things worse.

The majority of the social media world attacked this guy, and rightfully so. Who is he to play “river police” from the comfort of his desk chair, assuring that everyone’s cast and drift are up to his standards? Oh wait… Not EVERYONE on the river. Nah, this guy probably would not have had the balls to do the same thing to another male angler, but a gal holding up a trout….I guess that sounded like easy pickings to this Facebook Casanova.

Certainly a girl doesn’t have the mental and physical attributes to complete a cast, mend some line, set the hook, and land a fish that possesses a brain the size of a pea. I’m not trying to downplay the sometimes technical aspects of fly fishing for trout, but this guy was definitely calling into question the ability of this female angler to catch a fish. However, I bet if the same were expected of him every time he posted a fish, he would be the first one to cry about it on his social media page.

News Flash: women fish!

Women fly fish. There have been women in fly fishing for a long time. Long before many of you reading this, and myself, were even conceived. There are some amazing women who have done, and continue to do, amazing things in many areas of the sport of fly fishing. Conservation. Guiding. Travel. Product development. Instruction. Casting for Recovery. Dun Magazine. Abel Women. 50/50 On The Water. I could go on. Women play a major role in many aspects of our sport. I could give numerous examples, but here’s a couple:

Ever heard of R.L. Winston Fly Rods? They are world-renowned for building some of the most beautiful, high performance fly rods on the planet, and are one of the oldest and most storied names in fly fishing. Many anglers who own Winston rods absolutely covet them. Well, since 2008, Annette Mclean has been the person responsible for the design of every Winston rod that has left their shop. Gasp! A woman! And, prior to 2008, she had been the production manager for both graphite rod and bamboo rod programs. Oh, and aside from being an amazing rod designer, I hear that she’s one hell of an angler.

Secondly, just this past summer, Camille Egdorf took first place in the 2 Fly X-Stream event at the Mountain Games in Vail, Colorado. Through three rounds, she was able to edge out eighty-nine other anglers in a series of casting challenges, ending with a fishing competition between ten anglers, who qualified to enter the final round of the competition. Yeah…she beat all the men. All of them.

These are some pretty impressive women, if you ask me.

These examples of success aren’t accidents, nor are they examples of other people doing the work for these ladies. They worked their assess off and learned, no doubt, through a lot of trial and error, all the while taking shit from assholes (men) who didn’t think they deserved to stand next to them on the river. Let me assure you, they’ve done their homework. They’ve probably outworked you and will also out-fish you. They aren’t out on the water pulling hair in cat fights, they’re throwing punches and getting shit done.

Regardless, there is going to be the egotistical bunch banging their clubs on the ground crying foul because they encounter a successful female angler, whether it be on the water or on social media. And because of that, I will still be here banging my head against my desk.

Fellas, do yourself a favor and get over it.

We are not the only gender entitled to post shitty grip-n-grin photos to the interwebs. We damn sure aren’t the all high-and-mighty chosen ones who are meant to oversee that everyone lives up to our own individual standards when posting photos on social media. I’m sure there are probably many dudes out there who feel the same as this guy, and just choose not to make their feelings known. Had this particular fella been face to face with this lady angler, I doubt he would have called things into question, but the computer screen provides a safety blanket for folks like this. I know not every guy feels this way, but instances like this brings out the one thing that I hate to see in fly fishing: exclusivity. This isn’t YOUR sport. It is everyone’s to enjoy.

Fly fishing as a whole is growing. And, with that, we are seeing more and more women hitting the water, and it’s a great thing. Toss your testosterone and ego aside and go fishing with some of these awesome gals.

Justin Pickett
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