A Woman Fly Fishing

The Joys of Fishing With a Woman

by Hayden Mellsop

A Woman fly fishing inspired this Guide from Salida, Colorado, to record the experience. The author of this piece, Hayden Mellsop and his wife, Kym, are living the dream.

To have attained a position in life where time and money can be comfortably set aside to enjoy the pursuit of fishing is truly a privilege. To live in a place where such beauty forms the daily backdrop of life is the ultimate blessing.

There are few clouds that darken a fisherman’s sky. Beautiful scenery, solitude, all is rosy – except for maybe the lack of female company. Why is it that for a sport that is innately suited to the attributes of the fairer sex, so few of them partake? We alpha males can learn a lot by being in the company of a woman on the river, so for the following reasons I highly recommend all you guys out there take a shower, change your shirt, floss, and go ask a fisherwoman to the river. Here’s why:

1: Spend a few minutes watching a woman cast, and if you pay attention you’ll start to figure it out. Casting is all about timing and finesse, not the girth of your bicep. Face it, something in a male’s genetic programming tells him that if he puts something in his hand, he has to try and throw it as far and as hard as he can. But women tend to be more emotional creatures, in tune with their senses and feelings. This in turn leads to a more sensitive cast, letting the rod and line work in tandem to achieve the desired result. End result – less cussing, less tangles and more energy left at the end of the day to drink beer.

2: It’s OK to not catch something every now and then. Maybe as cave dwellers, an unsuccessful hunt meant hunger, and the danger of your harem leaving you for another’s cave. But surely we have moved on from those times. How many guys have I taken down the river who start to get antsy, and then slip ever deeper into a morose and morbid self analysis after twenty minutes without catching something? Questions such as ‘Am I doing it right?’, Why aren’t they biting?’, ‘What’s wrong with me?’ come rushing to the surface of their consciousness. Most women have moved beyond the body count mentality and have learned to appreciate the finer things of a day on the river, such as scenery, observing the wildlife, or the fact that you are breathing fresh air, not stuck on I-25, or no one is shooting at you.

3: Cussing. There is absolutely nothing else on this earth that warm the cockles of my heart more than painted nails, a waft of perfume, and a string of angelic F bombs following a missed strike or a line tangle. What is it about women and four letter words? [ One of my best guide colleagues reckons ‘wife’ is a four letter word, but that’s another story. ] Women are, for the most part, such inscrutable creatures to our cold, hard, logical minds, that I think the sound of a woman cussing over a missed fish is subtly reassuring. It shows we have something in common after all. Who knows, if we can reach agreement on this, then maybe there is hope that women will eventually come to realize that the natural position for the toilet seat is up, that sport really is a matter of life and death, and that the attraction of Hooters really is the wing sauce.

fly fishing woman

4: Women seem to be innately better listeners, whereas many guys have ears that appear to be merely painted on. I have never quite gotten my head around the idea of spending several hundred dollars to take a guide trip, and then proceed to either ignore or do the direct opposite of the guide’s suggestions / instructions. Perhaps this is the equivalent of a dog marking its territory – the fisherman is reminding the guide that it is he who is in charge as it is he who is paying the bills. Fortunately, with women there is seldom any of this nonsense. They understand that part of paying someone who spends 150 days a season on the river includes the possibility that maybe they are worth listening to. The end result is often a hilarious situation where the part time fisherwoman out fishes the ‘expert’ alpha male. “ Oh look dear, I caught another one – you’re right, this is easy!” The alpha male sullenly adds another split shot to his nymph rig, while she hooks another one on the dry.

5: Conversation. Talking to women generally means being challenged to move beyond our comfort zones of football, the size of the fish caught last week, and football. For women, conversation goes beyond a mere play by play commentary, to include things like analyzing your feelings at the time immediately before, during, and after the play, and how that related to your expectations of those feelings in advance. Obviously, for a lot of guys, this can be akin to trying to converse with someone speaking Swahili. But give it a shot. You might just discover that there is more to life than fishing, or that there is more to fishing than catching, or that there is more to catching than size and body count.

So there you have it. In one cast of the line, you have the chance to make your guide happy, improve your casting, have more energy for beer drinking, increase your vocabulary, expand your mind, discover your inner self, and maybe, just maybe add a whole new dimension to your fishing experience.

(A woman fly fishing is a beautiful thing!)

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