On the Fly: Women on the river

Scott Spooner
Special to The Aspen Times

Angler Amanda Costa lands a rainbow trout. / Will Sands

One of the neatest things I’ve noticed in recent years at the fly shop is the increase in women getting into our beloved sport. Fly-fishing is a quiet, gentle and seemingly romantic pursuit, so it makes perfect sense that so many women find fly-casting on their “bucket list.”

Many women I have encountered have commented on the fact that fly-fishing has sometimes felt like a boys club, and that might have been true 30 years ago. I certainly find that not to be the case these days. I would venture to guess that the Roaring Fork Valley has more females on the water than do most parts of the country, and that is a very, very good thing. Fly-fishing has something to offer everyone, and women are no exception. Glass ceilings were meant to be broken, and we welcome these new or often longtime anglers with open arms and fly boxes.

Female guides in the valley are excited to see this uptick in female anglers, too. Thanks in large part to amazing groups like Colorado Women Fly Fishers, venturing into the river is becoming easier and much less intimidating. Colorado Women Fly has members all over the state, and the group hosts outings each year to fish the famous Western hatches we enjoy here in Colorado in a female-friendly environment.

From a personal perspective, we men tend to be know-it-alls, especially when it comes to any type of fishing. Teaching and guiding women who are excited to learn a new sport or just need some help on their casting or entomological skills can be quite refreshing, as most women don’t bring the attitude we males tend to carry around with us. Most women seem to have an uncanny ability to leave the pretense at home and simply listen and absorb the information being presented, of which there can be quite a bit when first getting started.

I highly recommend swinging by your local fly shop if you are interested in learning something new or already have fished these rivers for years; you just might be surprised how well you are treated and just how unintimidating this beautiful and graceful outdoor pursuit can be.

“On the Fly” is provided weekly by the staff at Taylor Creek Fly Shop in Basalt.