Is it a mans fly fishing world??

Kaari White

Active Member
I'll preface this with: I've been fly fishing the majority of my 26 years and I also hunt birds, so I'm not at all unaccustom to participating in male dominated sports. Also, I'm extremely self reliant and tie all my own knots, my own flies, own better gear than most guys I fly fish with, and I know what I'm doing.

So, what happened yesterday was a first for me and was definitely a surprise.... I've been going on a group trip of around 15 people (all middle aged/late middle aged men) to a chain of lakes near Little Fort, BC for about 5 years. I've made it up there 3 of those years. Usually I know about half the people that go and of those, 3 to 5 I consider friends. I should be leaving for 2006's trip this coming Wednesday.

But I'm not. There was a vote taken yesterday and it was decided that the majority of people going do not want a woman there. I was pretty shocked/upset!! I've been reassured by those I know going that it's not personal (and that they'd love to have me go), but the people that don't know me don't want me there.

Is this a common feeling?? I go on a lot of sporting related trips every year and now I'm rethinking whether or not I'm welcome. Should I just shut up and bake cookies for the "real" fishermen??

Are having women around a distraction? Are we annoying in some way? Remind you of your wives in some way? I don't understand how having me around is going to prevent guys from acting like guys- its never been a problem before!

What's the deal?? Someone please enlighten me.

Also, I'll glady go on any sympathy fishing trips if anyone is offering. bawling:
that's f@cked up. i can't believe your real friends didn't stand up and say if she's not welcome i'm not going either. sorry to hear about that.
In my time I have never seen anything like that and I think that the majority of people including fisherpeople are pretty open minded. We don't see many ladies fishing up our way but when they do I think everyone is cool with it. I am always helpfull to other anglers regardless of their sex. If guys don't want to hang out with girls I quess all you can do is let them be boys!

FYI the lakes around Highway 24 have been fishing very poorly lately, some of my friends were up there last week the lake surface temps were over 70 degrees and daytime temps in the shade were 30+ degrees (thats celcius). These guys are all good rods and only managed a few fish. So you won't be missing great fishing.

I was Planning a HWY 24 trip from July 11-15 and am reconsidering due to the negative reports out of the area. Now I am just trying to figure out where we are going instead we may even make our first foray south to try some of your washington waters!

Send a PM if you want to meet up on the water!


You probably intimidate them. Not used to women who like the outdoors and fly fishing. I believe it is rare, because I have been looking....

It also could be that this is there only chance of the year to get away from their wives/girlfriends, so its a guy thing for them to do. Kinda like Red Green at Possum lodge or something.
Heck, I dunno.


Active Member
I don't think what you experienced is common. I think most guys would enjoy having someone like you along on a fishing/camping trip. It certainly sounds like you know how to take care of yourself and your equipment better than most guys. You'd be welcome on any of my outings. The only thing I can think of is that maybe one of the wives of the guys was jealous or something and didn't want their husband to become interested in you, but that is pure speculation on my part. I'd recommend letting it go and just organizing trips with friends you enjoy that don't bring up this kind of issue. Life is too short to get bitter about something like this.


o mykiss

Active Member
Your presence would have put a damper on their plans to dress in women's underwear and dancing around the fire at night?:confused:

Seriously, that is pretty lame.
I'm with "xcaddis" on this one.

If your friends didn't stand up for you, then that's pretty F'ed up. :hmmm:

As a fellow CWU graduate (class of 2000) and a fishing enthusiast, you're welcome to fish with me anytime. :beer2:


Ian Broadie

Flyfishing is so "Metal"
That's f'in jacked...... Discrimination no matter what the motivation behind it is one of the few things that gets my shorts all in a bunch. :mad:

I am prolly gonna go hit the Sky next weekend and due to how my fishin' buddies schedules are working out I was planning on going alone but company is always welcome. If you wanna go lemme know.
My wife flyfishes with me, has better gear than most of my buddies and is a blast to have around. the guys don't mind at all. in fact she typically holds a "clinic" on how to catch fish for the rest of us:mad: . i enjoy the time spent with her.
we did run into a few old grogs at lenice one year that were telling us about their flyfishing club. they were totally shocked to see a woman out there ff'ing and proceded to tell us there would never be a woman in their club.
sounds like maybe a re-evaluation of the friends is in order too...
sorry that happened.


left-handed sort of way
they've got problems which may be solve-able, maybe not.

you have only one problem - time to recycle those friends. fishing and 'group trips' are not a gender thing. my daughter encounters the same attitude periodically, she's also very outdoors oriented and quite self sufficient. that combination for some people is threatening - she tends to lose those associations over a period of time. you're better off without them - as disappointing as this situation is, you could have been let down by these same people in a more critical situation. you know how to fish, seem comfortable in your own skin, and won't have trouble with anyone finding another fishing group. look forward, there's lots more people interested in your interests - they were holding you back.


mike doughty

Honorary Member
That's about as ignorant as it gets and if those that you considered friends were really friends then they would have done a little more about it, i know i would have even if i just ended not going either. i feel the more flyfishing woman the better, that's sexy. i don't feel that flyfishing is a man's place anymore then a kitchen is a woman's place. sincerely chefboyrdoughty

Mike Etgen

Not Quite A Luddite, But Can See One From Here
I'm sure the same guys who told you it wasn't anything personal (and really believe this...) would also swear that there's no racial discrimitation anymore.

I don't direct that at them personally, by the way. ;)

You've already confirmed the age range, and I'll guess this is an all-caucasian group. I'm both older and caucasian, so I can say this - most older white guys grew up in a different era, or had a father that age who was likely surprised and confused by the way their orderly world started to change in the 60's. All that change in their familiar institutions has left many of them confused even to this day. Coincidentally, some of those places and organizations where men could go and smoke cigars and harrumph about all of this have dwindled. That's not my opinion, that's fact.

So, the rules they grew up with seem to have disappeared, even though they seemed to work just fine. People (read: minorities, women, etc.) show up where they never expected them. The old jokes and remarks make them suspect, and they get a little surly and defensive, and start grumbling about political correctness and "no one can take a joke anymore" and the circle of friends they can really trust shrinks daily. Maybe, as John Prine sings it, "Your wife yells at you and your kids are all freaks."

So, unconsciously, they grab those seemingly few opportunities to go back to those good old days. And even if they're not sure it's right (like your friends, maybe) they all sort of understand how it feels and in the safety of the group, go along with it because, after all, that's our people.

Before you younger guys rush in to tell me how far off base I am, be honest with yourselves. I'm not pointing fingers at anyone, just suggesting that we be a little more realistic. People don't change that quickly. I've stood and listened to racial/sexist jokes because I didn't have the stones to call someone on them. Most of us have. Recently I had a complete stranger (white male) walk up to me in a fly shop a couple of months ago and turn an innocent question about fishing into a diatribe about the "f&*#@% Indians" who ruined this or that fishery. He felt safe with me because I looked like someone who might empathize with him. It sort of pissed me off inside, but I let it go, because he was not coming from a place of reason, but a place of fear and ignorance. It happens on this website. It's life.

CWUGirl, it has to be disappointing to have proven yourself and then been pushed aside by a bunch of morons who don't know you and won't give you the benefit of the doubt. They'd never admit it, but being as good as the guys; well; that's not good enough. They're Ignorant at best, or the concrete in their heads has set up and the dial is set at Stupid and though they'll retreat when they have to, they ain't gonna give it up and they ain't gonna change. The war for their hearts and minds is lost.

You're obviously a concerned, astute individual, based on what you've offered or contributed here in the past, which is all I have to go on. You're better than the no-voters, and you're probably lucky you don't have to be around them. A week around their passive-aggressive BS would have probably ruined the trip for you.

The lack of your presence is their loss, and they won't even realize what they lost.
I've got to go along with the thought that you need to reavaluate among that group who your real friends are. I agree that had it been me I would have told all the nay sayers to take the proverbial flying f*** at the proverbial rolling dougnut and formed a new smaller group consisting of you and the few that had the cojones to stand up for you and set out for a destination as far away from the othe a holes as you could get. I am sure that anytime you want company on a fishing outing there are plenty of straight up people on this site that would be more than happy to put in sometime on the water with you. Laugh it off, wright them off, an stay with it.:thumb: :thumb:
After a couple more phone calls this morning, I got to the bottom of the situation. There was no vote. The trip is organized by one guy (I'll call him Douche bag #1). Well, DB1 organizes the trip for both his friends, which I thought included me and some of the select customers of his company. His best customer (I'll call him Jackhole) is going on the trip. Any, Jackhole told him that he did not want a woman in camp. End of story.

My friends are pretty upset about it (including my father who is going on the trip!). Since they've all commited to going, they're still going, but it'll be the last year.

I'm still pretty embarrassed for being singled out as not being in the cool club. The really ironic part is that I'm by far the most serious fly fisher that goes on that trip and I'm no longer welcome to attend.

Thanks for all your kind words, guys. It is screwed up!! I get that men might just want to hang with the guys on occassion. Its just a little different when an annual trip is suddenly excludes one person.