Our trip to Washington was precipitated by the International Federation of Fly Fishers' 2012 Fly Fishing Fair. Donna and I were privileged to be invited to instruct at the Women's Fly Fishing Program again this year. Naturally we were delighted, because for us, it's a twofer: we love to teach and we we get to meet the nicest people.
Awhile back, I was asked whether I thought fly fishing was an equal opportunity endeavor. I certainly do and it certainly is, but that doesn't mean all anglers approach fly fishing in the same way. For some, fly fishing is a pastime, all about fishing. True enough - they just do it and have fun. Some anglers though, approach fly fishing as a sport. They're lifelong learners, always wanting to improve their cast, their angling skill, still water, moving water, saltwater, itty bitty creeks with wild fish, etc. And there's the difference.
Participants at the Women's Program were among the later group of anglers. Thoroughly competent, readily able to fish independently, easy fishing buddies, but nevertheless, eager to learn more. What a pleasure for instructors to spend time with kindred spirits.
Volunteers from the Spokane Fly Fishers Club anticipated our every need... chilled beverages, meals, etc. They treated us to doses of hilarity, excellent workshops on entomology and still water fishing and guided participants fishing the lake.
Mike Matney, the owner of 3 Lakes Fly Fishing has made Horseshoe Lake an excellent fishery and a perfect getaway retreat. He's put restoration and habitat building into practice and protects it with zeal. 3 Lakes provides guests with all the floating and wadding gear needed. This minimizes the transfer of infectious/ invasive species and it's convenient for travelers. Skippering the rafts around the lake is a lot of fun!
The women at the Women's Program are what makes the program a hit. It is not too soon to start planning for next year at West Yellowstone. The dates will be announced soon and I hope to see you at the 2013 fair.
Visit Mary Ann's website.
© Marian Tallon August, 2012