Womens Flyfishing Clubs
Years ago I had the opportunity to serve on the founding board for Colorado Women Flyfishers. At the time, I was a recent college graduate who had just relocated to Denver. Like so many volunteer opportunities, serving on this board brought much more to my life than I was ever able to give to it. Lifelong friendships, new adventures and a new community that welcomed a young woman moving into the next phase of life.
I was blessed to grow up in a flyfishing family. The club however offered monthly educational meetings (with dinner and socializing), casting lessons and we soon formed a long list of summer trips all over the state. I was fortunate to meet a group of friends who enjoyed the same recreation I did; and they came from all walks of life.
As the women’s flyfishing segment continues to grow, so do the clubs and other groups serving it. Flyfishers International (FFI), founded in 1964 to offer education, conservation and community, was always open to women; however like the sport itself, FFI had more men in their membership than women. In 2016 four ladies decided to create an organized voice for the women’s segment to be represented and have offerings at the annual FFI Expo. These ladies have not only created a voice but they’ve had the most popular booth at the expo, evening events that included happy hour, door prizes and an overall enthusiasm that is contagious. They learn about all aspects of flyfishing and, they have a lot of fun.
Patty Lueken, Mary Ann Dozer, Sandy Carpenter, and Molly Semenik were the four ladies who created that organized voice. They had a women’s booth at the expo and women’s educational opportunities that stretched through those two days. Subsequent years brought evening events, happy hour, door prizes, additional education opportunities and the camaraderie we all enjoy.
Today Patty Lueken serves on FFI’s board and is the Women’s Program Committee Chair. The Women Connect program includes online training opportunities, connections and friendships across the country. Their Facebook group recently passed the 1,000-member mark and continues to grow quickly. Get involved and you’ll soon have friendships around the globe. Have a question about fishing somewhere new? Post in this group and you’ll have resources, friends and fishing buddies in a heartbeat. In recent years several men started attending the women’s tying events because the are fun! They teach the same skills, offer a variety of patterns and an open, laughter filled, educational environment you will enjoy being a part of.
Patty recently said, “There is just something special about having the fishing camaraderie with other women.” So true. We all enjoy the time with our significant others but having these friendships is also important.
Flyfishing has always brought amazing people into my life. I’ve learned a great deal about fishing from my girlfriends. I’ve also learned about domestic duties -or not doing them, relationships, career advice and connections, friendships, backpacking, skiing………. The list goes on and on. Join a women’s club or trip and you’ll find folks like you. You’ll find a place to ask the ‘stupid questions’ (which are the same thing everyone is asking), enjoy a day on the water and make lifelong friendships you’ll truly cherish.