Written by: Bob White, Bob White Studio
Editor’s Note: We have featured the gorgeous art of Bob White many times on this blog. (See here, here, here, and here, for example.) I first met Bob at a charity event in Vail, Colorado in the early 2000s, not long after he’d done the illustrations for Tom Rosenbauer’s Orvis Guide to Fly Fishing. Years later, he was an Orvis News Trout Bum of the Week, a post I highly recommend, as Bob has lived a remarkable fly-fishing life. He has kindly allowed us to post an excerpt from his new book.
When I was a young guide in Alaska, it was unusual to fish with a woman, particularly one who visited the lodge by herself or with a female friend. Whenever I had the opportunity to do so, however, I always learned a lot.
For one thing, I learned that it’s much easier to instruct women how to cast a fly rod than their male counterparts.
H.H. Williams said, “furious activity is no substitute for understanding,” and teaching some men how to cast is a perfect example of this axiom. As young boys, we’re often taught that lack of experience can be compensated for with speed and strength. If something is new or difficult, just do it faster and harder–never the prescription for a good cast! On the other hand, women just seem to naturally intuit that timing and finesse are important parts of the equation.
Women are also much easier to guide. For the most part, they’re better listeners and bring less ego to the river. They also seem to be more process-oriented, and less focused on the size and number of the fish they catch. I think it’s safe to say that women are also less demanding and more appreciative.
The young lady who is the subject of this painting was new to fly fishing, but by the end of the week, she’d earned the moniker “One Cast Annie” among the guides.
It seems that with each passing year, the number women fly fishers increases, and much to the benefit of the sport.
Bob White’s new book, The Classic Sporting Art of Bob White, will be available next month from Stackpole Books. At 280 pages, it features 246 annotated images, selected essays with illustrations, introductions by both John Gierach and Donnall Thomas, and a foreward by our own Tom Rosenbauer.
You can pre-order signed copies on Bob’s website, with a September delivery.