Written by: Kelly E. Buchta
The 2013 Somerset Fly Fishing show hosted the first ever Women’s Forum. Organized by Kelly E. Buchta, Tracey Stroup and Wanda Taylor, this two day event hosted eight panel members who answered audience questions regarding females in the sport of fly fishing.
The two-day forum had an audience of over 38 people, most of them female, along with children and men who shared the common bond of fly fishing. Panel members commented on the camaraderie of fishing with other female anglers, as well as shared their vast knowledge of skills on and off the water. The focus of the forum provided a network for women interested in fly fishing to discuss their experiences and thoughts. Topics ranged from waders and equipment to guide questions, stream etiquette, youth involvement, conservation issues, and memorable moments on the water. Comments from the hour long seminar included information for new and seasoned anglers. The session offered insights as well as a few personal stories to encourage fellow anglers. Forum participants asked general questions such as “How do you find a good pair of waders that fit decent” to “What criteria would one use to select a guide?” Panel members delved into responses and afforded the audience with valuable information for attendees who posed questions in a relaxed setting.
Panel members represented the multi-faceted industry of fly fishing and included Kinesiologist Tracey Stroup; guide Wanda Taylor; Joan Wulff Fly Fishers President & NJ State Council of Trout Unlimited Women’s Initiative Coordinator Kelly E. Buchta;
guide Sam Decker; NH Trout Unlimited and NLC Secretary Mary Weiss; Ramsey Outdoor Fishing Department Manager and Casting for Recovery Retreat Leader Marina Swartz; guide Rachel Finn; Capt. Sarah Gardner; guide Kiki Galvin, and CFR Director of Communications and Development Kate Fox. These ladies contributed to the conversation and echoed the sentiment that females are gaining popularity and exposure in the fishing world.
Now is the time to be a part of the women anglers movement. The fishing industry is finally acknowledging that women fish and producing gear that has the female angler in mind. Orvis, has a new line of waders and gear aimed at women. In addition, Trout Unlimited, the nation’s largest coldwater conservation group, is offering free one-year membership to females interested in fishing and conservation.