Trout Unlimited chapter hosts women’s conservation and fly-fishing day
In keeping with the goal of inclusion in Trout Unlimited membership, the Doc Fritchey Chapter of TU recently hosted its second annual Women’s Conservation/Fly Fishing Program on June 9 along Clarks Creek in Dauphin County.
This four-hour educational event introduced women to the various aspects of conservation with a focus on the basic aspects of fly-fishing. Experienced chapter members staffed stations covering the following topics:
- Personal equipment selection: women’s waders, boots, vests, hats, sunglasses.
- Trout habits and food, insects, fly-tying.
- Fly-fishing equipment: rod, reel, line, tippet, knots.
- Casting techniques, instruction and practice with a mentor.
At the conclusion of the sessions the participants had opportunities to fish in a private pond or stocked trout stream to practice learned skills with their fly-fishing mentors. The chapter stocked this particular section of Clarks Creek in advance to prepare for both the women’s program, as well as a veteran’s event they held there a day earlier.
“The overall goal of our Ladies’ Day was to introduce more women to fly-fishing,” event chairman Chuck Swanderski said. “Everyone seemed to enjoy the hands-on activities, and some even caught fish. We also treated our guests to soft drinks, snacks and a grab bag of goodies donated by our chapter members. It was a great day of sharing what we love with those who may be new to the sport.”
Participants were given an opportunity to evaluate the day and the results indicated it was a huge success, with some of the more notable comments included below:
“Where do I sign up to become a member of your chapter?”
“I was going to get into the stream without waders until I saw all the bugs and crayfish.”
“After the sessions and looking at the posters, I realize you guys are more than anglers.”
“Nice to see so many talented volunteers here to help us.”
“I guess you really do have to be a student of the sport.”
“I thought Brad Pitt was going to be here.”
“The instructors were great. Never realized how many women are deeply involved in the sport.”
“Wait until I tell my son what mom has been up to today. Photos to prove it.”
“I enjoyed the sessions, especially the one on insects and fly-tying.”
“I GOT A TROUT!”
“My guide and mentor actually helped me and my trout pose for a photo.”
“I wish my husband were here so I could tell him about the one that did not get away. Now I can show him. Thanks for the photo.”
“When can we do this again?”
There was no cost to the participants, as Doc Fritchey TU funded the entire event (including rods, reels and flies, hand-out materials and snacks). The Pennsylvania Fish & Boat Commission also provided a one-day educational fishing license to participants (students) during the event.