I could put a clever statement in here like, a handsome, loving man, money, eye candy or bling. But instead I believe most women need to belong to a support group of sorts. Maybe it is a local book club, wine club, or women’s fly fishing club.
Here is an excerpt from today’s Damsel Fly Newsletter.
THE DAMSEL FLIES: A BRIEF HISTORY by ANNE LAPOUR
Over a year ago I decided I wanted to know more about the history of the Damsel Flies and about the fisherwoman that comprise this fun-loving and fish-loving group. My first two interviews were with Janet D. and Joan M.-both original Damsels. They have numerous stories to share; the following is just a brief part of what I pieced together from my conversations with these two remarkable women.
It seems appropriate that the history of the Damsel Flies begins with the Caddis Fly Shop. When the group began, the CFS was owned by Bob Guard. Bob’s wife Kathy had previously formed a group called “the Damsel Flies” and when she died, Bob sought to recreate a new fishing group for women, giving his blessing to use the name “The Damsel Flies” once again. Joan, who fly fished and frequented the shop, was the first woman Bob approached in 1992 , and she also became the first woman to sign on. Bob then put an ad in the Register Gard seeking women wo were interested in learning how to fly fish. “Learn to Fly fish. Women Only: read the ad. Janet D saw it and was eager to learn. Along came Dorothy, Debbie and Judy. And this “fab five” formed the Damsel flies as we know it now.
Outings have always been essential part of the Damsel flies and that’s how the group began. The first Damsel outing took place at Lake in the Dunes-a system of private lakes nestled amidst dunes. Both Janet and Joan have fond memories of this first Damsel outing. With their guide Bubba Rohrbacher, they learned to tie knots and cast and they were also delighted to catch and land plenty of fish. Bubba had been a guide in Montana and wanted to teach more women to fish. So he teamed up with Bob Guard on this initiative and both Joan and Janet have great things to say about him. He made it a successful trip, Joan recalls the whooping and hollering of the women who caught fish after fish. Eager to remember their new skills, The Damsels sat together after dinner trying to tie knots faster than their guide.
For several years after the first outing they made an annual reunion trip to the original spot. They kept it up until the cabins got a litlle-less than well-maintained Janet cracked me up when she described how one clever damsel devised a way to keep their feet protected from the dirty cabin using hospital booties and some Kotex.
The first trip paved the way for many others in Damsel Fly history. A particularly memorable one was a salmon-fishing trip to Alaska (again with Bubba Rohrbacher) where the Damsels camped, rafted and fished for a week. The fishing was great and they consumed a bottle of wine each and every day…always a good sign. Ask Janet to tell you about going overboard, and about a plane flight back to Anchorage-at one point she thought they might not make it. The Rogue has been a popular trip over the years too and Damsels have been everywhere from Montana to Mexico to the McKenzie in our own backyard.
The Damsel flies is now twenty years old organization. There are more members a new Caddis Fly owner and the trips generally stay in-state. But some things are the same laughter, camaraderie, a really great relationship with the caddis fly, gaining knowledge sharing meals, sharing wine, and catching fish…on the fly. Our members have experienced the joys and losses, good times and tough times. I think it is safe to say we’re all thankful for those Thursday nights at the Caddis Fly where we can gather together and share fishing stories.
I know I began there almost 3 years ago and I have never met such a welcoming group of ladies. Most eager to share their knowledge of fly fishing, gear and lifes ups and downs. They have been through many.
I think if there is a group you can get involved in locally, possibly any women’s group hopefully with something you love doing it can be inspirational and fun. It is a good way to stretch yourself and meet and learn from others you would not normally run across in normal daily life.