Bridging the Gap – Fins and Feathers Bozeman
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Bridging the Gap

For many of us, fly fishing started out as an idealistic thought about a beautiful pastime. It may have been the scenery, the thrill of hooking a fish or just experiencing another walk of life.

For Heather Radke, getting into fly fishing meant entering a world of men. In her recent story, “A Beginner’s Guide To Fly Fishing With Your Father,” Radke discusses the social barriers imparted on her as a child. While her dad and brother went off to the river in search of trout, she stayed home with her mom to do “girl” things. Her essay depicts a fishing town void of female bathrooms and a café were she and the waitresses are the only women in the building.

While still heavy on the testosterone, the fly fishing industry has made great strides to make the activity more welcoming to women. Marketing campaigns, like Orvis’ 50/50 on the Water, has helped to close the gender gap but much more progress needs to be made to make our daughters and granddaughters feel welcome in the world of waders, flies and streams.