Saturday Shoutout / The Sexualization of Fly Fishing

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By Justin Pickett

I recently caught a great podcast from The BARBLESS PODCAST that was aired just a handful of days ago.

The subject matter during the conversation, hosted by Chad Alderson and Nick Hanna, was centered on the ever-growing social media accounts, posts, videos, and images revolving around half-naked gals holding fly rods and fish. Are these ladies good for fly fishing? Are they legit anglers, or just pretty faces hungry for followers? Where do they fit in? Is there a place for them in fly fishing at all? Who better to weigh in on this heavy topic than a couple of veteran female guide/anglers? Kate Watson and Kayla Katayama do a great job discussing some of the challenges that social media brings with these types of accounts, as well as not-so-legit anglers and guides, pro-staff gluttony, and self-promotion. It’s a great discussion that hits a lot of nails on the head!

THE SEXUALIZATION OF FLY FISHING

If you want to check out Kate Watson’s first article, Insta-Perversion, click here.

Response to Insta-Perversion

Justin Pickett
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13 thoughts on “Saturday Shoutout / The Sexualization of Fly Fishing

  1. Some things just don’t change. Back in my day it was a women in cut-offs leaning over the fender of a ‘55 Chevy, with a wrench in her hand. She probably didn’t become a mechanic, but mechanics are still with us.

    • WTF are you even saying? That objectifying women in the workplace is an acceptable norm regardless that objectifying women sexually keeps women from attaining their goals? Or that objectifying women sexually keeps gender stereotypes alive in order to advance a male-dominated workforce for no other sake than to advance sexual objectification of women?

  2. After reading Kate’s article, I asked myself “why do I like photos (or ads) of female anglers better than those of guys?”. It’s not the sexuality. It’s because the female fly fishers look like they’re enjoying themselves and having fun, whereas the guys are showing off their big catch. In a way, the male photos are more testosterone (sexually) fueled and less recreation driven. My wife got us started in fly fishing almost 30 years ago, partially to get me to give up playing competitive rugby. I fly fish to relax… to enjoy the outdoors… and to completely isolate myself from the toils of modern society. If I want an adrenaline rush, I’d look back on a successful rugby career. So, I’d rather look at someone who is fly fishing and enjoying themselves. I can identify with what makes them happy.

  3. Trout offer equal opportunity challenges. For a sport that can be at its best when pursued in a solitary way, it offers no excuses for those who are drawn to it. No one can limit how hard one chooses to work at it. Gender is irrelevant, however In my nearly five decades of fishing I have yet to encounter even one, serious, dedicated to the point of obsessed, fly gal. I occasionally find a female out with her boyfriend, and I never see two female fly fishing buddies out on their own. This sexuality, “insta-perversion” thing is nothing any serious fly fisher takes seriously.

    • Come on out to Hebgen Lake (Yellowstone) any summer and you will find 6-7 who fish every day on their on, and my wife who has her own boat….a Whaler.

    • I was right there agreeing with about the solitary nature of the sport. I do disagree with your perspective on female anglers after that unnecessary little put down (whether or not it holds any truth to you). I know one of the women featured in the podcast is going to be pretty hard to beat when it comes to obsessing over the sport. She earns her living from it. Not only that but the point of the podcast has to do with social media and not IRL scenarios. Social media plays a huge part in marketing for companies as well as individuals and the “insta-perversion” issue isn’t exclusive to women as they briefly touch on in the podcast. You have missed the point.

      • I read the article but did not listen to the podcast. It was a confusing point to understand for me because I am not a user of social media. What you perceived as a put down was simply a point of fact based on many years of being on the water. The fact that I rarely see females fly fishing does not mean I would not welcome more women into the sport. I just don’t see fly fishing as being a good old boys club that ignores or demeans the opposite gender. Fly fishing is not a macho sport but obviously attracts many more men than women – and there is nothing standing in the way of any woman who is drawn to it for the right reasons. Entering the sport to find celebrity status, pad follower counts, and get big paychecks seems pretty misguided.

        My point however poorly made, was meant to be an aside. I don’t understand how picking a cat fight over “painted nails, trout pouts, full makeup and a head full of teased curls” is helping Kate’s credentials and credibility as a serious fly angler. Her whining seems shrill and petty – and certainly undermines her case. If female anglers like Kate Watson really want to take their place alongside Lefty, or Borger, or Gallup, or Lawson or Harrop, or Lafontaine, or Whitlock, or Flick, or Rosenbauer, or Humphreys, et. al. she really should think twice about engaging in such irrelevant criticism. Does this level of hyper-sensitivity help at all? Not in my book. Little does she realize but her article simply reinforces many of the stereotypes that she probably opposes.
        Trout don’t care how you look or which bathroom you use. If women like Kate want to be taken seriously – just fish hard, communicate positivity, and stay out of the social media gutter.

  4. I have seen two gals out fly fishing on their own. They looked damn serious to me. Now did I ask them if they were obsessed with fly-fishing and serious about what they were participating in? No. Didn’t even talk to them. Figured they didn’t need some guy to cut their groove. I think the situation spoke volumes. It was a very unpleasant day(the kind of day fish bite in) and they were definitely serious about what they were about to go do. But, now I been out in the field and seen plenty of men out there pretending they knew what they were about to go do or were trying to do. I could plainly tell they needed to find another hobby and they didn’t belong out in the outdoors much less the wild areas.

  5. I agree with Rick’s post.If you fly fish to be famous ,man or women your in it for the wrong reasons.If you want to noticed do it by showing skills than sets you apart. I hear women complaints about
    them not making the money men make in sports. If women supported women in sports they would not even need the the support of men.A fish does not care if a fly is being fish by a man,
    women, or child.

  6. It’s more the “Assholization” of fly fishing. People hire a half assed guide and all of sudden think they’re in that “movie” and apparently these guides show them nothing of basic stream etiquette. It’s all to common here on Colorado waters.

  7. @JustinPickett – thanks so much for the shout-out! Glad to hear it struck a cord with you and some of your readers. Really appreciate you and the rest of your audience taking time out of their day to give us a listen.

    Tight lines,

    Chad

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