Parkhurst: Writer is wishin’ more women liked fishin’
Why don’t more women fish? It seems to me that sport fishing has all the elements that women should be attracted to:
• A boat is like a convertible on the water. You can let the wind blow your hair and recapture some of that feeling of your youth.
• Gear and lures come in every color and shade to match any lipstick or nail polish.
• Camo, or clothing for that matter, is optional — it is a sun bather’s utopia.
• No worries about ticks, creepy crawlers or snakes.
• One can talk all they want, as loud as they want without spoiling the sport.
• None of this “my bird” stuff — if the fish is on the end of your line, you caught it.
• Any boat is better than plunking your feet down in the cold water of a duck blind or hanging off a tree in the wind.
• What better place to pigeon-hole your sweetie to talk about things on your agenda?
• Or listen to your favorite music and enjoy the scenery all the while returning home with something the whole family will enjoy.
Could it be that women lack the mechanical aptitude to operate an open-face reel or the dexterity to tie a small tube lure on the line? Are you crazy? Women’s fingers have been flying across the keyboard faster than any man ever thought about. Likewise, they operate computer numerical control (CNC) machines in our plants alongside the most experienced male counterparts.
So why aren’t they attracted to fishing? Could it be that they detest the blood and guts of cleaning fish? Are you kidding me? After mopping up vomit off the floor and cleaning a baby’s bottom, I hardly think cleaning a fish would be a turnoff. Of the young women in my life right now, only my daughter-in-law likes to fish.
I’ve tried to get Judy interested in fishing all our married lives. Our first foray into this arena was at a heated dock. (We got married in December.) The atmosphere inside the dock was similar to a funeral. Everybody was dead silent staring into the pool of open water. I leaned over to Judy and whispered, “Maybe they dumped the body into the water and we are waiting for it to emerge.”
While we tried our best to stifle off a laugh, Judy’s cork disappeared into the depths. Instinctively she jerked so hard the line flew out of the water and banged overhead on the tin roof, without any fish. I thought everybody on the other side would fall backwards off the benches. We left, first try was a failure.
The poor girl has fallen out of the boat, been stranded out in the lake with a dead motor, caught in a thunderstorm, been eaten up by mosquitoes and plodded along in the dark checking limb lines, but I keep telling her it has got to be better than wandering aimlessly around in the shopping mall.
Once I took Judy on the ultimate fishing trip. For 10 days, we backpacked and camped out in the Boundary Waters Wilderness Canoe Area, a cornucopia of lakes interconnected by portage trails. Sleeping in a tent and cooking on the ground, we had all day devoted to fishing — Judy caught a bluegill. Strangely I haven’t heard her telling her grandkids about any of these fun and exciting adventures with their grandpa.
Since I have not been too successful in the last 36 years with my bride, I have a new tack on the “woman fishing” thing for this summer. My latest concession is if she can start the outboard motor, she can drive the jon boat anywhere she wants.
Fishing is one of those activities that can be enjoyed at all levels of interest. From a simple cane pole with a bobber to a rod and reel or a long fly rod, the goal is the same and the result just as exciting. Whether fishing from a dock or a boat or just sitting on a pond bank, few sports have such a wide appeal. Fishing can be enjoyed from age 9 to 90.
Ladies, I am telling you: If you haven’t considered the sport of fishing, you are missing out. What other sport can offer you all these things? Plus you can spend all kinds of money on tackle and lures and not be concerned about whether it will fit next year or still be in style.
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