In the eyes of some, especially those unaccustomed to spending significant amounts of time outdoors, fishing is an activity that forces them to confront some things that they don’t like, or it seems fraught with difficulties (tough, boring, messy, possibly unsafe, etc.). Those latter issues are myths, as we discussed in another article. Here are some thoughts on how to deal with other impediments. If you know someone who has reservations about going fishing, let them read this.
The Insect Impediment. It can be buggy at certain times and in certain places. Perhaps the best idea is to avoid those times and places. It’s less likely to be buggy on the open water than in a more confined waterway, and it’s better when and where there is wind, as well as during cooler weather. Often it’s not buggy, and there are spray and lotion repellents for this, as well as bug-warding headgear for more extreme cases. Mosquitoes, biting flies, blackflies, and ticks (which are ground-based) are the main culprits, but some of these tend to be seasonal rather than fulltime issues.
The Cold Impediment. Dress properly. Wear layered clothing, good footwear, a jacket or sweatshirt with a hood, and angling gloves. No one, regardless of age or gender, likes fishing when they are uncomfortable. Today, there is a potpourri of good clothing options for both the cold and the heat.
I Don’t Have the Right Clothing. There are a host of catalog retailers and outdoor specialty stores that make clothing for anglers and other active outdoor people. Stylish, practical, and functional is in. You don’t have to look like an old North Woods guide. Warm weather clothing is especially abundant now, featuring materials that wick perspiration away, are easily dried after getting wet, have many pockets for gear, and are styled for active arm movements (like casting). This is also true, incidentally, for outerwear and rain gear, and many of these garments are styled for women as well as for men. If you wear stuff that you like and look good in, you’ll probably be more confident about what you’re doing.
The Bathroom Problem. This is a big hurdle for many women. Men have a clear advantage in this respect, but for many outdoor gals, this is no big deal. It’s no different than if they were hiking, backpacking, or biking, except they’re on the water. On most boats up to 20 feet long, including the vast majority of boats used in freshwater, there’s no john, or head as it’s called in nautical lingo. If you can go ashore, you can usually find some privacy to answer the call of nature. It’s a good idea to bring some tissues fishing, just in case.
When you’re away from shore and have to answer the call, there’s always a bucket available, and all you have to do is ask the men to look the other way while you’re using the bucket. This is a bit more awkward for some women than it is for others, but I’ve been with many who had no problem handling this when they had to. The option is to be uncomfortable and miserable, which is worse. Just remember to bring some tissues with you. Incidentally, many men have just as much, if not more, difficulty, asking a woman to look the other way when they have to answer the call.
The Biggest Impediment for Women. Perhaps the biggest impediment for women who might like to go fishing is dealing with their husband/significant other/companion. If his attitude is not very good – i.e., patient and gracious – then you’re probably not going to like fishing. It’s that simple. If he’s impatient, if he does not explain things from A to Z, if he’s doing everything for you and not letting you do things for yourself, if he gets irritated when you do something wrong, if he insists on fishing all day or throughout miserable weather, or if he’s taking all of the good opportunities instead of sharing them, then going fishing won’t look too attractive. But neither would most other things. Of course, that has little to do with fishing, and you’ll have to work that out on your own.