Narrowing the gender gap in fly fishing

Seth Boster, The Gazette (Colorado Springs, Colo.) on

Published in Outdoors

She recalls taking "lumps" on her climb through the guiding ranks. She was the only woman in her training class, and once hired, she saw more trips doled out to men -- perhaps due to some perception that she wasn't strong enough for the physical rigors of the backcountry.

"I don't mean to sound like a victim or something," Lofgren says. "It's just something that, for some women, it's taken time. I think that's changed a lot."

Still, Wright and Dougherty at Angler's Covey meet male clients who appear crestfallen at the sight of them. Wright repeats the questions she's heard: "Do you really know what you're doing? Can you really get me onto a fish?"

And often the guides meet women who seek their tutelage because their husband, or boyfriend, does not fly fish -- as if a man is the one to teach them. Wright and Dougherty are happy to do so, and they tell them to tag along with the Pikes Peak Women Anglers.

"It's so great to see people become independent," Wright says. "To see that light go on: 'I can do it.' "


After a long wait at the stream, she hooks a brown trout -- small, maybe 6 inches. "Needs to grow is all," she says as she releases it. "A future champion."

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