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Boreal Community Media

Up North: Minnesota Steelheader Cast Clinic to Increase Women on the Fly

May 24, 2018 08:02AM ● By Editor

From WDIO-TV - May 23, 2018

Julie Alleckson of Rochester, Minn. took her first cast at fly fishing on the Baptism River at Tettegouche State Park on Saturday.

"I came in not knowing a thing. All this equipment is borrowed," said Alleckson.

She said getting her feet wet was the only way she was going to learn. However, trying out the technique of fly fishing wasn't easy and that learning fishing terminology felt like learning a different language.


"Just getting the feel of using the rod. This is the first time I've used a fly rod and just getting the swing and not hooking somebody else," is what Alleckson said she was focusing on for the day.

Sometime there can be a sense of intimidation for women when it comes to learning how to fish, but the Minnesota Steelheaders Women on the Fly are aiming to change that by providing women with the knowledge to conquer rivers along the North Shore.

"Our goal is to get a group of women more comfortable with the fishery. Get them on the water and getting them using the equipment so that they can gain the confidence to conquer these rivers on their own and go out and pursue Steelhead," said Director and Board Member of the Minnesota Steelheader’s Women on the Fly.

Their third annual clinic, which was free to women, is just one example of how the organization provides instruction and hands-on demonstration to help women navigate Steelhead fisheries.

"We go over everything from crossing water safely, to reading water, to learning about the fish - what they can keep, what they can't keep, and the different fish they're going to be catching," added Murphy.

After filling this year's clinic in just a day and a half, the Women on the Fly realize there is interest within the North Shore fly fishing community and that providing the right resources will help increase women's involvement.

"It's really not only exciting to see growth within the sport, but growth within women and children coming out. That's the future of our sport," said Minnesota Steelheader board member Aaron Gerlovich. "Once we teach them the basics our hope and our goal is to kind of carry this on hoping they'll to teach others how to do it," he added.

 Learn more about the Minnesota Steelheader organization and the Minnesota Steelheader’s Women on the Fly here.

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