Greater than two dozen girls participated within the first annual Past the Solid Girls’s Fly Fishing Symposium on the 2023 Virginia Fly Fishing & Wine Pageant. The twenty second annual Virginia Fly & Wine, held on the Farm Bureau Constructing on the state fairgrounds in Doswell on January 14-15, 2023, performed host to the distinctive Past the Solid symposium, which was sponsored by Take Me Fishing and included courses by and for outdoor-enthusiastic girls.
“For years we’ve provided free casting courses for ladies,” mentioned Virginia Fly & Wine director Beau Beasley. “These newbie classes are baked into our cake, so to talk. However this 12 months we wished to go past: past newbie, past a lady and her fly rod. We wished to construct superior expertise, and maybe even extra importantly, we wished to construct a neighborhood—to assist like-minded girls join. Finally, to encourage girls to get outdoor and fish collectively.”
Contributors ranging in age from twenty-something to sixty-something spent two days studying all the pieces from superior trout-fishing ways to secure wading practices to primary entomology to savvy procuring to angling with a kayak. Virginia conservation officers taught college students what to do after they encounter wildlife. At a working lunch, college students met and spoke to girls enterprise house owners and trade leaders like Kim Ranalla founding father of Miss Mayfly, Sara Holt from Undertaking Therapeutic Waters Fly Fishing, and Beverly Smith vp of volunteer operations for Trout Limitless.
“I’m all the time so inspired to see house and time carved out only for girls at these traditionally male-dominated fly-fishing exhibits,” mentioned Smith. “The Virginia Fly & Wine introduced collectively girls from all walks of life, the agenda was strong—I can’t inform you the variety of girls who confirmed up on the TU sales space desperate to be taught extra and get engaged.”
Past the Solid individuals got here from as distant as Maine and Georgia to attend the two-day occasion, which kicked off with a Friday evening meet & greet. “An expertise like this demystifies an in any other case intimidating, ‘insider’ sport,” mentioned Beasley. “Attendees informed me with tears of their eyes how welcome they felt, how a lot the weekend meant to them. A number of girls realized they lived fairly shut to one another and commenced to arrange outings proper there on the spot. I imply, our imaginative and prescient for this budding neighborhood was coming to fruition proper there on the pageant.”
Stephanie Vatalaro, senior vp of promoting and communications for the Leisure Boating & Fishing Basis (RBFF) and an important accomplice within the growth of the Past the Solid Girls’s Fly Fishing Symposium, mentioned “Analysis tells us feminine anglers have considerably better perseverance, grit, perceived well being, and life satisfaction than non-anglers. We have been joyful to help this unbelievable alternative for ladies to not solely learn to fly fish but additionally join with their friends to foster continued participation.”
“I feel Past the Solid has demonstrated that when girls are warmly welcomed into areas, they make these areas their very own,” mentioned Beasley. “Our world-class instructors, our daring and curious individuals—they rose to the event and are serving to to construct the neighborhood they’ve been searching for. We’re so grateful to Take Me Fishing for catching our imaginative and prescient and sponsoring one thing new and recent. And we cordially invite Southwest outdoorswomen to hitch us on the subsequent Past the Solid Girls’s Fly Fishing Symposium, which is able to run concurrently with the sixth annual Texas Fly Fishing & Brew Pageant in Mesquite, Texas on February 25-26, 2023.”