The Transylvania Times -

Pisgah TU Hosts Female Fly Fishing Film Screening


Last updated 11/5/2019 at 10:17am

The film focuses on parity in fly fishing and growing female interest in the sport. Gear selection and fit, community building and trends in fly fishing are all part of the film.

A free public screening of "The Orvis 50/50 On The Water Film Tour" will take place at the Nov.14 meeting of the Pisgah Chapter of Trout Unlimited in Brevard's DFR Room, starting at 6:30 p.m.

The "50/50 On the Water Film Tour" is made up of short features showcasing women on the water, enjoying time spent fishing with other women, with daughters, sons and husbands, and in solitude.

Created and led by the Orvis Corporation, the "50/50 On The Water" program is an industry-wide campaign to increase gender parity in Fly Fishing; the focus of the campaign is to introduce women to Fly Fishing and help them make community connections, celebrate women in conservation and to change the public's perception of women on the water.

Historically, gear choices for women have been limited despite a recent exponential growth in female anglers. Taking notice of this, Orvis challenged other organizations to join them in providing a wider range of colors, styles, sizes and gear options designed specifically for women.

Jessica Whitmire, director of the Diversity and Inclusion Initiative for the North Carolina Council of Trout Unlimited and manager of Headwaters Outfitters in Rosman, is well-acquainted with the issues women have historically faced in finding and selecting appropriate gear for certain outdoor adventures, such as fishing and hunting.

"For several years, finding gear that is comfortable and fits well has been a topic among friends I fish with," she said. "It is wonderful to see several companies invest in the research and development of gear and apparel specifically intended for women. Gear that fits well and clothing that is comfortable and performs as it ought makes for better, longer and more productive days on the water."

The program has taken on new life as several organizations, including Trout Unlimited, have seized on it, as a way to recruit more women as members and potential leaders.

Community-building, expanded education resources and various social aspects ranging from social media to on-water trips make the program especially meaningful to like-minded women who want to get out on the water for the first time, or for the hundredth, but would prefer to do so in the company of friends and with confidence – in gear that fits.

Fly Fishing is an excellent sport for people of all ages and physical abilities. It doesn't take brute strength. The deliberate pace encourages relaxation and contemplation. Fly Fishing can even help heal, with programs like Casting for Recovery for women with or recovering from breast cancer, and Project Healing Waters for disabled veterans.

At the heart of the 50/50 On The Water Program is a vision of the future with equal numbers of men and women enjoying the sport of Fly Fishing and where an initiative is no longer needed to make everyone feel at home on the water.

The Pisgah Chapter of Trout Unlimited is hosting this film tour, which will be screened at the DFR Room on Nov. 14 at 6:30 p.m. (Courtesy Photos)

As Whitmire noted, "The Pisgah Chapter of Trout Unlimited is dedicated to cold water conversation and creating a community where all stakeholders understand the importance of protecting our watersheds. We know there is strength in numbers and when all come together for a cause, more positive momentum occurs. When our organization truly reflects and represents our entire community, we will be able to be our strongest."

While the films share a focus on the angling experience, members of all organizations will benefit from the message of diversity and inclusion, and a better look at some of the challenges involved and progress made in achieving parity in outdoor sports recreation.

The one-night-only screening takes place at the DFR Room in downtown Brevard, located at 36 E. Main St., on Nov. 14 at 6:30 p.m. The event is free and open to the public, and is suitable for all ages.

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