Wisconsin pioneer remembered amid women’s fly-fishing boom

A hundred years ago, someone carved a series of initials into the trunk of a tree in a forest in central Wisconsin. It was a message from a family history project, and it still stands there today. This month, the same message is being written in stone, in the form of a memorial marker.

Lori Thomas was a Wisconsin pioneer who never forgot her roots. On a regular summer day in the late 1970s, she was cleaning fish at a local river when her husband, Dave Thomas, came to pick her up.  He asked how things were going, and Lori responded that she was cleaning fish.  “The only fish you’re cleaning are the ones in your mouth,” Dave said, and Lori replied, “That’s right.”

MADISON, Wisconsin. – Traditionally considered a men’s sport, fly fishing has gained popularity with women and girls in recent years, with women being the fastest growing demographic.

Jen Ripple, editor of DUN Magazine, an international magazine dedicated to fly fishing for women, believes there could be several reasons for this, but mainly that the sport has become much more accessible and women are more enthusiastic about trying it.

When they see an ordinary woman pick up a fly fishing pole and have a good time… This is what women look at and talk about: Hey, maybe this is an activity I can do with my friends, with my family, she said.

The difference is that when you just fish, you use a weighted lure, says Ripple, a professional fly fisherman and fly fishing instructor. Our flies weigh nothing, so we bring the fly to the target with a weighted line.

Although fly fishing is dominated by men, it has always attracted women, reports Wisconsin Public Radio.

Carrie Frost was a fly-fishing woman and pioneer who used her fly-fishing experience to start her own business where mostly women worked in Stevens Point.

Ripple said Frost, who was born in 1868, became successful in part because of her focus on the field. She made flies from native feathers and pelts to mimic native insects. In those days flies were mainly imported from Europe.

She also tied flies that looked like insects that were prevalent in her area, Ripple said. And I think that’s a very important part, because the flies in English waters were not always similar in color and size to the flies she saw in Wisconsin.

But even for Frost, in the 15th. In the 17th century, according to some historians, the first book on fly fishing was written by a nun, a born noblewoman, Dame Juliana Berners, who wrote a treatise on angling, or Treatise on Angling, which covered everything from dyeing horsehair to conservative fishing in different waters.

Although she comes from a family of fishermen, Ripple didn’t immediately fall in love with the sport. It wasn’t until she enrolled in a fly tying course in Michigan that this activity became her true passion.

Ripple said the sport is accessible to young children and cited the case of Maxine McCormick, a teenager considered by many to be the best pitcher in the world.

Fly fishing has absolutely nothing to do with strength and is therefore ideal for women, young and old, as well as men, she says.

She added that it is important for fathers and male leaders to be aware of the interest their children, especially their daughters, show in sports.

I think a lot of dads don’t pay attention to the fact that their daughters might want to try it too, she says.

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