I am a woman working in a non-tradition field as a fishing guide and ambassador of the great outdoors.  I take people fishing, give people a memorable experience in the outdoors, and share my adventures as well as teach through social media.

There are lots of blogs about the details of fishing, like different techniques and types of gear. As a girl who has been taken fishing by my significant other, as well as taken my significant other on trips- there are some lessons I’ve learned along that way that can impact your day just as much as the right rod, reel, or technique can.

Having a great fishing trip with your partner, is a skill to build too. There is nothing better than sharing a day doing your favorite activity outside with the one you love, and creating memories. On my guided fishing trips, I hear so often “I wish my wife or girlfriend would go with me” On social media, people comment on photos of my significant other and me and mention they wish they could have fun fishing days with their partner.

-Bad Ash on the Net, my boyfriend Kiley on the IMX 11’4” Centerpin Rod. (Photo Credit: Rob Endsley)

Through my unique experiences, there are 3 things that will help you persuade your significant other to go fishing with you, and to help you have a better time together when you are.

 

I. Preparation

 One challenge is making sure the needs of each person are met, while they are usually very different.  When a guy hears 'preparation' in regards to a fishing trip, his mind likely goes to; What river we are fishing? What rods do I want to bring? How many fish can I catch? However, your lady’s idea might be different. She might be thinking of how far away is the river? 'How long are we fishing? Is there a Starbucks on the way? What each of you expects from the fishing trip is the beginning point of your day. Have a conversation about where you are going, what you want to do, and let her ask questions about it too.  Information like “my goal is to sore lip every fish in the sea vs my goal is to anchor the boat in the sunshine and take a nap with a bell on my rod”, this is imporant to clarify. These are two different experiences! What do each of you want from the trip? Make each other feel heard, and align your expectations of the day.

The right gear, the right food, and too much of each is just enough. As a guide on the Olympic Peninsula, I tangle with some of the worst weather you could imagine. The pounding rain forest, the snow, the weeks of below freezing temperatures. One thing I can tell you for sure, is that no one can just push through miserable conditions without proper gear. There are different needs from men to women, even person to person.

  • Have a quality raincoat that has tightening sleeves so rain doesn’t trickle down your arms.
  • Don’t wear cotton unless it is well covered by rain proof material. When cotton is wet, its heavy and COLDER
  • Base layers on base layers on base layers. This is how you keep heat around your body.
  • Hot beverages, hand warmers, and consider electric heating gear if you are in extreme cold
  • Bibbs/Waders

Links to Women’s Gear pages!

BEST BASE LAYERS https://shop.grundens.com/product-category/mid-layer/

BEST BIBS https://shop.grundens.com/product-category/commercial-fishing/

WADERS: https://www.simmsfishing.com/shop/waders/women-s-freestone-wader.html

BAD ASH FAVORITES : http://www.gloomis.com/content/g-loomis/us/en/home/conventional/gear/women--s-apparel.html

(These are my tried and true favorites, I am not being paid to share these products with you)

Let her in on what the itinerary and strategies you’ll use. Prepare her for what she will be doing, a great way to do this is have her participate in getting rods and other gear ready. If she already knows what’s up, give her the respect of knowing her stuff. Just be ready to assist (but not tell) in case help is needed.

“The expectation of me remembering everything he has taught me in the last 5 years…” This is a really great point!

 

So we know how to get on the same page, but what if you can’t get him or her out with you in the first place? Or what if you have gone fishing, had a bad time, and don’t know how to get her back out there. 

II. Cooperation

Invite her along- don’t wait till she brings it up, or try and hint. I know this seems like duh, obviously I should invite her. However, you would be surprised on how many guys don’t because they don’t want to be turned down, or they assume she knows she is invited, or for any reason haven’t brought it up. Be straight and invite her to go with you. Tell her why she should consider it, and do it genuinely. This is important, and requires you to talk about “feelings" a tad (gasp)wink.  For example, you could tell her, I love fishing because its my time to relax, I love fishing because I feel challenged, I love fishing because I don’t stress, I love fishing because I can drink beer with my pals, insert whatever genuine reason here and ADD 'I want you to go too'.

If she has hesitations- hear them out and come up with solutions. For example, offer to try something she likes too! If she goes to a weekly spin class, is a shopaholic, loves arts/crafts, is a movie buff, a hiker, a yogi, or a wine tasting queen- try whatever she enjoys as an activity, and see if she will now try yours. An agreed trade of interest, if you will!

So maybe she’s told you some barriers, here are the common ones and how you can negate them.

III.  Navigate Barriers

Put yourself in a lady’s shoes for a moment. You are out fishing with your guy and three of his other buddies. You are drifting the river, looking for your first fish of the day, and your 4am Venti Americano and Coconut water hits you like a Salmon on a plug bite. You mention you have to go potty, and someone in the boat sighs. You now wait for everyone to reel up, find a place on shore or worse; have someone hand you a bucket, where you undress from the waist down and hope no one turns around. They are less than 20ft from you, so they can hear or otherwise notice what you are up to back there. It is embarrassing. This is my story, and it was embarrassing and uncomfortable. Not all folks feel uncomfortable with this, but many do. Even with my lifetime of being an outdoorsey girl, and with countless potty breaks along the trees, I don't like that occasion to this day with a bunch of men present. This keeps women from fishing, and not having a plan for this occasion can certainly keep her from coming back.

Plan and communicate how you will do this. Sometimes couples don’t think about it until the potty moment has arrived. Talk about where you can potty before you embark on the river, and after you get off the river. Talk about the options for bathroom breaks while you are on the trip. Tell your buddies to be sensitive if she mentions she needs to go (don’t poke fun, don’t sigh unless you have that joking relationship 100% established) Discuss if a bucket, or out in the bushes is something she would prefer.

 

Cues- The best advice I can give you here, is to anticipate when she needs a potty break. Even come up with a planned cue if that would make the situation comfortable. For me I like to say something like, “time for my mandatory guide break” and my clients or my boyfriend knows that means I need to go potty. Maybe yours can be two taps on the should and a suggestive nod. The point is, talk about it.

Bring TP, and wet wipes. I’m going to share something you may not have known. Women go #2. It’s the truth. This is precisely why a bucket is so darn awkward! For this situation, a walk in the woods is best, or at least have a conversation about what can make her most comfortable.

 

  • Start small

Don’t start with a February Winter fishing trip on a below freezing day. If this is your first time going out fishing with your significant other, don’t start out on the roughest weather day with a fickle fish species. It’s in both of your best interest to start out with something a little more approachable. Lake fishing on a sunny day for trout, river floats that aren’t horribly long, or trolling trips on a decent weather day are all good places to begin.

-This is 5 mins into the fishing day and I’m dreaming about hot coffee and a warm blankie.

 Having a great fishing trip with your partner, is a skill to build. There is nothing better than to share a day doing your favorite activity outside, with the one you love, and creating memories. You can have a better time together if you Prepare, Cooperate, and Navigate Barriers.

 

If you have any thoughts or suggestions, please shoot me a comment! I'd love to hear what works for you and what tips you have. 

 

- Bad Ash