By Headwaters Guide Hannah Myers
Picture it: Historic Lodging on a gorgeous lake with mountain views, a Fall breeze moving through the air and gathering with new and old friends for a weekend of fly fishing in Western North Carolina. That is exactly what we got this past weekend for our 2018 Women’s Fly Fishing Retreat!
Every Fall we host a full weekend of events for women, all centered around fly fishing. The retreat includes lodging, meals, 2 full days of guided fishing and a heck of a good time. Our utmost goal, for everyone is to feel at home and have the best weekend on the water as possible!
Being based in the mountains, we have endless streams full of trout in just about any direction you head. This is perfect for us guides because it gives us a plethora of water selection to choose from to suit your fishing wants and needs. Some folks prefer wild streams, while newcomers might feel more confident on a stocked stream for easier access and potentially more opportunity. Our rivers have healthy populations of rainbow, brown, and brook trout. Targeting them this time of year can produce both quality and high quantity days on the water.
Part of the reason I love this retreat is the variety of experience these ladies have. Some have fished for years, while others are completely new to the sport. Having a full weekend dedicated to learning flies, knots, reading water and enjoying each other’s company is just simply hard to beat. There is something empowering and comfortable about being on the water with other fly-fisherwomen. Nothing sparks a fire for me more than when a new angler lands their first fish all on their own, and to then see the spark lit within them. But let’s be honest, it’s a fire that burns hot once it is lit, and that is what keeps all of us fisherman coming back for more.
For this year’s retreat we were faced with some cold weather. Our Fall had a slow start and it remained warm throughout most of October. However, the weekend of the retreat we had an intense cold snap come through which was a little shocking for all of us! Like most days here, our weather forecast wasn’t too reliable. The first day of fishing we were prepared for a rainy and cold day on the water. We were pleasantly surprised when the day was much warmer than we had anticipated, though the following day threw us a curve-ball. We woke up to temperatures in the lower 30s with a chilly breeze. Thankfully, we all stayed pretty warm as we stuffed hand-warmers in our gloves, layered up our jackets and continued on with the events that day. Although the weather wasn’t fully cooperating that day, plenty of fish were still brought to the net, and smiles were beaming just as bright as the sun was shining. As we all sat riverside eating lunch and warming our hands by a little campfire, I thought to myself, “these are the memories that will last long after this weekend is over”.