Monday, May 14, 2007

Ladies With Rods ca. 1933

Keeping with the theme this week of women and fishing (in honor of mother's day) I reprint an interesting article from 1933 on women anglers. My wife could probably attest to the fact that husbands and boyfriends often make terrible teachers (I could tell you the most horrible golf story ever on this theme). Fortunately, her father taught her how to fish when she was very young.

The article Ladies with Rods comes from Time Magazine (24 April 1933).

Ladies With Rods

Many a Connecticut woman packed up a rod & reel and repaired to a three-mile stretch of Branford River near New Haven, when the State trout season opened one day last week. Few of them minded much when they tangled their lines in trees and bushes, whipped their hooks into each others' clothes, got their wading boots waterlogged. They were happy because at last they had a chance to learn how to fish with no impatient male anglers standing by to criticize, complain, show off. Any husbands or fathers who went along had to sit meekly inactive on the banks. This was a stream for women only.

The fisherwomen had Publisher Thomas Hambly Beck, president of P. F. Collier & Son Co., to thank for their fun. He calls fishing "my golf," serves as chairman of Connecticut's State Board of Fisheries & Game. When he heard last year about the U. S. Bureau of Fisheries' trout stream for women in North Carolina's Pisgah National Forest he decided then & there that Connecticut women should have the same privilege. Property-owners along the chosen three miles of Branford River helped him by leasing fishing rights to the State without charge. He had the stream well stocked with gamey brook trout.

Only requirement for use of the stream is a State fishing license. Women who are squeamish about handling worms will not be sorry that fly fishing alone is permitted. On hand to teach them the art is a State warden of their own sex. She is Edith A. Stoeher, 27, a husky, genial sportswoman who breeds English setters on her farm near South Wethersfield, likes to hunt, fish, trapshoot. Last fortnight, in a field test with four other applicants for the job, she proved her skill with rod & reel, her knowledge of flies, knots, trout. Publisher Beck expects her to turn out many a woman angler able to whip Connecticut's 32 State-leased trout streams with the best of men.

This was all part of the national "Fish and Feel Fit" program designed to help combat the Great Depression which had reached its zenith around the time this article was published.

--Dr. Todd

No comments: