Back in 2005, I shocked the majority of my gal pals by announcing that I would be heading to Alaska to go… wait for it… salmon fishing. This crazy southern Irish gal is a bit of a weird hybrid: love pretty pedicures, but will also happily get downright muddy in the garden. I’ll rabidly watch a college football game, followed by my favorite DIY show on HGTV. I am as comfortable wearing a frilly dress as I am relaxing in torn jeans and a sweatshirt.
A little background: eight years ago the women in my family stomped our collective feet and demanded that we be included in the annual family Alaska fishing trip. We had heard so many wonderful stories from the boys: husbands; fathers; brothers; and sons all blissfully sharing stories of beautiful Alaska. We gals wanted a shot at the glory. The push-back was in fun, but a little serious too: there would be no girly girls allowed. We would have to pull your own weight, be down on the dock at o’dark thirty – no time for hair or make-up, manage our own poles, and “woman-up.” Game on/Fish on!
I’m happy to report that all these years later the gals are still going strong. Trust me, I’m the last person who thought I would actually come to look forward to an annual fishing trip. Here’s a little secret that might explain my affection for the annual trek. Each year, on our last day out, the captain of the fishing lodge hosts a Girls Only boat. This has become one of my favorite days of the year. Captain Kevin has his hands full trying to manage a boat full of gals – but we sure do keep him laughing. What I’ve come to appreciate about Girls Only Day is that we really don’t care how many fish we catch, which probably contributes to our often landing the biggest catch of the day among the boats. Maybe laughter is not only the best medicine; it’s also the best fish bait.
I’ve got my lucky white trash fishin’ hat packed and I’m ready to go. We leave the lower 48 this coming weekend and head north to Sitka. I promise to check back in with ya’ll as soon as I return; you can count on me having some new “the-one-that-got-away” stories.
Fish on boys!!
Have you ever been told you can’t do something because of your gender, size, lack of smarts or for some other reason? How did you prove them wrong?
UPDATE: Back down in the lower 48, had a terrific time this year. The weather was beautiful and the fishing was great – brought back 350 lbs (not a typo) of fish.
Joy saysJuly 14, 2014 at 8:53 pm
That's one of the beautiful things about being a woman. We can do and like the 'girly' things, and then be 'rough' and 'testoterone-y' the next minute! I've always been perceived as a not so girly-girl so I think my situation is the reverse. I tend to shock people when I'm suddenly wearing skirts or more make up than usual. It's fun though ,right? Anyway, fun post!
Kim Dalferes saysJuly 21, 2014 at 12:26 pm
ALWAYS fun to be a girl! Thx for stopping by.
Sally Roseveare saysJuly 14, 2014 at 10:07 am
What fun! I love Alaska, and to go salmon fishin' there every year would be a fantastic trip!
Kim Dalferes saysJuly 21, 2014 at 12:32 pm
Hi Sally. We're bringing lots of salmon to SML, hope to see you soon and hope you like fish!
Astra saysJuly 13, 2014 at 1:44 pm
"laughter is not only the best medicine; it’s also the best fish bait" … and here I thought it just scared all the fish away!
Great post – can't wait to read the follow-ups 🙂
Kim Dalferes saysJuly 21, 2014 at 12:33 pm
Hi Astra – wish you lived closer so I could give you some fish!
Suzanne Fluhr saysJuly 13, 2014 at 1:24 am
I'm a Baby Boomer woman lawyer. At my law school, built only 3 years before I started, there were urinals in the Ladies' Room because it never occurred to the law school designers that there would be so many women in law school—in 1978.
Kimba saysJuly 13, 2014 at 9:29 am
Oh wow Suzanne, I sometimes forget what it was like for us when we were busting those doors down. I have degrees in Criminology and believe me, in the early '80s is was still very much a male-dominated field. But I sure don't remember having to deal with urinals!
Kathy saysJuly 12, 2014 at 4:34 pm
Brings back memories! I was the one of my parents four daughters (i'm the youngest) to always go fishing with my dad. I miss those days and so glad that I wasn't expected to be a girly girl because I would have failed miserably.
Kimba saysJuly 13, 2014 at 9:20 am
Kathy, I am sure your fishing with your Dad was a wonderful time. Hope you find time to cast a line again.
daphne romero saysJuly 12, 2014 at 1:43 pm
i grew up with 9 brothers and 1 sister (and she was 13 years older, had no time for me) so i never even considered the idea i couldn't do anything because of my gender… i'd tag along with my brother's and engage in boy stuff all the time – including salting snails (yuk!) and catching trap-door spiders (cool!)…
Kimba saysJuly 13, 2014 at 9:09 am
OK, I gotta ask – what the heck is "salting snails?" I bet you had a lot of fun with all those siblings…
Susan - ofeverymoment saysJuly 12, 2014 at 11:45 am
I just wrote a post about the "just a girl" Always campaign. Posts like this are all about taking the stigma out of "just a girl." I know some really excellent fly fisher-womyn! Glad you ended up with the biggest fish tale!
Kimba saysJuly 13, 2014 at 9:05 am
LOVE, LOVE, LOVE the "Like a Girl" campaign from Always – #Likeagirl. If anyone else is looking to view this campaign, you can go here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XjJQBjWYDTs
Karo (Rainbow Poetess) saysJuly 11, 2014 at 6:03 pm
Oh ya — I studied Chinese in college, in Poland, and, being partially sighted, the professor refused to teach me how to write the characters. It felt strande, and increasingly difficult, to learn a language without mustering its writing system. So I left Poland and came to the US. I got all the support I needed– a tutor who showed me the basics of the writing strokes, and I look back at my time in collage as a very enjoyable and fulfilling experience. From then on, I truly believe that, except for driving or working on tasks that require precision (eg surgeons, pilots, etc) , I can do anything I set my mind on.
Kimba saysJuly 13, 2014 at 8:56 am
Love your life story Karo, very inspiring. Studying Chinese in Poland seems so unusual – I know there is a story there. Thx for stopping by.
Marquita Herald saysJuly 11, 2014 at 4:53 pm
I was always the tomboy in my group and proud of it! I think your fishing trips sound awesome Kimba and Alaska is the only state I have not (yet!) visited – one of these days. Thanks for sharing and for your inspiration. 🙂
Kimba saysJuly 13, 2014 at 8:47 am
Marty, considering where you live in the world, I can't imagine you're in need of beautiful scenery. However, I do hope you get to Alaska and finish all your fifty states. It's amazing countryside and the wildlife is incredible.
Lana saysJuly 11, 2014 at 2:56 pm
I'm so glad I read this today! My hubby has been trying to get me to go to Sitka with him for years – you may have convinced me! Have a great trip.
Kimba saysJuly 13, 2014 at 8:43 am
Lana, I so hope you give Sitka a try. It's beautiful.
Tina Ward saysJuly 11, 2014 at 8:02 am
I can relate – except for the fishing part. I describe myself as being as much a girly girl as I am a tomboy…and I wouldn't want it any other way. =)
Kimba saysJuly 13, 2014 at 8:43 am
Tina, I KNOW you would fit right in on the Girls Only Day boat.
Suzie Cheel saysJuly 11, 2014 at 7:47 am
Love it and I want to see the pics of those fish you catch, Have a wonderful time Kim xx
Kimba saysJuly 13, 2014 at 8:39 am
Thx Suzie – I'll make sure to post a few pics, hope they are of me slayin the kings!
Nathalie Villeneuve saysJuly 11, 2014 at 7:39 am
What an awesome and fun trip! Do I mean that…well I have to be honest with you, the last time I was on a fishing boat was in Cap Cod along with some friends of ours. My daughter and I were sea sick for the entire trip. As much as I want to think it would be an awesome and fun trip…I din't think so…LOL But a lot of people find it to be a blast so that cool with me… Great hat BTW!!! You rock!
Kimba saysJuly 13, 2014 at 8:34 am
I do LOVE that hat – there's a story behind it (of course there is). Bought it in a Texas gas station for $5 on a business trip. It's water-proof and I feel like Indiana Jones when I'm wearing it. Oh, and by the way, I gotta take dramamine for the sea sickness – learned that on the hard way.
Michelle saysJuly 11, 2014 at 7:32 am
Great post! I can completely relate! 🙂
Kimba saysJuly 13, 2014 at 8:27 am
Thx for stopping by Michelle.