The Orvis Kimbridge beat, known as the ‘Ginger Beer’ beat is a world-renowned destination amongst anglers. The River Test is the pre-eminent chalk stream and generally regarded as the birth place of modern fly-fishing. Close to the start of the season, as part of the 50/50 On the Water Campaign we held a day for relatively novice anglers to be able to experience this particularly beautiful and iconic stretch of iconic river.
The 50/50 campaign has been gathering momentum. Originally launched by Orvis in the states, it aims to have 50% of fly fishers on the riverbank women by 2020. The campaign celebrates the unique connection between women and conservation and showcases authentic experiences of real women fly-fishing. However, this is certainly not focussed on women only, but is an inclusive initiative encouraging gender parity.
On this particular day, women were invited to book and Men were welcome although as a guest of a female companion or partner. The zest for access to this special experience was overwhelming and the day booked out immediately.
What could be more appealing? A day on the bank, in good company, with expert tuition and kit provided by Orvis, lunch from the fly fisherman’s destination, The Greyhound in Stockbridge, prepared freshly and served on the bank alongside the promise of honing your fishing skills and spending the day absorbed in nature.
Richard Banbury, fascinated the group with his entomology talk focused around a ‘kick sample’ taken from the river bed and Rachael Brady, helped with the instruction. Rachel only took up the sport 4 years ago and is now a keen fly fisher and has even been selected for the English Commonwealth team last year. When she’s not working at Orvis, she will be found chasing fish somewhere in the UK or further abroad.
Everyone who took part in the day shared inspirational stories of their lives and came together with a passion for the countryside as well as the thrill of learning a new skill and perhaps landing a fish. Several fish were caught that day and friendships were made.
A number of the people who joined us had started their fly fishing journey with a free Orvis fly fishing course. Orvis like to call them the Orvis Alumni and are launching a comprehensive schedule to encourage people to continue to learn about fly fishing. If you think you would like to participate in events similar to this please get in touch with firstname.lastname@example.org
If you want to see more pictures from this event or are interested in following more women in fly fishing follow #5050OnTheWater on Instagram and post using the hashtag for Orvis UK to see all your awesome fly fishing adventures and even be featured on their social channels!
Photo credit: Ben Etridge.