On 22 to 24 this month the first ever all-female fly fishing team, The Finance Team/ Women in Waders, consisting of Roxanne Stegen (captain), Bridgette Stegen, Sindi-Leigh McBain and Lyndall Blaikie, is fishing in the final of the Tops Corporate Challenge at Nottingham Road in the KZN Midlands. Now in its 18th year and carrying in excess of R1 million in money, the Challenge is widely accepted as the most prestigious freshwater fly fishing competition in South Africa.
Team member Sindi-Leigh McBain answered fun questions put to her by Kristly Bartlett of Convey Communications.
What are some of the challenges faced by females in fly fishing?
The most challenging part about competing in a male-dominated field would be when the men look somewhat askance at the team of “not so serious ladies” and remark: “I wonder if these ladies are actually going to fish!” As an all ladies team, the men tend to overlook us, but we prove them wrong!
When did the team discover their love for fly fishing?
Honestly, we came into this journey knowing quite a bit about flying fishing thanks to our amazing men! But I wish I had known more about the different flies that other anglers’ fish with. There are so many weird and wonderful colours and patterns of flies that we don’t know about, and I would have liked to try them.
What is the most rewarding part of the sport?
The most rewarding aspect of fly fishing is catching a fish! You put all your effort into casting and retrieving for hours and hours and there’s nothing better than being rewarded with a beautiful trout on the end of your line.
What’s your secret weapon?
The ‘Women in Waders’ secret weapon without a doubt is …. Old Brown Sherry and Fish Eagle brandy first thing in the morning!