Deborah Jo Mance describes herself as “a slow study” when it came to first learning to fly fish. "I didn't pick it up easily. I worked hard to understand this sport." And it's this memory of first learning to fly fish that shapes how she guides. "I work hard to explain the challenges of this sport to beginners.”
When Deborah Jo decided to take up fly fishing, she headed to a small fly fishing shop located on west Colorado Avenue in Colorado Springs. "It was over ten years ago. Almost twelve. There weren't many classes offered. Not many Internet resources to research." She was motivated to be self-taught, so she bought a book called Fly Fishing: A Woman's Guide by Dana Rikimaru. A few days later, back in the shop, she did find a class to take. "I was a sponge! I wanted to learn all about this sport.”
She loves it that more and more women are becoming inspired to learn the sport. “Fly fishing doesn’t depend on physical strength. It’s more finesse than strength.” That aspect of the sport – the finesse – may explain her own love of fishing with dry flies. “It’s simple” – one dry fly at the end of your tippet.
Part of her passion in the sport is that it never runs out of challenges. There is always something to learn. “You can always be a newbie to the sport with so much to learn.” And she says that when she guides, she learns more about the sport she loves from those people she guides.
When you go on a guide trip with Deborah Jo, you're in for a learning experience with a guide who remembers what it is like to be starting out. And you're going to spend some time with a woman who is a life-long learner of this sport. Not a bad “class room” to be in. If you want to learn more about Deborah Jo, she writes about her passion in her blog, The Fly Fishing Woman.
So as we head into the hotter days of July, what tip does Deborah Jo have to offer?
"Take advantage of the longer days for evening fishing! Fish are responsive in the evening. Fewer people are out. Elevenmile and Deckers are only an hour or so away, so if you can leave town by 4:00 or so, you can get in three hours of fishing."
You can book a trip with Deborah Jo or any of our guides: 1-800-75-FISHN. Outfitter #991.
Orvis 101 Introduction to Fly Fishing
Orvis 201 Streamside