Fly fishing woman shares passion for outdoors

Nancy Rose fly fishing on the Waupaca River, May 2, 2017 (WLUK/Eric Peterson)

WAUPACA COUNTY (WLUK) -- The opening of the state inland fishing season is Saturday. Over the next 12 months about 1.3 million anglers will take to the waters of Wisconsin, 26 percent of those are women.

The sport is catching on in popularity, and that includes the art of fly fishing. And in one trout stream in Waupaca County, one woman is not only practicing her craft, but passing it on to others.

On the Banks of the Waupaca River, Nancy Rose found a passion for fishing.

"Want to go fishing Rocky?" asked Nancy Rose, Town of Farmington.

"I came to this area to fly fish, and decided it was really fun. And I had a great time. I came back, hired a guide, fished in front of this barn, and bought it the next week, along with half a mile of river and I've been here for 25 years," she said.

It was about that time Rose joined the group Becoming an Outdoors-Woman, BOW is a non-profit program offered through the college of natural resources department at UW-Stevens Point.

"It's a camp for women, where we teach beginners how to fly fish, how to shoot guns, how to do archery, how to chainsaw, just a lot of wonderful things to do," said Rose.

Rose says when it comes to learning about the outdoors, many women are often on their own.

"It was either their fathers or the husbands teaching the women, and sometimes it didn't work out real well. So we come up with professional teachers to teach the women the proper use of the equipment," she said.

Rose hosts and teaches two fly fishing classes each year at her farm west of Waupaca.

"This is a muddler minnow," said Rose.

The muddler is a hand-made combination of deer fur and turkey feathers. Rose uses the lure to coax a would-be trout to bite.

"I'm putting it out there, I'm letting it drift, following it down. It's going by all sorts of rocks," she said.

Rose says with trees, brush, wind, and changing water currents, fly fishing can be a challenge.

"You just practice. And you get better, and better, and better," she said.

How's her luck been? Is she getting pretty good at this?

"No, not real great. But I don't care. Sometimes it's just wonderful to be out in nature, sitting on a rock. You can sit on a rock and watch the world go by. The energy of the water is pretty neat. If you don't catch fish, it's ok," said Rose.

The fishing season begins just after midnight on Saturday. Rose says she will be fishing the banks of the Waupaca River that day as well.

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