River Betties and GEAR Colorado Fly Fishing Partner to Help Women Become Fly Fishing Guides


Photos by Robin Schmidt & Jordan Britt & Kaitlin Boyer

On May 18, 2019, 12 ladies from the Littleton and Denver community attended a full-day fly fishing benefit event, held at Lake Lehow near Chatfield Reservoir. The event was sponsored by River Betties, LLC and GEAR Colorado Fly Fishing, LLC with a two-fold mission. We educated and guided 12 ladies –  introducing them to fly fishing, building their skills and confidence on the water and bringing community around the sport. These ladies, in turn, sent a gal to fly fishing guide school on a tuition scholarship!

Women are the fastest growing demographic now enjoying the sport. Here at River Betties and GEAR, we are passionate to support women through fly fishing education and empowering experiences on the water.  One way to ensure more women are getting onto the water is to also address the growing need for more female fly fishing guides. In order to accomplish this goal, Kaitlin Boyer (friend and fellow fly fishing guide) and I founded a series of scholarship opportunities for women, in partnership with the Colorado Mountain College Foundation, The Orvis Company, and others. 

Photo by Jordan Britt

I graduated from CMC’s guide school in 2018 as the only women to complete the certificate that year. Kaitlin had the same experience in 2017. Inevitably, we joined forces and were determined to bring change. We worked together, supported by GEAR and many others, for a year to bring awareness about  our scholarships and our efforts resulted in a 600% increase in registrations and attendance by women in the CMC program. The CMC Guide Class of 2019 has just completed and was attended by 6 women and 2 lucky guys. We awarded four scholarships total,  two gear scholarships (worth over $5000.00) and 2 tuition scholarships, one of which was made possible by our clinic day at Lake Lehow. 100% of donations were paid directly to our CMC scholarship funds.

Photo by Jordan Britt

We spent the morning learning about gear, how to rig up, how to cast, catch, and how to release. Ladies even collected aquatic insects and leaned how to match the hatch with fly selections. After a picnic lunch under the pavilion, we moved onto the water for an afternoon of guided instruction where rainbow trout, bluegill and bass were caught, landed, and safely released.  “I found the the experience very empowering”, said Colleen Immerman, of Littleton, CO.  

Photo by Colleen Imerman
Photo by Kaitlin Boyer
Photo by Jordan Britt

As for myself, the things I love about fly fishing with women were all in play on our event day and it showed in the smiles and laughter that always come along. Thank you to our generous donors, clinic participants, and event volunteers. You’ve made a huge, incredible difference in the fly fishing industry.

Joy Poses, Everyone!

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