Jan 14

Stop Female Angler Harassment. Let’s all make a difference

A Facebook group about page

Making a difference

For those who do not know me, my name is Mike Robertson. I am the owner and operator of Bow River Blog Guided Fishing Tours Inc. I am a fisherman and a fishing guide, a father to a beautiful eight year old daughter. I am forty five years old and grew up with my grandmother, my mother and my sister Karen. My grandfather passed away when I was just twelve years old, leaving me the only male in my household. I was raised with high morals and good old fashioned values that still stick with me today, and hopefully forever more. Both my mother and my grandma taught me how to treat a lady, as they were both ladies themselves. Some of those lessons included holding the door for a lady, moving her seat out and in when she sat down, opening and closing the car door, giving an elderly lady your seat when she had to stand, walking a lady to her door when you said goodbye, as to make sure she was in her house safely, and securely. These are just some of the many values I was taught growing up. From my early elementary school days, I learned to watch out for my little sister, after all, I was her big brother and I was her only other sibling. I have a deep respect for all women of the world, and it’s in my nature to uphold these values I was taught as a young boy.

I am staring a movement on all social media platforms to stop female angler harassment. I belong to many fishing groups on Facebook, and I follow many anglers on Instagram and Twitter, both men and women; after all, fishing is not just for the boys anymore. The sport of angling has become a universal sport, with many women of all ages entering into the world of fishing. In my opinion, it is great to see some ladies with a huge passion for Sport-fishing. Let’s face it, when we catch our personal best fish, we like to share these fish with our immediate friends and family as well as post our catches to the groups or fishing forums we belong to. Having a sense of community and sharing our love for the sport is a blessing for us, and we take pride in sharing the fish we catch. Sadly, these days, when female anglers of our community share their pictures, they face derogatory comments, unsolicited advances both publicly as well as in private messages, they receive unwanted pictures of male genitalia and sick disturbing requests that would make  you vomit upon reading them. This happens to married women, ladies who are in relationships and have that blatantly posed on their profiles, and single women as well. Some of these comments and advances are so appalling; I cannot even share them here. I do need to let you know how crass these messages are however, so you know exactly how bad it really is. This comment below was posted on a female anglers picture after she simply posted a picture of a Bass on Instagram.

Online harrassment

Here of some examples of what I am talking about. I remind you, this is simply from female anglers posting their fishing pictures online.

A Facebook female user who wishes to remain anonymous writes:

“Hi Mike, here are my biggest issues with my treatment from Men on social media. My first issue is, I post something like a pic of me fishing or being outdoors and being inundated by inappropriate comments such as, God you’re sexy, look at those legs, etc,etc, to the point where I get in trouble from my mother for it. She has stopped supporting my fishing career because she has the wrong idea of what I am trying to accomplish. Second, I will post something like what is the best hanging bait box to get, and a few perverts will make a comment like “yeah, I bet you have a nice box!” and I have to block them. Or too many trouser trout comments to count. Third, my inbox (Private messages) I have had men ask me to send them lingerie pics with a fishing pole, and when I refuse they will say, “oh yeah…I knew you weren’t really a female”. I find this very disgusting! Genitalia pics that are unwanted, I have taken to only opening messages from people I trust now, but I actually opened a message this past Thursday because it said be careful on the ice, when I opened it, it was a picture and a guy was pointing to his ankle insinuating he sprained it when in reality his genitalia was on display. I was so pissed off. I had to block the person and report it. Again I was completely disgusted. I occasionally face cyber bullying too from men who say I have no business talking about what I do (Fishing Lakes), and how many fish have I caught etc. The truth is I have NEVER once proclaimed to be an expert, just a lady who loves the sport of fishing and writing, so instead of scrolling past they feel the need (a few) to make me feel stupid”.

Another example of harassment

I find this extremely sad that this lady has to feel shamed by her own mother after facing this kind of online abuse. Remember readers, how many of us have our family members on our own personal Facebook accounts, I for one, have all my family members on my personal Facebook account. I want you to also know that this female angler conducts herself as a professional, both on her Facebook profile, and her Facebook Page.

Take a look at these comments and ask yourself, would you like someone talking to your daughter like that, your sister, your wife or girlfriend? Don’t you think it’s really wrong that a lady in our fishing community has to fear accepting a friend request by a male angler? Don’t you think unwanted advances and sick images are really wrong? Don’t you agree that this type of behavior needs to stop now?

He is not taking about the fish

That is why I started this movement, to stand up to the online rubbish, to stand with the strong women of the world who want this to stop, and stop now. I want to help all lady anglers by giving you a voice, by letting you know that it’s ok to stand up to this type of behavior, and to let others know that this is actually happening all the time, all over social media, day in and day out. I want your voice to be heard so we can make it stop, together as one family of anglers. Please feel free to share this Blog Post with the hash tag, #stopfemaleanglerharassment and let’s make a difference starting today.

Thank you,

~Mike

Dec 25

The final Bow River fishing finale

Jet boat fishing in the second week of December

I can’t believe it was December 10 and Steve and I had plans to take my jet boat out for one last journey down the Bow River. The day before or trip I was laughing to myself that this was actually going down. I awoke the next morning, which was a Saturday, to excitement and butterflies. I have fished many times in December in the past, but I have never had the chance to launch my boat this late in the season. Normally the boat is put away to sleep in the shop, but this year the weather held out and I kept the boat out just in case we got a great day to fish.

Spin fishing the bow river for big brown trout 2017

Steve was set to pick me up at half past ten which meant we could be ready and in the water by eleven A.M. Before we launched, I had plotted a plan in my mind, three places we could fish where we could have a great chance at a trophy brown trout. As we launched the boat, I noticed that we were unable to get to the first spot I had in mind, as the water was to low making it impassable over the exposed rocks in the middle of the river. I hammered the gas and headed directly downstream to the second location I had in mind. We got busy casting the Rapala BX Jointed minnow and the Rapala Shadow Rap Shad respectively. This location was quiet and we had no time to waste as the sun would set at 4:30. I opted to leave this area and jet to the next location I had mapped out, but again, this location only gave up one small rainbow. I again hit the gas to the last prime area I thought would give up the goods, and boy was I ever spot on.

Fishing Rapala's on the bow river for big trout

Have a look at this video and check out the action as we land some amazing Bow River brown trout, and rainbow trout. Huge thanks to Steven for coming to pick both me and the jet boat up. Cheers too many more fishing adventures in the New Year Mr. Gower. I would love to wish all the readers here a very merry Christmas. Thanks for following along with my adventures.

~Mike

rainbow trout fishing the bow river with lures

Dec 17

Custom made fishing rods for all your angling needs

Alberta made custom spin fishing rods

Hello readers of Bow River Blog and thank you Mike for this guest post opportunity. I am very grateful to be able to share my passion for building fishing rods with you. I am always asked why and how did you get into building fishing rods.

I have always been a fisherperson. From a very young age I remember sitting on the dock watching my bobber, waiting for it to dip, bounce and disappear. I love fishing, and always have. I love the excitement of the catch and in most cases seeing that same fish released back to fight another day.

A few years ago, I got into collecting antique fishing gear, with an emphasis on old, bamboo rods. With each flea market find I would rush home and spend hours inspecting the way it was built and wondering if I could restore the rod back to its original glory. I dabbled with restoring some rods and had both successes and failures, all the while, there was a little flame burning inside me to try and build my own rod.

As life slowed down and I found my passion again, I started to find serenity in fishing again. At this time, I started to experiment with fly fishing. I have always been creative and one day I started tying flies. Still, the desire to build my own rod continued to grow. I was reading about techniques online and was talking to my wife about it more and more. One Tuesday afternoon I walked into a local fishing store “just to look around” (anyone else ever say those famous words?) Indeed, I walked out of the store with a rod blank and all the tools to build my first rod.

There were many mistakes and retries and the odd curse, but after some time I had completed my first build. I could not wait to try it out. That first cast with a rod I built was like the best cast I had ever made. I was so full of joy and pride. I caught a few fish that day and while sitting on the bank of the river looking at my creation, I knew I was hooked. Have you ever been out fishing and had an idea to try something new only to have great success? That feeling you felt is much the same I felt that day.

After that I started to build more rods and expand my techniques and knowledge. I built a rod for the person who introduced me to fishing. When I gave it to him I saw something in his eye, and it was excitement. That same excitement I had when I took that first rod out to the river. I was even more hooked on this building “thing”. I knew in that moment I wanted to share it with everyone I could, and as such, Therapy Fishing Rods was born.

We like to work with a customer one-on-one to design their own, personalized rod. We could build a standard line of rods, but we want every customer to be part of the design process, so when that rod is complete and the customer takes it to the river or lake, there is a part of them in that rod. There is something so special about catching a fish on a rod you had a hand in building.

So why do I build rods? I love it! I love the whole process, but more than anything, I love to see that sparkle of excitement in a customer’s eye as they hold it for the first time. I hope we are helping to grow peoples passion for fishing.

Kevin Webb

Therapy Fishing Rods

Thanks so much for a great post Kevin. I encourage all my angling friends to head to Kevin’s website and take home your very own personalized spin or fly fishing rod. Please click the words “Therapy Fishing Rods” above to create your own rod today.

~Mike

Nov 26

Testimonials 2017 Laura Hornung

bow river trout fishing November 2017

 

When people see pictures of the fish that I have had the pleasure of catching the last few months, they think that I have years of experience. Impressed by pictures that I have posted on social media, I have even been asked for tips! Little do they know that the first fish that I caught was a rainbow trout in August of 2017, a mere 3 months ago in the beautiful Bow River! I will never forget that experience! If I had to describe it in one word, that word would be thrilling! I get so excited the moment a fish is on the end of my line. The anticipation of finding out the species, seeing the colors and of course, the SIZE, is hard to put in words. It is difficult to contain the excitement, trying to remember everything that I have been taught to do the moment that I land a fish. Sometimes that excitement overtakes me and I forget something, resulting in that fish getting away. Following that first catch, I was immediately addicted to fishing and wanted to learn as much as possible.

I owe my short term success to a couple of people who have become very near and dear to my heart in a very short time. I was introduced to Mike Robertson through a mutual friend of ours and I immediately liked him. His passion for fishing is inspiring and contagious! Shortly after that first experience and meeting Mike, I attended a fishing seminar put on by Mike on the shore of the Bow River. I was quite nervous as I was very beginner and had many questions, some of which I was even embarrassed to ask. At the seminar, Mike made me feel comfortable enough to ask all of my questions. I learned a lot that night… it was perfect for a beginner like me. The seminar had both an education portion and a hands on portion where we fished from the shore and received feedback on our casting and technique. That evening, I went home with another catch under my belt and a lot of good information.

Mike and I connected from the beginning. Fishing aside, he is a great person to talk to and share stories with. Since the seminar, we have been fishing a few times together, including a mini guided session on the afternoon of my dad’s birthday, a difficult day for me having lost him to cancer a few years ago. It was a great day. We caught some beautiful fish including both rainbow and brown trout. I know my dad would have been proud.

Mike teaches me about how to read the river and continues to advise me when he notices something that I am struggling with. He is very supportive and is usually right when he says “that’s the spot” or “you’re going to catch a monster”. His energy is encouraging and motivating!

It is no wonder that I have caught so many beautiful fish under Mike’s guidance. He is very generous when it comes to sharing his knowledge and many years of experience. I highly encourage anyone who likes to fish, to consider Mike for a guided tour. His prices are more than fair for the experience that you will receive.

Thanks for everything Mike. I look forward to many more fishing adventures with you. Fish on!

 

Thanks so much for the testimonial Laura, it was a pleasure fishing with you this year, cheers to many more big fish in 2018.

~Mike