Meet Raven. She’s a CNA in Lancaster, PA with an extreme passion for fishing. Her post on a women’s fishing group caught my attention: “I’m 24. Young to basically everybody – especially the population that fishes. So today I was at the stream waiting for the stocking truck to come. It shows and the fishing commissioner (I’ve known him for years) comes and says hi and we catch up for a bit. As he was leaving he turns to the man next to me (in his mid 40s) and goes ‘you probably won’t get a bite so just watch her and you might learn something.’ Meanwhile with one baby in my belly and my other one strapped two me, seconds later I land a fish. What a perfect moment!”
This kind of a story paints a picture of a scenario that I can relate to quite a bit. A lot of times, not only am I the only woman in these settings, but I am also always one of the youngest. I think it’s important to express to all women out there that it’s never stopped me, and it shouldn’t stop you. It’s definitely not stopping Raven! Women like this simply shine when they’re in their element. She’s kicking butt, doing what she loves while being a working mom! Raven has quite the experience that she hopes to pass along to her daughters. “It’s really just a hobby, my only hobby if we’re being honest. It makes me happy and I think that’s satisfying enough.“
When I reached out to Raven to ask if she would be interested in participating in the Wild Woman Spotlight feature, all she wanted to know was “What do I have to do?”. Raven, thank you so much for putting this together and for letting me share your story!
You can follow Raven on Instagram and I hope you’ll read and share her story. Let’s keep spreading the word that women can do anything they set their minds too, even in these male dominated sports. Tight lines ladies!
“I’ve been fishing and hunting for as long as I can remember but got involved more than ever when I was about 9. Both were introduced by my grandfather when I was toddler age (may he rest in peace) who was an extreme hunter and fisher. I’ve never seen someone so happy than the day he got me my first cross bow and I’m pretty sure he cried tears of joy the day I showed him my first pistol (which happened in his truck at our favorite fishing derby). Then my step dad came into my life and he’s the reason I got more involved at the age of 9. He taught me so many tips and tricks and how to use certain baits. He really had the patience to teach me most of the things I know. I have him to thank for most everything. And both of them to thank for the countless hours spent by the water enjoying the time together and for the memories that I will always hold so close.”
“I don’t hunt much anymore for the same reason I’m not a CNA currently but I preferred whitetail archery while I was able. As for fishing. I crave a fight from a trout in the springtime and love cat fishing on the river in the summer. I mostly fish here in PA but have fished in Maryland (because of how close I live to the state line) in New Jersey (both shore and deep sea for blues) and have dabbled in surf fishing on Cocoa Beach in Florida.“
“A woman’s experience being by the water is most definitely different than a man’s. People look at me like I don’t know what I’m doing, some even let out chuckles when they see me. Not to worry though; the chuckles stop quickly when I can get the monster trout they were all going after in under 2 minutes of arriving at the fishing hole. Especially when I started getting more involved I most definitely was not taken seriously. People snickered about the little girl that was about to snag everyone’s line or is wasting her time trying. It made the jaw dropping and people getting mad and leaving even more satisfying.”
“The best advice I ever got fishing was to always remember the fact that it’s not about the fish. I have so many memories that don’t involve fish slime at all. And that very important lesson hits me harder because some of the people who helped make those memories aren’t here to make more.”
“Something happened that I look back and laugh at that was at no one’s fault but my own. And all the people who I fish with will never let me live it down. I was fishing early one morning at a pond a few years back. The sun wasn’t even up and I was throwing a spinner out and reeling it back in. If we’re being honest I was too exhausted to really pay attention. Then I got a hit. It was a crappie that actually broke the state record. It was my very first crappie. I didn’t even know what it was. I mostly catch and release. So I landed it, snapped a pic and threw it back not thinking twice. Then heard the men next to me question why In the world I would throw that fish back! I’ve told the story. Most call me a liar but those who know for a fact that it wasn’t a lie will never let me forget that I threw a state record back.“
“If a woman were hesitant in trying to fish and approached me I would offer to take them with me and share my knowledge and urge them to go against what society thinks a “fisherman” is. Practice makes perfect. Some days you’ll go without a bite. It’s a lot of trial and error so don’t give up until you’ve tried everything. I think there’s a certain type of fishing out there for anyone if they stick with it and experiment long enough. Find a friend or family member to go with you so you can make memories or have someone to hug you when you lose a monster. Support in all ways is definitely needed. And in some scenarios you might make some new friends. I most certainly have made some amazing friends along the way. Now I have a 7 month old daughter who I just introduced to fishing (nothing serious. Just getting familiar with the cricks and the fish slime) and another daughter coming this summer. I hope more than anything that they see fishing and the outdoors just as I do and have a love for it. It’s so much more than just fishing and if they can learn that I’ll know I did something right in my lifetime.”