fly girls - Pond`s Resort on the Miramichi
V21N3 2010:V20N3 2009
AFTER HOURS | STEPHANIE PORTER
WHERE CAN A BUSY BUSINESSWOMAN GO FOR A BREAK FROM BOARDROOM
BOREDOM? HOW ABOUT THE BANKS OF THE MIGHTY MIRAMICHI?
Loretta Parent, member of the Canadian Armed Forces and Miramichi Inn client, proudly holding her first
Atlantic Salmon – one of nine she caught and released that day.
honour of fly fishing season, I thought I’d dig around in hopes of discovering
the place for an exclusive executive fishing getaway. There is luxury to be
found in the remote woods, and there is great fly fishing in every province in
Atlantic Canada. Some of it is only accessible by float plane or helicopter – and to
those with the means to get there.
Looking through various fishing resort websites, I saw a lot of photos of fellas being
manly men. Up to their thighs in water, faces shaded with devil-may-care stubble,
looking rugged, satisfied, triumphant. And always, always, holding a really big fish.
Which is why I was so glad to speak to Marsha Pond.
Pond’s husband runs Pond’s Resort, a long-time fly-fishing haven/lodge on the banks
of New Brunswick’s Miramichi River. Pond’s Resort offers “retreat meetings,” which
have proven a popular way for businesses and staff to combine work and an
Marsha Pond is an avid angler and the head instructor at the “Broads with Rods”
fishing school. “The kind of women who come here are not offended by that,” says
Pond of the title. “They absolutely get it and they get the sense of humour.”
Broads with Rods is a weekend of expert instruction and time with the fish – as well
as wine and cheese, fine cuisine and, of course, a few extras. (“Look, just because a
woman has a rod in her hand doesn’t mean she doesn’t want a manicure,” says Pond.
Manis and pedis happen in the evenings.)
This year, Pond is offering two sessions, one in June and one in August. It’s open to
all women with an itch to fish, but the opportunity does attract a certain type. “This
is the kind of woman who wants to try something different. Our average age is 38 to
45. These are women who… enjoy the outdoors, enjoy the peace, but also enjoy the
challenge – and bragging rights.”
Not surprisingly, a high proportion of Broads with Rods are busy professionals.
Some want to learn so they can fish with spouses or colleagues; some do it purely for
126 | Atlantic Business Magazine | May/June 2010
themselves. Some return, year after year,
for the good time.
Valerie Folk, a real estate broker and
regional manager with Royal LePage in
Halifax, signed up for Broads with Rods
with members of her investment group.
“It’s a great stress reliever and good
fun,” she says of fly fishing. And while
the accommodations are “definitely not
roughing it,” the excursions are not for
the faint of heart either. “There’s
nothing sissy about it,” she says.
“You’re up early, rain or shine, and in
the water. You’re dealing with rapids,
water and exercise all day.” Folk now
has all her own gear and is looking to
practice fly fishing near home in
anticipation of her annual trip to the
Pond maintains that “the fastest
growing group in the fly fishing business
in North America is women.”
Maybe. Not far away, Country Haven
Lodge in Grand Rapids, New
Brunswick, is devoting the first two
weeks of September to “Lady Anglers”
interested in fly fishing wild Atlantic
salmon. The sumptuous Miramichi Inn
offers clinics specifically for women by a
certified fly casting instructor.
With great fly fishing in every Atlantic
province, there are many places to go for
a flick. According to André Godin, who
has been running the Miramichi Inn for
30 years, the future of this prestige sport
is bright. “I never thought that we
would encounter (salmon) returns again
like we saw in the ‘60s and ‘70s,” Godin
says. “Well, for the last three or four
years they’ve been getting better each
year, in size and quantities. I really
thought that the species would decline
to a point where the angling for salmon
would not be there for the next
generation. Fortunately, there is hope
now. It might be too early to rejoice, but
it sure feels good to see.”
Hear that, ladies? Time to get ready to
land the big one. | ABM
I wouldn’t dare ask the location of your favourite
fishing hole, but if you’ve a great idea for an
executive getaway, please drop me a quick note.
Stephanie Porter ([email protected])