The Becoming an Outdoors-Woman (BOW) program recently hosted a Beyond BOW ice fishing event at the Valentine Refuge Lakes. With good ice throughout the state it was the perfect time to teach women about the equipment and techniques of ice fishing.
During this Beyond BOW, women that wanted to learn how to ice fish or get more insight of the sport signed up to experience something new where they could learn together. Emails of what to bring were sent out so everyone would be prepared for the cold weather along with a timeline of the event. Most of the group stayed the night in Valentine eliminating an early morning drive as some of the women came from Omaha, York, and North Platte.
The morning was a cold one with blustery winds but this didn’t deter the women from learning about ice fishing. We gathered our jigging poles, bait, food and other gear in sleds and headed to an area that local angler Mark Lindville had scouted out for us.
Dressed for the occasion we headed across West Long Lake as the wind frosted our faces and our ice cleats dug into the frozen water. Once we reached our destination it was time to show the ladies the different shelters that can be used for ice fishing. Since we had a several women we used two large huts in order to get everyone out of the wind and still be able to teach the women about jigging poles, how to locate the bottom without sonar, how to tie lures, and what equipment and bait to use for different fish species along with how to use different types of sonar equipment.
The women got to look at different shelter types that can be made or used for ice fishing along with portable heaters that are great to keep anglers warm on blustery days. They got to see and try using different types of augers that are on the market today including gas, Ion, and drill.
Perch and good-sized bluegills were caught during the day, which made the day even better and put smiles on faces.
The best part of this event was meeting the women and sharing knowledge and making new friendships. Knowing that we can keep in touch with women that like doing outdoor-related activities is all part of the BOW experience. I have met some of my best friends through the BOW program and we keep in touch regularly.
That’s one great achievement of BOW; bringing women together from all across the state that are interested in going out on other adventures together.
The BOW program is designed to teach women skills and knowledge they need to participate in the outdoors in a non-intimidating setting. Every year the annual BOW workshop is held the first full weekend in Oct. At this workshop women can take a variety of classes of their choice over the three-day event to gain confidence and learn about different outdoor activities. Beyond BOW events are hosted across the state, throughout the year and have a variety of options for women who want to take the next step in their outdoor pursuits by getting out in the field to try different activities.
The network of BOW women instructors and participants alike have set a new trend by getting women involved in the outdoors. If you or someone you know would like more information on the October workshop or to see what is being offered this year for Beyond BOW adventures visit www.NebraskaBOW.com.