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Girls In The Outdoors

Guest Blog by: Hilary Westhoff 5/12/2013

About eleven years ago, I wasn't much of an outdoors person. I grew up fishing and camping but then my family started doing our own things and fishing and camping really weren’t those things. I focused on working and school and spending most of my time in front of a book, cash register or computer. I really had missed the outdoors, but I didn't have anyone to help me learn what to do or anybody to go with me.

In 2003, I met a guy who is a fisherman, hunter, camper, and off roader. I had never really used fishing lures until I met that guy either. He bought me a fishing rod, a reel and some lures. I had a small tackle box that I had used to carry art supplies for college and I never thought I would ever need anything bigger than that. That guy became my boyfriend, then fiancé and in 2005 he became my husband. In those 10 1/2 years since we met, I now own more fishing tackle than a lot of guys, 10 of my own fishing rods and 7 of my own fishing reels.

The first rod my husband bought me had some red embellishments on it. My favorite color is red, so he knew I would like the rod. From there he started buying me some red lures for birthdays, Christmas, anniversaries and any other excuse he finds to buy be a gift. My small tackle box grew 4 times to my current 2 large tackle bags.

My husband buying me red lures and gear made fishing fun for me again and I learned  how to tie on my own lures, put bait on my own hooks (red hooks of course) and as long as the fish isn't too toothy, take the fish off the hook myself.

I used to joke that red lures and hooks were what fish were attracted to because red is a cool color. My husband and our friends would always roll their eyes when I explained my reasoning until one day my husband read an article about fish and red lures & hooks. The article said some fish will go after red lures and red hooks hanging from lures because the red looks like blood which they associate with an injured baitfish. I had PROOF that red is the best color for fishing!

I can only use braided line and spinning reels. If I use any other type of line or a different kind of reel I end up with a HUGE nest and an even larger amount of frustration. I used Spider Wire for a long time until I found Power Pro's red braided line. I was so excited that I could use red line on my red reels with my red lures!

My husband made fishing fun by letting me choose gear because it is "cool" or "pretty", not because they do a specific thing that a specific fish will go crazy for. Even if he thinks my choice in lures is weird or not right for the conditions, he lets me experiment and learn what works and when it works, instead of lecturing me how it works and why. Sometimes my "cool" or "pretty" choice works out better than some of the "scientific" choices. By letting me make my own choices, I have learned a lot about the “scientific” stuff, too.

A lot of sporting goods stores are picking up on the fact that some women use the "cool" and "pretty" method of choosing their fishing gear, which is why they carry so many pink and purple rods, reels, tackle boxes, lures and other accessories. I think it's great that the stores are doing this because it gives girls that don't like red a couple more colors to choose from........and it makes it really easy to find gifts for our nieces!

We were watching one of Ted Nugent's shows one night and Ted was talking about how to make bow hunting fun for your wife, girlfriend, sister or daughter. His first step was to buy a pink bow for them to use. I started giggling because that is exactly how my husband got me interested in fishing again and it has also been the way to get my nieces excited about fishing.

If you want to ask your wife, girlfriend, daughter or other woman in your life to go fishing with you, buy some of her own fishing gear in her favorite color and hand it to her while you’re asking her, she will definitely consider it, even if she has to think about it for a few days. If she does go with you, don’t laugh at her when she chooses a pink rattle trap while she’s fishing for trout. I can guarantee that will be the last time she goes fishing with you. Instead, tie the rattle bait on for her & let her have fun. You never know if that might be the little thing that gets her out enjoying the outdoors with you.

Girls In The Outdoors

Hilary Westhoff is a Colorado native and loves to be outdoors. She began fishing at a young age and was able to rekindle her love of fishing and the outdoors when she met a man who loved it as much as she did. Hilary started Girls In The Outdoors in April 2012 to help encourage and teach other girls who are interested in fishing, camping and many other outdoor activities. You can find Hilary and her husband Kris fishing lakes, ponds and rivers all over Colorado from spring through fall.
Tackle in red
Blog content © Hilary Westhoff
Member comments
JKaboom, CO   5/12/2013 11:41:18 PM
Great BLOG!!!! What a great story all around and points to ponder as well thank you :)
tracks, CO   5/13/2013 8:09:42 AM
Red works! Pretty or not. The only bite i got this weekend were on a red backstabber fly. Fun blog! Yep that's some red tackle!!!
team FMFO , CO   5/13/2013 8:58:42 AM
Awesome blog !
Hilary Westhoff (Girls In The Outdoors), CO   5/13/2013 9:48:44 PM
Thank you for the comments! I had fun doing the post.
fishhooker, CO   5/14/2013 9:35:03 PM
10 years of fishing together with my best friend has been great. Plus we've got lots more fishing to do Babe! (Yes I'm her husband.)
Hilary Westhoff
"Girls In The Outdoors"
Guest Blogger