Three years ago when the Sebago chapter of Trout Unlimited asked Evelyn King to serve on its board, King wasted no time figuring out how to use her new position to give back.

She founded and became the director of Maine Women Fly Fishers, the women-only group that teaches women to fly fish. It is one of only a handful of women-only fly fishing groups in the country.

“I feel we’re reaching a lot of people,” said King, 58, of Cundy’s Harbor. “There are no dues. Nobody takes a head count. This is an available resource.”

A native Mainer who fishes often with her husband, Bruce, King makes the outdoor sport as accessible as she can for women who may never have held a rod.

She brings them to rivers around Portland and remote ponds to teach them how to cast, select a fly, row a boat and land a fish. She organizes fishing weekends at sporting lodges in western Maine. Then she encourages them to go on fishing trips out West, in Canada, even Iceland.

“For me, I like sharing the passion of being on the water. I want other people to get on the water and be successful,” said King, who works full time in Portland as a corporate paralegal. “You have to be in the moment when you’re fishing. You think of nothing else. And if we get more women fishing, more will be involved in conservation.”


Today, there are more than 300 women learning to fish with King, with 271 on the group’s Facebook page and 190 on the email list. There are 15 to 25 who attend the monthly events – rarely the same women from month to month.

King continues to find ways to help the group grow. In 2015, after a stringent apprenticeship with a professional instructor, she became a certified casting instructor with the International Fly Fishing Federation.

And through her encouragement, now five of the 12 board members in the Sebago Trout Unlimited chapter are women.

But King envisions even more.

“My goal would be to open up (the sporting camp weekend) to women from around the country. I think the camps would fill,” King said. “I don’t get paid for this. It is my way to give back. So many people have helped teach me about fly fishing. I want to pass it on.”

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