Husbands are with the kids, boyfriends have hit the golf course and dogs are at the neighbours. After weeks of careful planning and enough negotiating to orchestrate an armistice, other halves (and little quarters) are otherwise occupied. It’s time for a girls’ weekend – and watch out, because when the ladies get together, they know they’re going to have fun By Lisa Perkovic & Margaret Pincus
For your next girls’ weekend, how about a spot of fly-fishing? Sure, I’m betting that wasn’t first on your list – and that, according to fly-fishing journo and girls’ getaway aficionado Susan Brown, is a mistake. “Fly-fishing is a gentle, poetic way of being in a beautiful natural environment,” she says. And according to the surprising number of female fly-fishers out there – a number that’s increasing all the time, mind you – the rocking motion of casting is similar to rocking a baby, and just as therapeutic. “I can’t for the life of me understand why women have given up all the streams and beautiful parts of nature to men,” says Brown. But that all seems to be changing now.

“Girls just seem to have a natural inclination for it,”

Millbrook Lakes (, a fly-fishing lodge in northwest Victoria, has introduced women-only weekends to give girls a chance to discover the beauty of the region, with its old forests, round green hills and clear lakes. In a weekend that costs $545 and includes tuition, equipment and meals, the outsized stone fireplace in the lakeside cabin is conducive to talking and laughing late into the night – and there’s a big spa bath if tired arms and legs needs rejuvenating.

Fly-fishing is particularly therapeutic for professional women who need to mentally switch off. “When you’re fly-fishing you can’t think about anything else,” says Brown. “You have to be focusing on the environment and this makes you notice so many things you’d normally miss.”

Millbrook Lakes manager Dash Laver isn’t surprised about the growing uptake of fly-fishing by women. “Girls just seem to have a natural inclination for it,” he says. “It’s more about timing and finesse than strength; they find it easy compared to guys.”


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