This Week's View
by Deanna Lee Birkholm
July 10th, 2000
Where Did It Come From?
Archive of Ladyfisher Articles
I've told this story to those who have asked me personally,
but since most of you don't have that opportunity (or maybe don't think it's the proper
thing to ask) here's the answer.
Maybe I should tell you the question first. Where did I get my nickname of LadyFisher?
I've always loved the water and apparently had an avid interest in fish as well. My folks tell
a story of a two or three-year old child who walked out into the water of Lake Huron
trying to get her hands on the minnows swimming near the shore. She eventually
was rescued by her grandfather when she walked in over her head still trying
to catch up with the minnows. I'm told I learned very early in life I couldn't
walk on water.
When I started fishing as a very small child, first grade is where my fishing memories start,
it was with my folks, sitting on the break wall in Ludington Michigan. That's on Lake Michigan,
and we were bait fishing for perch.
Later as a young teenager, there really weren't other girls fishing, either spin or fly. So when
I would show up the guys would say something to the effect of, "That girl's here again."
I got to know most of the guys over time, and was always treated well. With some degree
of respect as well since I could usually out-fish them.
When I married, it was "That woman is here again." And when I carried my first child to
the stream in a big wicker laundry basket, with a home-made mosquito net covering her, it was
"That lady is here again with her baby!" Motherhood and age apparently had some effect on the
During those years I was writing for a couple of Trout Unlimited newspapers, and regional
TU newsletters. The name I wrote under was The Barbless Hooker. That had to do with my belief in
barbless hooks. It was a neat name at the time, a bit politically incorrect these days.
My friend Peter Van Gytenbeek once commented he thought the name inappropriate since I was
full of barbs, not barbless at all.
Eventually, the "lady" moniker became LadyFisher. I suspect that had to do with age and perhaps
with my fishing ability. It was the name I wrote under for Scripps/Howard newspapers. The
Queen has not proclaimed me officially "Lady," so I guess I will go the rest of my days with
it being just a nick name.
I'm grateful someone didn't stick me with a less flattering name. ~ LadyFisher
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