Women In Angling: Alyssa Goodenough
Updated: Oct 29
When New Wave Fishing Academy was started it was based around the mission of helping everyone become more successful anglers and especially those who do not have the family, friends, or easily accessible opportunities to push them into the sport. From our short time in operation trying to make accomplish this mission there has been a very clear population that has a hard time breaking into the industry. From critics online challenging their skills as anglers to talking down or belittling their accomplishments / questions there are a lot of unnecessary hurdles for women and young girls to get into the sport. While we know that these people setting up these hurdles do not represent the bulk of the members in the industry they unfortunately are often the loudest voice. To combat this we want to highlight some of the best ambassadors for "Women In Angling" that we know and share their stories for those that just need a little push to get into the sport or some role models to look towards!
This weeks feature is Alyssa Goodenough! Alyssa grew up fishing at her cottage on Six Mile Lake in Ontario and is now a professional guide out of North Haven Resort in Manitoba specializing in trophy pike & lake trout. She is also the owner of Northern Predator (An apparel & content company) and is a registered veterinary technician currently completing a masters and one day PhD in conservation physiology and fish ecology with a focus on formulating effective and efficient catch-and-release practices. If you're looking for a role model with a jam packed resume in the fishing industry look no further than Alyssa! We know her experiences need to be shared with all and are very excited she was able to take the time to prepare something for you all to benefit from.
"I know getting into fishing can seem intimidating at times but trust me, it is so worth it! As cliché as it sounds, fishing changed my life, and it would have never happened without all those that took the time to teach me along the way. There is so much to do and learn, with no true place to start which is why I commend Brandon of New Wave Fishing Academy for taking it upon himself to help others get into the sport we have both come to love!
As anyone can tell with a simple glance, I am far from your typical fisherman! Not only am I a female fishing guide at an elite fly-in resort, but I am also me! And by that, I mean… there is absolutely no shortage of pink or glitter. This may seem irrelevant to most, but as a woman in a male dominated industry I can assure you it is not. To make this make a little more sense, I will tell you a tiny bit of my journey. I believe my true fishing adventure began back in 2017 when I started working at Cabela’s in Barrie. This place and the people I met through it deserve so much credit for where I am today! Cabela’s is where I found my true passion behind a lifelong hobby. Fast-forward a year, and I made the big move to work at a lodge in the Northwest Territories. Working at Cabela’s I noticed differences in the way men in the department and I were treated by customers, but unfortunately it was only the tip of the iceberg! Working at a lodge I quickly realized the challenges I would face as a woman, and even more so because I was so girly in nature. I tried so hard to prove myself, but was told constantly that I was too silly, or too girly, or just simply too different making me feel like a liability rather than an asset. I left that season more in love with nature, fishing, and the north than ever before and I was determined to prove everyone wrong! I came home, fished my heart out that year, and applied to literally every single fly-in and drive-in trophy lodge in the US and Canada. Of nearly a hundred applications, I only received three interviews (and dozens and dozens of calls asking if I was serious only to tell me they did not think I would fit in). Of my three interviews, only one lodge was willing to take the chance on me, and that was North Haven Resort. Two months later, I packed up hundreds of pounds of equipment and moved to the bush, terrified and not knowing a single sole.
That was in May of 2019, and I am still employed at NHR, and do not plan on leaving any time soon! I truly lucked out and could not have asked for a more welcoming and accepting lodge and guide team. A huge kudos goes out to management because I know it cannot be easy to select a team like ours. But the challenges are not even far from over. When guiding clients if we don’t catch fish it is 9 times out of 10 “because I am a girl and the boys need to teach more” and when I put them on an impressive number of fish 8 times out of 10 it's "which one of the boys showed you that". Trust me, all the experience in the world won’t change their opinion! I don’t know how many comments like this I have gotten throughout my fishing career and how many times I have cried over them. The difference is I keep trying… and when I don’t want to, my family (biological and North Haven) push me to make that next cast and back me 1000% of the time.
I guess the moral to my story is, ladies, don’t succumb to the pressure placed on us to change and fit the mold of a typical fisherman, stick up for yourself, whoever that may be. It might not be fair, but those extra hurdles we have to jump will make us not only better fisherman, but women. Just keep trying, we all fail sometimes but never stop giving it another go! I know it can be terrifying to ask questions and get started, and as painful as some experiences truly are, don’t let them speak for the whole sport and everyone in it. Looking back, if there is one piece of advice I could give, it is to not get hung up on proving to others that you can fish, and just prove it to yourself, the rest will come naturally. Use your womanly powers of listening, patience, intelligence, and kindness to your advantage and I guarantee you will be another strong, fisherwomen success story in no time. If I were a man, I know I would not be half the angler I am today.
Now that sappy part of this is all said and done, I want to quickly touch on some general fishing tips for any new beginner. The one and only piece of advice I have is to ask questions in the right ways to the right people! I know many fishermen aren’t the most forthcoming with information, so try and take a scientific approach! Instead of asking where the fish are, ask why they might be there and what they are doing. You don't do the same things every day of the year and neither do fish! Strive to understand them biologically and ecologically (scientific literature is a fantastic resource in fishing!!!). Keep track of what you observe in your brain, really think about it, and soon you’ll notice patterns everywhere. Find sources (like New Wave Fishing Academy) and people (like Brandon) that take pride in not only catching fish but treating them right!!! New Wave is the perfect place the learn fishing and get a solid foundation."
We would like to thank Alyssa for taking the time to prepare this feature to share with you all! Being open with your successes is one thing but being open about the struggles is something not everyone can do but is the most helpful to others in similar situations! To connect with Alyssa you can give her a follow on instagram @lyssgoodenough
If you know somebody who is a great ambassador for Women In Angling (Or the outdoors) that deserves to be recognized and would be willing to create a post please reach out to us on any of our social media platforms so we can get in touch with them.
If you or someone you know is looking to get into fishing or you just want to become a more successful angler be sure to check out our "Zero To Hero Fishing Masterclass" for courses on everything fishing! The masterclass is built to help you learn how to find and catch fish like the pro's by providing all the information you need and a clear development path! Don't miss out check it out now at www.newwavefishingacademy.com/zero-to-hero
Have you ever wondered why lures don't come with instructions and wanted to know how to fish them? Look no further than our "How To Fish" series where you will learn what each bait is, how to use it, when and where it excels over other baits, our preferred setup to use it on, and the common mistakes anglers make when using it. www.newwavefishingacademy.com/how-to-fish