The Sisters on the Fly is a women’s group that meets up in various locations to enjoy the great outdoors with one rule: “No men, no kids, have fun.”
What happens when you get nearly 9,000 women all interested in doing things together outdoors? The answer is “Sisters on the Fly.”
Sisters on the Fly describes themselves as the largest U.S. outdoor women’s group. Their mission is “Offering empowerment and sisterhood through exceptional outdoor adventures.” In other words, they help each other get outdoors and have fun.
Appropriately, I met Maurrie Sussman, Sister #1, at The Fly Fishing Show in Atlanta, for it was fly fishing that played a key role in the founding of the group.
Maurrie and Sister #2, Becky Clarke, were fly fishing with Maurrie’s son, Austin Lowder, who guides in Montana. They both had grown up fishing and Austin had introduced his mother to fly fishing. At one point, after a fine stretch of fishing, the ladies stopped and were just relaxing. Austin asked why they had stopped.
“It’s the most beautiful place,” they replied. They were watching eagles pass overhead, having an excellent lunch and basking in the sunshine. At that point, Sisters #1 and #2 decided they needed to get more women into places like this. Twenty years ago, they founded Sisters on the Fly.
The Sisters have a network with regional “Wranglers” that help new members get started. Sometimes it involves learning a new skill like trailering or fly fishing. They organize regional gatherings that may range from a day to a week and involve up to 200 Sisters. Their one rule is: “No men, no kids, be nice, and have fun.”
Members come from all over the U.S. and their events are held in various locations from Florida to Alaska. One of their identifiers is the unique gathering of trailers: many are rebuilt older models that are shaped like canned hams turned on edge. These are personalized to showcase the Sisters’ interests, which may range from fishing to reading. They refer to these refurbished trailers as “adopted,” since many were sitting in various states of deterioration until taken under their wing.
The Sisters teach each other outdoor skills including fishing, riding horses, camping, and kayaking. An evident theme throughout is to try some new adventure, go to some new place, and meet new Sisters.
Both Sisters credit their mother, Mazie Morrison, also known as Amazing Mazie, with getting them outdoors. They describe Mazie as outdoorsy, feisty, and fun-loving. In 2015, Sisters on the Fly founded the Mazie Morrison Foundation to provide grants and scholarships to women and children in need.
Maurrie stays on the road these days, either creating awareness for the Sisters at shows or attending regional events. Ask her where home is and she replies, “Out west.”
Membership is open to women 21 years old and up. To join, simply go to their website at www.sistersonthefly.com. All the information you’ll need can be found there. Annual dues are $70 and, once a member, you’ll receive a packet of information, a contact from their local wrangler to get you started, and a Sister number that remains yours for life.
Perhaps their motto says all you really need to know about Sisters on the Fly. Says Maurrie, “We have more fun than anyone.”