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Sisters on the Fly

Best Learning Vacation in the 2012 Readers' Choice Awards


2012 Readers' Choice Awards Winner's Badge
2012 Readers' Choice Awards Winner's Badge
Updated March 29, 2012
A great big congratulations to Sisters on the Fly: Cowgirl Caravan for winning the 2012 Best Learning Vacation Reader's Choice Award! Woo hoo for the sisters!

If you haven't heard about Sisters on the Fly, you're in for a treat. This is one fun group of happy women, traveling around the U.S. in a caravan of decorated vintage trailers. They fly fish, ride horses, tell stories around campfires, cook great food, laugh, love, and live big.

Their motto: "We have more fun than anyone."

Maurrie Sussman (Sister #1) and her real-life sister, Becky Clarke (Sister #2), started the group in 1999 after catching an 8-pound brown trout on a fly-fishing trip in Montana. Today, there are nearly 1,400 sisters between the ages of 28 and 90.

Where does the learning come in? Everywhere.

Restoring a Vintage Trailer

If you've ever restored something old, you know there's a lot to know about what's possible, what's not worth the time and effort, how best to go about it, and how much money to spend. When it comes to finding, buying, restoring, decorating, and naming vintage trailers, the Sisters on the Fly can teach you everything you need to know.

Check out the gallery of trailers on the Sisters on the Fly website: Cowgirl Caravan Trailers

Cowgirl College

Every June, a cowgirl caravan makes its way to Willow Creek Ranch in Kaycee, Wyoming. There, the sisters (each has a number, by the way) learn to ride horses, handle a rope, rustle cattle, and rob trains. Well, maybe not the part about the trains. But they definitely have a real Butch-Cassidy-and-the-Sundance-Kid kind of time.

Fly Fishing School

Throughout the year, the sisters gather on some of the best trout streams in the U.S., where they're more than happy to teach newcomers how to cast a fly. In 2012, they'll be the Yellowstone, Blackfoot, Madison, Jefferson, and Missouri Rivers in Montana at various times. They even allow couples on some trips, like the Couples Fly Fishing Adventure in Craig this year.

While they'll teach you how to tie a fly and catch a nice, big trout, fly fishing to the sisters is about more than fish. Irene Rawlings, in her book, Sisters on the Fly: Caravans, Campfires, and Tales from the Road, writes, "It is about sharing this magical time and space with all the beauty of the nature around you—the mountains, the meadows, the fast-rushing stream, the fading light of a perfect evening."

Cooking Around the Campfire

If you've always wanted to learn to cook some great food on a campfire, the sisters can teach you how to cook knockout meals in a Dutch oven. They've got recipes for everything from Cow-Chip Biscuits and Tacky Trailer Campfire Trout to Fry Bread and Chili. Becky Clarke (Sister #2), Vickie Stoppello (Sister #5), and Ferne Krumm (Sister #28) won the McCall Idaho chili cook-off with their recipe in 2009, according to Irene's book. You'll also find recipes for Lemon-Drop Martinis and Kudzu Tea. I told you these sisters know how to have fun.

More Information

You can learn more about Sisters on the Fly on their website. You can find Irene's book on the shopping page, along with cowgirl apparel, purses, gifts, and pins. They even have merit badges so you can prove what you learned. Giddyup!

Related information:

  • We have a fly fishing site at About guided by Brian Milne: Fly Fishing
  • There's also a Rodeo site for true cowgirls.
  • If you love camping, check out Monica Prelle's Camping site

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