Dorsal Fishing Post – Stuart, Florida

Dorsal Fishing Post. December 1956 (Florida Memory)

The Paris News. Paris, Texas. Monday, December 26, 1955

Pair of Women Making Career Out of Fishing
By Jane Eads

Dorsal  Fishing Post, Fla.

Two women, one hailing from the swank horsy set of Virginia, the other from Boston, are making a career out of a long-loved hobby- fishing. Their fishing camp in southern Florida is drawing increasing numbers of sportsmen from all over the county.

I came across them one dawning as we drove into this isolated spot on the wild and lonely south fork of the St. Lucie River, near Stuart on the Florida East Coast. We wanted a skiff and outboard to do some fresh water fishing. The place appeared deserted but suddenly a melodious voice called out from a yellow-awninged trailer parked at the river’s edge.

Sally Johns and Doris Kolliker, operators of the Dorsal Fishing Post.

It was Sally Johns, formerly of Charlottesville, Va., brown-eyed and attractive in neatly-tailored Bermuda shorts, a cap decorated with lures and flies of the two’s own designing covering her short wispy gray hair. Doris Kolliker, jolly, gray-eyed former Bostonian, owner of the camp, joined us later. The name Dorsal is a combination of parts of their names. The two women, both experienced World War II workers in an airplane plant, familiar with machinery and its working, with common talents as fishermen, cooks, and working around boats, and each a mother of two grown children, joined forces two years ago.

Dorsal Fishing Post. December 1956 (Florida Memory)

They are equipped to supply boats, motors, bait and lunches.

Doris does a couple of weekly fishing broadcasts by tape recording for a local radio station. If you want to get these otherwise generally genial women riled, though, flip a cigarette or cigar butt into the water around the dock. They get real feminine then. That’s where they cater to a school of some 2,000 mullet they’ve trained as pets and to which they feed about 160 loaves of bread a week. They’ve also got five trained black bass.

“We work hard,” Doris said, “get up almost every morning at four o’clock, keep going 12 and 14 hours. By seven p.m. we’re dead tired. Once in awhile we get dressed up, but nobody seems to recognize us in our party clothes.”

“When you get up to the highway,” Sally Called cheerily as we drove away that evening, “look out for them Yankees.”

Dorsal Fishing Post. December 1956 (Florida Memory)

Evening Star. 17 Feb 1961, Fri · Page 30

Woman Fishing Guide.
By Charles Covell. Outdoor Editor

We went fishing with Sally Johns, one of the Nation’s few women bass fishing guides. Sally and Doris Kolliker run the Dorsal Fishing Post a mile beyond the trailer park. They have outboards, a restaurant and cottages. Both grass widows, Doris runs the restaurant end of the business, while Sally does the guiding.

Dorsal Fishing Post. December 1956 (Florida Memory)

The south Fork of the St. Lucie above and below the fishing camp is Sally’s territory. She is not only knows every likely fishing spot but most of the furred, fines or feathered inhabitants, not counting several old gators that live upstream.

For our trip, Sally decided to head for the upper reaches for bass, a beautiful spot where the stream flows clear and quiet through a forest of palms, oaks and maples.

Bill drew the first blood, with a largemouth caught on a Dalton surface tackle, this writer had a half-hearted strike on a Phillips Crippled Killer but the bass failed to take it.

Then Bill caught a bluegill (bream in Florida) and shortly afterward hooked and boated a bass from a patch of lily pads that we had just combed with the Phillips.

By this time we were ready to go back. Sally, who as a guide insisted on handling the motor, rowed where necessary to keep us lined up with the banks so that we could cast on either side.

Once a young couple, obviously newcomers, passed us in an outboard. “Say,” the boy said to Sally in shocked surprise, “what are those men doing letting you row?”

Two embarrassed fishermen slunk back to the landing

Feeding school of tame mullet at Dorsal Fishing Post. January, 1955 (Florida Memory)
The Miami News. February 5, 1954, page 14

The Stuart News. 11 Nov 1954, Thu · Page 7

Mrs. Doris Kolliker of the Dorsal Fishing Camp was guest speaker yesterday at the Woman’s Club meeting on “Interesting Women in Fishing.”

She said if women would try fishing they would find it much more interesting than many of their afternoon teas and card parties and, after all, women should be interested in what makes money for Stuart. She thinks too that women and children should be taught the skill of handling fishing tackle, so they could avoid getting the hook in everything but the fish.

She told several humorous incidents of women coming with their husbands and sitting in the car and acting snooty as she and Sally busied back and forth with their work. She said this was a camp where women did the work and men stood by and looked, and, she said, women should learn to fish in self defense because if they went out with their husbands and did not how they would be stuck with the rowing.

They, she said, toured the State from the northern tip to Key West before settling on their present location and without a doubt, she insists, it is the most lovely and best fishing grounds in the State. She is formerly of Boston, an early day woman pilot and a member of the Ninety-Niners. She’s widow of a one-time art editor of the American Weekly. Mrs. Johns, formerly of Charlottesville, Va., before her fishing experience in Florida was a horse farm manager and trainer of show horses.

Dorsal Fishing Post. December 1956 (Florida Memory)
The Stuart News. 02 Apr 1959, Thu · Page 23
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The Stuart News. August 11, 1955
The Independent Record. Sat. Jul 13, 1957
First published by Evening Star Washington, District of Columbia · Friday, April 01, 1960. Republished by The Stuart News. April 14, 1960
Chattanooga Daily Times, December 5, 1961
The Palm Beach Post, February 26,1969
The Stuart News. 28 Oct 1994, Fri · Page 26

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