Surprisingly, the word ‘fishing’ has a connotation of it being associated with only men. This wrong perception is still floating around and many people are still under the impression that fishing and angling are exclusively a male thing to do, but history has been saying differently for a long time.
Women started fly fishing in Australia from as early as 1930. This may come as a surprise but it is true. Some notable female anglers and fishers from that time are Janet Waterhouse, Joy Chapman, Mrs. C. Farnbach, and Kath Lyne.
In many books, the achievements of women anglers have been presented. Like the book ‘Fly Fishing for Trout’ from 1976 depicts Mrs. Joan Massy as a fly fisher and also Mrs. Nankervis and Mrs. Thompson, who caught a 4.2 kilogram brown trout in Keeble’s Hut near NSW Snowy Mountains.
From the more recent times, one of the notable Australian keen female angler is Emma Cartwright. Miss Cartwright inspired many women anglers and to involve more women in recreational fishing, she started the ‘Reel Women Barra Classic’ competition in 2002. This Classic competition attracts hundreds of women from all territories of Australia. Game Fishing Association of Australia arranges competition only for women in saltwater, freshwater, saltwater fly, freshwater fly, and land based saltwater categories.
Not only Australia, women around the world have made their mark in the angling arena and still going strong. Women have made significant progress in Billfish angling. Some renowned billfish anglers include Deborah Dunaway, Marsha Bierman, Elaine “Lainey” Jones, Liz Hogan, Maudi Lopez, Pam Basco and Sandra MacMillan among many others. These women have shown that not only brute force, but also intelligence, patience and dedication can lead to become very good and efficient anglers and catch some good fish, with some even weighing up to 308 pounds!
Needless to say, women have made their mark in angling and it’s not fair to treat them any differently because they’re equally capable and here to hope that more and more women join the fishing and angling community and spread the inspiration.