In the United States, it was Joan Wulff who changed the sport of fly fishing forever for women.
In 1943, at the age of sixteen, she walked away with top honors in the national dry fly accuracy championship. From there she would go on to rack up twenty-one additional casting titles before ultimately winning the National Fisherman’s Distance Fly Championship with a cast of 136 feet against a field of all male competitors. By the early 1950s, a time when women’s rights were severely limited, Joan Wulff was widely regarded as the best fly caster in the world.
Wulff used her deep knowledge and innate understanding of fly fishing and techniques to become one of the single most recognizable figures in the professional fly fishing game.
At age 89, Wulff is still heavily involved in the art she mastered many years ago, mainly through teaching and inspiring both male and female anglers alike.
In the wake of her success, increasing numbers of women have found avenues into this historically male dominated sport.