In the late twentieth and early twenty-first century, women's professional golf went through a transformation. All of the sudden, women golfers were hot. The days of Nancy Lopez and Laura Davies were over, and the sport saw an influx of healthy, fit young women that focused on their femininity. While these new, attractive young golfers may have had nothing on the golf game of their earlier counterparts, they were a boon for the sport. Golf no longer meant dressing up like a man and playing a man's sport. You could hit the links and still be feminine, still be pretty. And why not? The number of women golfers skyrocketed.
Fly fishing has seen a similar transformation in the last five or so years. While there have always been women in the sport, fly fishing has never been seen as a feminine endeavor. It has been, and remains largely, a male sport. Within the last few years, though, a crop of similarly young, fit, vibrant young women have taken to the water. They've not only been noticed by the sport at large, they've been celebrated. And they've had a similar effect as the new crop of women golfers: women are far and away the fastest growing demographic in fly fishing and have become a major part of the sport and the business of fly fishing.
These women have established a female presence in each of these sports. They have built a unique identity for women on the green and on the water. They've dispelled the stigma that women who want to participate in these sports need to blend into or be lost in a male-dominated field. And their sports have benefitted as a result.
But, if you find yourself thinking that we have these sally-come-lately women of fly fishing to thank for making fly fishing hot, for putting a feminine identity on the fly fishing map, think again. The legendary Joan Wulff took care of that ages ago. Grey-haired, almost 90-year old Joan Wulff you say? That's right. And this isn't an attempt at being clever. I'm not being figurative. When Wulff was winning casting competitions in the 1950s and 60s, she wasn't just doing it with skill and grace, she was doing it with style and beauty. See for yourself.
All of this is an extremely long winded way of letting you know that Wulff, one of the most celebrated, skillfull and knowledgable fly casters of all time, has worked with R.L. Winston Rod Company and Todd Moen to create a 10-part series of instructional casting videos. The series, called One on One with Joan Wulff is available for viewing online and at no cost.
The series is introduces you to Joan and gives you a bit of a peek at her long and amazing career in the world of fishing, but wastes no time moving on to the casting goods. According to Joan, "with this new 10-part online instruction series from Winston, I am excited that our expanding technological world will allow anglers, of all skill levels, to access instructional help from wherever they may be”.
Kelly E. Buchta replied on Permalink
What a great post and read. As president of the Joan Wulff Fly Fishers Club in NJ, it is wonderful to see more anglers join the ranks based on Joan's tireless efforts. Her contributions to the sport of Fly Fishing are legendary.
vokel replied on Permalink
News on Joan being so foxy, but not on women being a big part of the future of this sport.
Women are also naturals at casting. So much more than men!
steve zimmett replied on Permalink
Check put this you tube on Joan Wulff
Rods, Reels & Reel replied on Permalink
Glad to see others are taking note of the increase of women on the water, and in a respectful manor! I recently wrote an article for High Country Angler about women in fly fishing. And honesty, for most women, its not about the pink rods/reels.
Rachel replied on Permalink
As a woman fly fisher, I find this article basically offensive. How stupid is it to see Joan Wulf casting in high heels? That is to get the attention of the male audience, not because it makes sense from a sporting perspective. There are many female fly fishers, some are attractive and others are just average looking, not unlike our male counter parts.
Bob Triggs replied on Permalink
Joan Wulff totally rearranged my fly fishing life with her uncanny skills as a world class fly caster, teacher and mentor. Her method is unparalleled. This new instructional series will help countless others for years to come. Practice, Practice, Practice!
Oisin replied on Permalink
What is appealing about Joan Wulff is that she wasn't really sexy, at least not by today's standards. Joan Wulff is simply beyond the part of sexy that dominates the current fly fishing industry. Joan is and was a professional in fly fishing, she knew what she was doing and was always at the top of her game when it came to angling. She was not someone who was hired to sell an industry based simply on their looks and some modicum of skill and I guess that's why she is as cool as she is. I think the current crop of dolls could learn a thing or two from her. Take Joan with her style and beauty and we have a woman who knows how to do it. I admire her because she didn't sell sexy to be part of the sport, she made it.