(Pictured: Glenda Powell giving Spey Casting lesson to Debbie Meadows)
Some people are surprised to see women fly fishing on the riverbanks today. However, women angling with artificial flies was first recorded in 1496 by Dame Juliana Berners titled “A Treatyse of Fysshynge wyth an angle”. There was a resurgence in early 20th century and there are many references to the success of these fishing women notably Ms Georgina Ballantine who caught the biggest salmon on record even to this day at 64lbs on rod and line in 1922 on the River Tay in Scotland.
In recent years there has again been a further raised level of interest in the sport of fishing amongst women and there have been several studies to find out why. It seems that we ladies need the peace and quiet from work and family and we are migrating to the open countryside.
Most fishing spots are a good way from towns and cities and the general rush of the mad mad world. Surrounded by nature with quiet serrations of birds, water gurgling at your feet, and concentrating on casting hopefully to a fish! Stress just drops off your shoulders as the freedom to absorb your surroundings brings you back to nature. Personally, I find I am in a world of my own and reluctant to leave the water to go home.
This year, the Irish Inland Fisheries IFFI board launched a free initiative for fly fishing days for women to give an experience opportunity and help the uptake of women into the sport. Glenda Powell who became the Ladies World Champion in 2006 for overhead distance casting was to give instruction on the Moy in Ballina. Unfortunately, due to the pandemic these events have been postponed until 2021. Visit the link to see next year’s d dates. https://www.fisheriesireland.ie/Education-and-Outreach/women-try-fishing.html
You may be surprised to learn that fly casting is beneficial for those recovering from breast cancer. There is a charity which my husband Chris and I support called Casting for Recovery. If you would like more information go to https://castingforrecovery.org/
For me nothing beats the sense of adventure when packing my fishing gear and rod into the car and setting off to a beautiful riverbank to fish. I may not hook into a fish that day, but it is the time spent on the water which I value most.
If you would like an introduction to fly fishing and learn how to go about experiencing fishing on the River Moy we will be pleased to pass on local information.