|Tyee Catch & Release. Photo by Kyler Vos.|
Although popular culture often paints a masculine picture of sports fishing, in reality, women make up around 30% of the angler population in North America. And, according to survey results from the US Fish and Wildlife Service, that number is growing.
Another impressive statistic is that women hold a disproportionately large number of fishing records—and especially salmon fishing records. Perhaps the most famous women salmon angler is Georgina Ballantine, who, after a two-hour battle, landed a record-breaking 64 lb salmon in Scotland’s river Tay in October 1922. Two of Ballantine’s fellow Brits, Doreen Davey and Clementina Morrison, went on to break their own fishing records, in 1923 (biggest spring salmon, 59.5 lb) and 1924 (the biggest fly-caught salmon, 61 lb), respectively.
Lest you think it’s just British women who smash salmon records, there’s Canada’s own Deborah Whitman-Perry, a novice angler who, in 2012, caught an absolutely massive 83.3 lb Chinook in beautiful British Columbia, not far from Escott’s fishing waters.
The legends continue today. Below, we explore the careers of four of today’s top women anglers.
Hailing from Halifax, Maroun is best known as the host and producer of the TV series What a Catch, but she’s also president of Casting for Recovery Canada, a fly fishing retreat for women who have or who have had breast cancer. She’s a certified Federation of Fly Fishers casting instructor, proponent of proper catch and release methods, and has landed game fish all over the world. These days, she’s also an activist for Lyme disease, which she has unfortunately suffered from since receiving a tick bite during a BC trip (always remember outdoor health and safety!).
Check her out on:
Hamper quit her two-decade career as a news anchor in America to pursue the outdoor life full-time, and she has since featured in many fishing shows, articles, podcasts, and more. A fan of all adventure and travel, she has an active YouTube channel and writes regularly for Women’s Outdoor News.
Lifelong salmon fly-fisher Arnadottis has most recently joined the BBC series Earth’s Wildest Waters: The Big Fish as its Iceland judge. She is a major advocate for women’s participation in sport fishing: she’s previously called for the start of a “Women’s Fishing Week” and doesn’t let anyone in the sport get away with sexism, as you can see from her recent blog post “Your Calendar Also Says 2015, Right?”
Check her out on:
Following in the footsteps of her record-setting British forbearers, this Scottish angler is a major player in the UK fishing community. Woodcock founded Ladies Fishing, which holds events for both first-time and experienced women anglers, and she’s also Marketing Director of FishPal, the UK’s top salmon fishing information site.
Check Anne out on:
Women anglers in Canada, from novice to expert, can find angling events and log their fishing activities with Great Canadian Female Anglers here.