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Northwest Mayflies

Women's Fishing Program

Cast a Line with the Northwest Mayflies

How does it feel to master an outdoor art form, survival skill, and sport all in one? It’s Empowering. Angling pushes us to relax a little more, work a little smarter, and tune in to our surroundings. In a word, fishing empowers us to access a state of mindfulness so we can dive back into our daily routine with a solid ground beneath our feet and a clear head on our shoulders. It hones a conservation ethic in those of us that participate long-term. It offers an environment that is conducive to hands-on learning, fostering friendships, and building confidence. It teaches us the rewards of patience and practice.

Women who learn how to fish accomplish more than just landing a catch, they push their capabilities, and in the process, teach and encourage others to do the same. It is our firm belief that these attributes reap rewards on and off the water.

According to the 2021 Special Report on Fishing by the Recreational Boating & Fishing Foundation and the Outdoor Foundation, 36% of anglers in the U.S. are women. There is a great amount of interest in angling right now, and Northwest Steelheaders is working to continue increase female representation in the fishing community to create a more equitable, inclusive, and strong society of anglers.

We use an inclusive definition of “woman” and “female” and we welcome trans women, genderqueer women, and non-binary people.

Program Objectives


Get Involved

Currently, we are in the process of planning our pilot program and we are seeking the valuable input of women in our community. Tell us what YOU want this program to be and how it would best serve your interests in by sending an email to tfleming@anws.org.

Our program is spearheaded by a fearless team of female staff members, partners, and volunteers. If you would like to have a leadership role in planning this budding program or if you're interested in volunteering at future events please email Operations Manager Tamsin Fleming at tfleming@anws.org.

Program Partners and Sponsors


Women in Fishing Reading List

Reel Women: The World of Women Who Fish - by Lyla Foggia

A loving tribute to the sport of fishing and the women who are passionate about it, beginning with the 15th-century English nun credited with writing the first tracts on both angling and hunting. The stories of these valiant women are conveyed through anecdotes, fish stories, historical lore, and photographs. It's a great read for those interested in the history of women in the sport.
Buy the book here

Uncommon Waters: Women Write About Fishing - by Holly Morris

In this enthralling anthology, 34 contributors, including Margaret Atwood and Lorian Hemingway (Ernest Hemingway's granddaughter), provide the literary answer to why women have gone, and will always go, fishing. The book includes a list of fishing organizations and resources for fisherwomen.
Buy the book here

Joan Wulff’s Fly Fishing: Expert Advice from a Woman's Perspective - by Joan Wulff

A fly fishing guide for women that discusses tackle, fly selection, clothing, casting, reading water, and physically maneuvering. Known as the "First Lady of Fly Fishing," Wulff is widely regarded as the architect of modern-day fly-casting mechanics and is revered for her many accomplishments and expertise in sharing her knowledge with people who seek to learn.
Buy the book here

Support us while you shop for books! When you visit this link and designate "Association of Northwest Steelheaders Inc" under the search bar before you make a purchase, Amazon will donate 0.5% to our organization.