Woman Fly Fishing


When I am knee deep in shallow water, throwing my flies out and retrieving them with a therapeutic, rhythmic whirr, my mind often flits back to the same question time and time again. Why aren’t there more women fishos?

Women love to explore the rural Australian landscape, but not as many pick up a rod. It is so baffling to me because we definitely make better fishos than men.


I have heard the argument made among the fisho community that fish like the smell of women. When I was getting into the sport, I went on a trip with three manly friends I worked with at the time. We were fishing for Snapper down South. The three of them came back with almost nothing, while I came back with a net full. This was the first time I heard someone say fish like the smell of women.

While in this instance I am certain it was purely beginners luck, I don’t subscribe to the view that fish prefer a woman’s scent. I think it is just another way for generally older, sexist men to save face when they see a woman taking more fish than them.

“The fish like their scent” is the cry. All I hear is, “I can’t believe you’re doing better than me, I need an excuse”.


The real reason why some beginner fly fisho women do better than their experienced male counterparts is that we are better students. In an application which requires finesse, stealth, knowledge, precision and strategy, being a good student and absorbing everything you are taught is a huge benefit.

Plenty of fly fishing guides have said to me that they prefer to teach women. Women often have more patience and are better listeners. That make us better students.


When my male counterparts talk about their fishing days, I can’t help but groan. Wake up in the early hours, be at the water’s edge before dawn, fish for hours with only beer for nourishment, and return home after nightfall. Forget it. It sounds like my idea of hell.

Fishing with my female friends is far more relaxing. We fish, often arriving at dawn, but we make a nice meal. We talk. We socialise and relax. Fishing is meant to be fun, not a chore. Fishing for 12 hours a day with minimal food and no break sounds like hard work to me.


There has never been a better time to get into fly fishing. There are more women role models on social media showing that women can outshine the men in the sport. We are no longer just bikini-clad eye candy. We are competing with the best of them and showing that anything men can do we can do better.


What do you think? Are women better fly fishos than men, Leave your views in the comments section below.

Jane F

Jane loves camping, hiking and anything to do with the outdoors. She might love glamping but she will do it all.