A fly-fishing community dedicated to women and lead by women.

FFO Guide Amber Leach

For centuries, fishing has been considered a man’s game. However, women have always played an important role in the world of Fly-fishing, even if their contributions have often gone unrecognized. Early women anglers were often forced to adopt masculine techniques and dress in order to be taken seriously. However, they persevered and slowly began to make their mark on the sport. In the early 1900s, women such as Hattie E. Boynton and Mary Orvis Marbury helped popularize fly fishing among female anglers. They wrote books and articles that emphasized the beauty and grace of the sport, while also providing useful tips for beginner anglers.

In recent years, women have continued to play a vital role in fly-fishing, both as anglers and guides. As more women take up the sport, they are helping to break down the barriers that have long prevented them from fully participating in the sport.

Fly-fishing is a sport that has traditionally been male-dominated. However, in recent years, there has been a growing trend of women taking up the sport. Fly-fishing offers several benefits that are particularly appealing to women. It can be a relaxing and even meditative activity, and it provides an opportunity to connect with nature. Fly-fishing also requires a great deal of patience and concentration, making it a perfect form of mindfulness. In addition, fly-fishing is a relatively easy sport to learn, and it can be enjoyed by people of all ages and abilities. Fly-fishing is a sport that requires more timing and finesse as opposed to strength or power. As more women discover the joys of fly-fishing, the sport is likely to become even more popular.

FFO Guide Jewel-Leah Carlin

Modern-day Pioneers in Fly-fishing

Joan Wulff is often credited as the “first lady of fly fishing.” A former ballet dancer, Wulff began fly fishing in the 1950s and quickly developed a reputation as a skilled angler. She wrote several books on the subject, including Joan Wulff’s Fly-Casting Techniques, which is still considered a valuable resource for anglers today. In addition to her work as an author and fishing instructor, Wulff was also an accomplished competitive caster, winning multiple national and world championships. In 1968, she founded the Joan Wulff School of Fly Fishing, which is still in operation today.

Joann Wulff World Champion Fly Caster

Lori-Ann Murphy is another important figure in the history of women in fly fishing. A native of Canada, Murphy began fly fishing at the age of eight and became a professional guide in her twenties. In the 1990s, she rose to prominence as one of the first female instructors of fly casting and competed in numerous tournament events. Lori-Ann is the founder of Reel Women, a women’s operated guide outfit in Montana. Most recently, Lori-Ann has started Reel Belize on Ambergris Caye. She is also credited with helping to popularize two-handed fly fishing, a technique that is now used by anglers around the world. In recent years, Murphy has worked as a director for several outdoor-education programs and currently serves on the board of directors for Trout Unlimited Canada.

Lori-Ann Murphy of Reel Women

A Fly-fishing Experience for Women Only

No single company in the Fly-fishing industry has dedicated more to women’s pursuit of the sport then The Orvis Company. With the inception of the 50/50 on the Water in the last several years Orvis has been committed to expanding the roles of women in Fly-fishing. At Fly Fishing Outfitters we feel that need too. We have started to developed programs that are designed specifically for women by women. Starting in 2023 Fly Fishing Outfitters is going to be taking it to the next level from starting with the basics and going beyond to women’s only destination Fly-fishing adventures.

Women on the Flats 2024

Spring 2024 we will be taking to the flats of Belize with Lori-Ann Murphy and her team from Reel Belize for a 5 days for an all inclusive flats fishing adventure. Bonefish, Permit and tarpon are the main species that we will be targeting. Lori-Ann is one of the great leaders in fly-fishing. Her pioneering life as the first woman to become an Orvis Endorsed Guide took her to San Pedro, Belize in 2009. She values sharing her fly-fishing life with the San Pedro Guide community.
She brought the first FFI instructor to San Pedro to bring a sense of continuity in teaching casting. Now she is crafting custom fly-fishing trips as a Belize Tour Operator under her own company, Reel Belize. Belizeans are warm hearted, fun spirited people. If you want to have a good time fly fishing the flats, Reel Belize guides will make it happen.

The Basics: 

Women’s Only Fly Fishing 101- This is a weekly or on an individual basis course that is an introduction to the sport and is perfect for all ages. We understand that fly fishing can be frustrating and at times intimidating, we are here to break down the barriers that can lead to a frustrated angler. This1-1.5 hour introductory class is offered free of charge.  Bring your questions and suggestions!

  • Fly-casting 
  • Equipment 
  • Knot Tying 

Women’s Only on the Water Fly Fishing 101- This is a weekly or on an individual basis course that is an introduction to the sport and is perfect for all ages.  This is an actual Fishing class that not only incorporates the 101 aspects but also will include time in the water with a guide.  This is a 2-2.5 hour class and is offered at a charge of 100.00 per angler.  This course does require a Colorado Fishing License. 

  • Fly Casting 
  • Equipment 
  • Reading water 
  • Wading safety 
  • Catching a Trout