Fly fishing

Celebrating Women in Angling this Saturday

Fish & Game NZ Managing Director Corina Jordan encourages Kiwi women to get out on the water this Saturday (9 September 2022) and celebrate International Women’s Fly Fishing Day.

This is the third year that the event has taken place. It is growing globally as women around the world, and here in Aotearoa New Zealand, enjoy the multitude of benefits associated with fly fishing.

Jordan, who was recently named CEO of Fish & Game (the first woman to hold the position), says only 10% of New Zealand’s 100,000 licensed freshwater anglers are women.

“I want to see that demographic shift,” she says. “As an angler myself, I understand the positive impact trout fishing can have on your health and mental well-being. Casting a line on the fly is very therapeutic.

“It’s also incredibly rewarding to be able to go out and harvest healthy outdoor food for your whanau. It would be great if more women could experience this.

“Put in the stunning scenic rivers and lakes we have in New Zealand, where you can easily find trout, and it really is an incredibly relaxing and rewarding quest.”

All over the world, fly fishing is recognized for its rejuvenating qualities.

Casting for Recovery, an American initiative that also takes place in New Zealand, helps women with breast cancer receive emotional, physical and social support through fly fishing. In the United States and the United Kingdom, fly fishing programs have been set up for veterans following studies which show that pursuit helps recover from injury as well as mental trauma. and emotional pain that many suffer after experiencing armed conflict.

Fly fishing enthusiast Leigh Johnson says women’s lives have become increasingly stressful given the challenges associated with juggling careers and families.

“Women need time to decompress and relax. When I ran my business in Wellington, it was an incredibly hectic time in my life. I wish I had been introduced to fishing in the fly earlier, rather than when I retired, as it would have. certainly helped me relax and refocus at a time when I needed balance.”

Johnson is actively engaged in passing on the pursuit and what she has learned from it to other women. Supported by Fish & Game and the Kapiti Fly Fishing Club, Women On The Fly (WOTF) is an initiative she helped set up recently to bring women anglers together to support each other and mentor new entrants. They hold their first fly fishing workshop for women at the end of November, in the Hutt Valley.

Meanwhile, Leigh Johnson and Corina Jordan are encouraging women to hang out at a local waterway this weekend.

“New Zealand has the largest trout fishing resource in the world, in some very beautiful locations. Most of the country’s rivers and lakes support excellent fish populations, including, for the majority of Kiwis, some easily accessible waterways very close to home,” says Jordan.

“Women who want to try can find a wealth of helpful tips and information to get started on our website. All you need is a one-day license and some basic equipment to enjoy this wonderful activity during International Women’s Fly Fishing Day.”

– For more information, search ‘Kapiti Women On The Fly’ on Facebook or visit the Fish & Game website: www.fishandgame.org.nz.

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