International Women’s Fly Fishing Day


Did you know today, September 10, 2022, is International Women’s Fly Fishing Day? Or that it was co-founded by an Irish woman? Maddy Kelly started the tradition three years ago with her American fishing friend, Pamela Dunlap. Now, women around the world share social media photos each year to to encourage women to fly fish.

A lady fished the largest salmon to adorn the walls of Delphi Lodge, and legend has it that a nun, Dame Juliana Berners wrote the first-ever book on fly fishing, A Treatyse of Fysshynge wyth an Angle, in 1496. Women, too, are said to have tied more flies than men.

Throughout September, we’re celebrating five Irish anglers promoting fly fishing in Ireland. We’re sharing features of each woman, compiled by Maddy Kelly, and giving away some really fun prizes. Watch this space for your chance to win! At the end of the month, we’ll share a BIG announcement for the 2023 season!


First Up: Anna O’Brien

Anna O’Brien is a 14-year-old school girl from Dublin. She been fishing with her dad for 2 years and says she knew that she liked it from very early on in that, “It’s the quietness that I enjoy and casting to a rising trout is great fun and even better fun when you catch one ”

Anna is a junior member of the Vartry Angling Club in Co. Wicklow and fishes for rainbows on their Ashtown Reservoir, for brownies on the Dodder River at Milltown and for carp a few times every year with her mum Michelle and younger sister Rachel. She likes being alongside the river bank best watching the small Dodder trout rise from the pools and gently sip in their lunch. Her father Gary says that she always listens intently to other anglers talking and then has a string of technical questions which means that she is enthusiastic and very keen to learn.

Anna had noticed that there aren’t many women that go fishing and so last year she attended the AGM of the Vartry Club where she read out a proposal asking the club to run a ladies day where women from all over Ireland would be invited to the club for a day’s fishing.