The competition fly fishing scene in Australia has taken on a new look. Australia is now selecting separate mens and womens teams to compete at international championships.
Only a few years ago there were only one or two women members of Fly Fish Australia Inc competing in competitions in Australia and their opportunity to gain selection to represent their country was limited. There were no international competitions specifically for women.
With the world regulating body for competitive fishing flagging its intention to follow the Olympics in holding seperate competitions for men and women, and with a number of local events promoting women in the sport, it was not long before a core nucleus on women decided to join Fly Fish Australia Inc and start competing. Over a couple of short years the numbers have swelled with some competitions seeing as many as 20% of the field being women anglers. Their participation in the sport was rewarded when the decision was made by FIPS-Mouche to hold the first World Womens Fly Fishing Championships in Norway. Shortly afterwards the organising body of the Commonwealth Fly Fishing Championships determined to establish a separate womens competition within the Commonwealth Fly Fishing Championship.
The first Australian womens fly fishing team competed in the Commonwealth Fly Fishing Championships in Taupo, New Zealand in February 2020 against women selected to represent New Zealand, England, Scotland and South Africa. Australian representatives Casey Pfeiffer and Karen Brooks won the individual womens gold and silver medals respectively.
The next opportunities for Australian women to compete in international competitions are the inaugural FIPS-Mouche World Womens Fly Fishing Championships in Norway in July 2021 and the Commonwealth Fly Fishing Championships in Islay, Scotland in September 2021. The World Championships will be held annually with British Columbia, Canada hosting the event in 2022. The Commonwealth Championships are held every 2 years.
The participation of women in the sport of competition fly fishing in Australia is being mirrored around the World with announcements being made in a number of countries (e.g. the USA and Canada) that they will be selecting teams to compete at future competitions.