The First Lady of Fly Fishing was inducted into the IGFA Hall of Fame in 2007. This video tells her story.
Joan Wulff is a very cool lady. She’s 88 years old, five-foot nothin’, looks like your grandma, and can out-cast you by yards. Probably tens of yards.
Joan still fishes, teaches fly casting, is still active at the Wulff School of Fly Fishing, and makes the occasional appearance at fly fishing events. She also has an amazing resume.
Joan won 17 national distance fly casting championships from 1943 to 1960. Competing against males, she made a cast of 131 feet to become the first woman to win the Fisherman’s Distance Event. She once made a competition cast of 161 feet.
In the late 1970s she analyzed her own casting stroke and from that, pretty much defined what we today consider the right way to cast. In 1994 she published “Fly Casting Techniques” and shared her thoughts on the mechanics of the fly cast with the world. In 2001, she marketed, what I consider to be, the best fly casting instruction video around, “Dynamics of Fly Casting.” And she was married to Lee Wulff, the father of catch-and-release fishing and inventor of the style of fly that bears his name.
She was inducted into the International Game Fish Association Hall of Fame in 2007, with very good cause. She’s an amazing lady who greatly influenced modern fly fishing.