Meet the female fly fishing ace busting the (fiber)glass ceiling

Marina Gibson seeks Fly Fishers Club Membership

Fly fishing clubs in the United Kingdom often have stringent membership rules, and historically, some have excluded women from joining their ranks.

However, this long-standing tradition is on the brink of change, thanks to a determined movement led by Marina Gibson.

Marina Gibson, a passionate fly fishing instructor, guide, and author, is spearheading a campaign to allow women to join the prestigious Flyfishers’ Club.

Established in 1884, the Flyfishers’ Club is the oldest fly fishing club in Britain and boasts an impressive roster of members, including King Charles. Gibson’s efforts come on the heels of another historic change, where the Garrick Club recently amended its 193-year-old policy to welcome women.

Founded in the late 19th century, the Flyfishers’ Club has been a bastion of tradition and exclusivity.

For over a century, it has been a male-dominated institution, reflecting the broader societal norms of its time. The club’s history is rich with stories of legendary anglers and royal patronage, making it a coveted membership for any fishing enthusiast.

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Gibson said she would “absolutely love” to join the club and called for them to embrace change.

She said at a recent event: “I don’t go to London that often but if I did, I would just love to go and sit and read a book and talk about fishing to other fishermen.

“I think a lot of people have a difficult time with change and I completely understand that people want to keep it as it is, but I think that there are so many really hardcore women anglers out there and they would all love a chance to go and sit there at lunchtime – because we’re not allowed in at lunch – and just chill.”

Her petition has garnered significant attention and support from the angling community and beyond. It has sparked conversations about gender equality in traditionally male-dominated spaces and highlighted the need for change.

Many prominent figures in the angling community have voiced their support for Gibson’s petition.

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Rick Wallace is a passionate angler and fly fisher whose work has appeared in fishing publications including FlyLife. He's appeared in fishing movies, founded a successful fishing site and spends every spare moment on the water. He's into kayak fishing, ultralight lure fishing and pretty much any other kind of fishing out there.
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