International Women Fly Fishers

Festival Time!

The Festival 2004 is almost here! We have a spectacular weekend planned for you on October 28-31, at Pocono Manor Inn, a lovely 350 acre country Inn in the Pocono Mountains of Pennsylvania. We know you will have a wonderful time. You’ll learn more about fly fishing from expert anglers. You’ll reunite with old friends from past Festivals, meet new women anglers from all over the country and from abroad. It will be three days of fun, fishing, story telling, connecting with other women anglers and making new friendships.

Special Guest – Joan Wulff
This year, we have some new and exciting events for you. Joan Wulff, the most celebrated woman angler in the country, will be our special guest. She is a rare and wonderful experience and you’ll want to treat yourself to her fly casting presentation and seminar on “Improving your cast.”


Record numbers have signed up already. The registration form is on this website under “Festival.”

Festival Program
For first time Festival goers, you’ll meet the most fantastic women anglers and find enthusiasm and support for your being there. If you are a beginner fly fisher, you’ll find programs just for you, to get you started and answer any of your questions about this sport we love. If you are more advanced, there is a variety of advanced skill building seminars including all sorts of casting techniques, fly tying, float tubing, and knots for both fresh and saltwater. In addition, Floyd Franke, a master fly tyer and fly casting instructor, and author, will not only share how to catch and play the “’big fish” but also instruct a seminar in fly tying. If you’ve not tried fly tying, now is the perfect time to learn --- women have been tying flies, well, since Dame Juliana Berners in the 1400’s. But when all is said and done, it’s the wonderful camaraderie of the Festival that is the added benefit, and being able to meet a network of fishing friends across the world that is unique to this experience.

For the past Festival attendees, in addition to the basic skill building we’ve added building your own fly rod, reading the water to find fish, and an in depth seminar on entomology (aquatic insect life). Maggie Merriman, “Fly Fishing Lady of the West” with 35 + years of experience is presenting on “Beginning Aquatic Insects for Trout Fishing” and “Reading Trout Streams.” Maggie is one of women’s fly fishing legends. Another of our legends, Joan Whitlock, will also be there with a very entertaining program on what is was like to be one of the early women in fly fishing. For those interested in starting and maintaining your own women’s fly fishing club, the Chesapeake Women Anglers is hosting a session on how they, now celebrating their 10th year, have done it!

As members of IWFF, we have most all of the eleven women Master certified Federation of Fly Fishers casting instructors. They will be on hand for casting clinics, and conduct the FFF basic certification tests on Friday of the Festival. If you are interested in more information and in signing-up, you’ll need to contact Liz Watson at lizz58@ Pre-registration is required.

Fishing Day
We have set aside one day of the Festival for fishing the wonderful waters of Pennsylvania. Dee Kelly has gathered information on what to bring, how to get a guide if desired though none is required, how to get a license, what to bring and how to get it. Look for her article in this newsletter. Again if you are a beginner, we will provide a “big sister” to go with you and tailor the stream selection to your skills. And we have a rainy-day plan by Kiki Galvin if weather does not permit fishing, so the Fishing Day will be filled with interesting adventures either way.

Festival Logistics
In making plans, Joyce Silva, a long time IWFF member and past president of the Shasta Mayflies, a women fly fishing club in Redding, California and a moving force behind the West Coast Rendezvous, has graciously agreed to be the Shuttle Coordinator for the Pocono Manor Inn. Joyce’s email address is: Joyce Silva

Shuttle service can be arranged from the following airports: Newark, NJ; Philadelphia, PA; and smaller airports in Scranton, PA, Allentown, PA and Lehigh, PA. If you are flying into any of these and do not want to rent a car, please contact Joyce for shuttle alternatives and price information.

Roommates can be arranged. The room rate is $99/day based on a shared room, and includes all meals. If you need a roommate, Marla Blair at is our Roommate Coordinator. She is happy to give you roommate information. Note: if more than two share a room, the rate remains at $99/day.

You’re Invited!

Pennsylvania is a new location for the Festival. Rachel Carson in The Sea Around Us describes the underpinning of Pennsylvania: “So on a mountain top in Pennsylvania, I have sat on rocks of whitened limestone, fashioned of the shells of billions upon billions of minute sea creatures. Once they lived and died in an arm of the ocean that overlay this place and their limy remains had settled to the bottom. There, after eons of time, they had become compacted into rock and the sea had receded; after yet more eons the rock had been uplifted by bucklings of the earth’s crust and how it formed the backbone of a long mountain range.”

That range is the Pocono Mountains where streams run through ancient limestone rocks and provides not only wonderful fishing but beautiful scenery as well. It’s in these mountains where we will gather for a Fall celebration of women and fly fishing in IWFF’s Festival. Come join us! We look forward to seeing you there.