For International Womens Day we naturally chose SWMBO – we daren’t nominate anyone else…
But the best known female angler on the Tongariro was undoubtedly the Queen Mother still famous 90 years later for making the Tongariro River her favourite river.
A contribution from the female perspective – by Susie Kane
Celebrities and oligarchs rub shoulders here with ordinary folk from all walks of life. Including women.
The Archetypal Angler
Angling has traditionally been viewed as a male preserve. We all know the image of the archetypal angler – a man, typically beyond the first flush of youth, escaping wife and domestic scene to steal sneaky days by the river where, if his bar-spun tales are to be believed, he battles monstrous scaled beasts the like of which the Earth has not seen since the time of the dinosaurs. It’s an adamantly male image, and the idea of a female angler does not immediately spring to mind. Despite this, however, more and more women are taking up tackle and heading to the trout pools.
Female fishers are by no means a new development. Ladies of the aristocracy have long joined and surpassed their men in the outdoor pursuits colloquially put together as ‘huntin’, shootin’, fishin’’.
They have brought all their trademark determination and vigour to the fore in order to outdo their menfolk on these scores. Legions of determined tweed-clad ladies of high breeding have been striding out across the moors of Britain and wading the creeks of Europe for centuries, pitting their wits against the fish of the lochs and streams, and returning triumphant to present their catches to exasperated cooks (“fish again?”).
While the lower classes had to conform to certain stereotypes, the upper classes could do much as they pleased – and what pleased many upper class ladies was fishing.
This is reflected in the names of Tongarino’s pools and tributaries, many of which are named for prominent people who fished there, and several of which bear female monikers – ‘The Duchess Pool’, for example.
Now that we live in an age of more equal opportunity, plenty of other women are coming to appreciate what this eponymous Duchess did, and turning to angling as a sport and leisure activity.