Outdoor Writers Association of America Introduces the “Joan Wulff Enduring Excellence Award”


From OWAA:

Formerly the Excellence in Craft Award, the new Joan Wulff Enduring Excellence Award pays homage to a fly-fishing legend

The Outdoor Writers Association of America (OWAA), the nation’s largest organization of professional outdoor journalists, is changing the name of their prestigious Excellence in Craft Award to the new Joan Wulff Enduring Excellence Award.

This name change will better recognize the achievements of award winners while honoring Joan Wulff, a groundbreaking instructor, lecturer, writer, fly caster, and angler who has been making an impact in the angling world for eight decades.

“Many OWAA members weighed in and felt that changing the name to the Joan Wulff Enduring Excellence Award would better distinguish the award from other OWAA programs while honoring the legacy of long-time, groundbreaking OWAA member Joan Wulff,” said Katie McKalip, OWAA President.

Originally launched in 1971, the annual Excellence in Craft Award served to recognize OWAA’s top professional journalists for their lifetime of award-winning work in dozens of media outlets. Under this new name, the Joan Wulff Enduring Excellence Award will further honor the dedication, talents, and long-term achievements of OWAA members.

“I think there are many other people who deserve that honor as much or more than I do,” said Joan Wulff from her home on the Beaverkill River in New York.

Wulff joined OWAA in 1954. While she wasn’t the first woman member, the field was still dominated by men. Although that trend has eased significantly, she remains the only woman winner of the Enduring Excellence Award so far.

Wulff was honored with OWAA’s top award in 2000, joining a list that reads like a Who’s Who of outdoor media legends. Other winners include Homer Circle (‘75), Pat McManus (‘86), Gene Hill (‘93), Grits Gresham (‘98) and Curt Gowdy (‘97).

Wulff’s contributions to the fly fishing world are legendary. She was a National Casting Champion from 1943-1960, once winning the National Fisherman’s Distance Casting event against an all-male field by casting a fly 161 feet. She pioneered a set of fly casting techniques, authored three books on fly fishing, and for 22 years wrote a casting column for Fly Rod & Reel. She was elected to the International Game Fishing Association (IGFA) Hall of Fame in 2007.

About OWAA

Recognized as “The Voice of the Outdoors,” OWAA is the nation’s largest organization of professional outdoor journalists. Its membership includes writers, photographers, videographers, radio and TV personalities, digital storytellers and artists. Formed in 1927, the nonprofit association’s mission is to improve the professional skills and opportunities of its members, set the highest ethical and communications standards, encourage public enjoyment and conservation of natural resources, and mentor the next generation of professional outdoor communicators. https://owaa.org


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