Women Anglers of Minnesota was founded in 1977 by Sybil Smith, Sue Gynild, Bev Bollefer, Phyllis Larson, Leslie Norman, Kay Hedlund, and Ariel Hale. While fishing the 7th Annual Muskie's, Inc. tournament, the group's founding mothers pondered whether there were more women out there like them -- women who liked to fish and wanted to learn more about fishing and how to steward the environment to ensure fishing for future generations.
The formation of WAM stemmed from these women who wanted to create a peer group for women to fish and gather together. The club was formed with the purpose to educate, empower, and support women learning the sport of angling. Since the inception of WAM, women have joined and supported the mission to teach other women and children how to fish and to further cement the future of fishing in the state of Minnesota.
Sybil Smith - WAM's First President
"Fishing sure beats housework...and most anything else you can think of," says Sybil Smith, who has been publishing fishing guides and writing about fishing on Minnesota lakes since 1982. Her first edition of The Twin Cities Fishing Guide sold over 80,000 copies and was followed by The Brainerd Whitefish Fishing Guide. For every fishing guide, Sybil conducts extensive research on every body of water; interviews numerous experts who have fished that water for a lifetime; contacts the many government agencies responsible for the planning and management of public boat accesses, shore fishing, parks, and lake stocking and management; and personally visits with each of the lakes to verify the data. Sybil has been featured in numerous newspapers and magazines and for many years wrote weekly articles on what's new in Twin Cities fishing for the St. Paul Pioneer Press and the Minneapolis Star Tribune.