Fishing originated as a means of providing food for survival in Prehistory. The early evolution of fishing as recreation or sport is not clear. There is some anecdotal evidence that Japanese used to fly-fish in 9th century BC and that Macedonians did the same in the 2nd century, but for them, fly fishing was likely to have been a means of survival, rather than recreation. The first text that had a theme of fishing as recreation appeared in 1496 with the printing of Dame Juliana Berners’s A Treatyse of Fysshynge wyth an Angle in England. The first period of great improvement came about the mid-17th century, when Izaak Walton and Charles Cotton were writing the classic the Compleat Angler (1653).
Recreational fishing competitions are a recent innovation. Confédération Internationale de la Pêche Sportive (CIPS) which was founded in 1952 in Rome is the international sport federation representing a number of international federations concerned with angling sports that are carried out in fresh or seawater environments, fly fishing and with casting sport. Governing body for freshwater fishing is Fédération Internationale de la Peche Sportive en Eaux Douce (FISP-ED). First World Championships was held in 1954, in Düsseldorf, Germany. Sea fishing first emerged in the 15th century, but really took off with the arrival of steam boats in the 19th century. Governing body is Internationale de la Pêche Sportive en Mer (FIPS-MER).
Fly fishing is the oldest method of recreational angling, with main development in the 19th century, with the emergence of fly fishing clubs, along with the appearance of several books on the subject of fly tying and fly fishing techniques. Fédération Internationale de la Peche Sportive a la Mouche (FIPS-Mouche) has been an organized voice for fly fishers around the world since 1964. The origin of Casting can be traced to England and the US during the second half of the 19th century. The first modern-day type tournament was organized in London in 1881. In 1955 Fédération Internationale du Lancer (ICSF) was founded, and the first ICF World Casting Championship was held two years later in Germany.