Women Are Fasting Growing Demographic in Fly Fishing
- January 31, 2018
- By Todd Whitesel
For too many years, fly fishing has been dominated by male anglers. It still is, but that is changing. More women are discovering the zen-like peace of unfurling a back cast, and the numbers of female fly anglers are rising.
Women represent the fastest growing demographic in fly fishing, comprising about 31% of the 6.5 million American fly anglers, according to the 2017 Special Report on Fishing.
And a new line of women's fly-fishing gear is emerging to greet this emerging market.
Companies including Orvis, Patagonia and Simms have collaborated with female fly-fishing guides for advice on how to tailor essentials such as waders and wading jackets to meet the needs of women. Instead of a one-style-fits-all-sexes approach, women can now find gear tailored just for them.
In 2015, outdoor clothier Patagonia introduced a full line of women's fly waders that solved the eternal dilemma of what to do when on the water nature calls. By adding a drop-seat, women could relieve themselves without taking off their waders and without embarrassment.
A recent New York Times article noted that Simms Fishing Products consults with Camille Egdorf, a guide with Yellow Dog Flyfishing Adventures in Bozeman, Montana. Egdorf has provided feedback for its line of women's gear poised for release spring 2018.
Fly-fishing gear and tackle manufacturer Orvis is also introducing a new line for women this spring, including its Silver Sonic Convertible-Top Wader. The wader is available in 12 different sizes for a perfect fit and features a belt designed to create a slimming profile and neoprene booties sized for a woman's foot.
While women represent a growing demographic, males still make up nearly 70% of fly-fishing participants. Recognizing that disparity, Orvis along with partners Costa, Simms and Yeti, launched the 50/50 On The Water by 2020 campaign. The initiative's three primary goals are to:
1. Make it easy for women to participate in the sport
2. Celebrate the unique connection between women and conservation
3. Showcase the authentic experiences of real women fly-fishing
To help meet these lofty participation goals, Orvis is providing guidance for educational outreach events, classes and other programs devised to bring greater equality to fly fishing.
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