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Women Are Fasting Growing Demographic in Fly Fishing


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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